Sunday, 21 September 2014

Why is giving up shopping so hard

I desparately want to start saving money and buying only a few high quality items. Prefereably these items will be packaging less classics that I will use for at least a couple of years (clothing) or longer in the case of homeware. We already made this choice by investing in our beautiful Denby Halo dinner set that we can add to as we go rather than buying a cheaper set then upgrading in a few years time.
In some ways now is a time when we are allowed to buy things, we are setting up our life together and there are plenty of things we dont have (neither of us owned a veg peeler previously!) There are also choices to be made - do we want something functional that we can afford now or can we wait a few months and buy the version that we really want? Do we really need that item at all (we have decided only to buy a Yorkshire pudding rack and use that to bake all smaller treats). There is an element of space efficiency in this too - the storage space in our flat is minimal so we are big fans of clever storage solutions like the lakeland plate shelf and a bakeware rack.

I have dramatically reduced my clothing expenditure by planning a capsule wardrobe and sticking to it fairly religiously. This means I only buy pieces which make me look amazing (note not pieces that look amazing on me), and are in my current colour scheme and style. This means that all of my clothes get some love in their season. Once I have this set up it will be relatively self sustainable unless I decide I want a dramatically different colour option. However clever marketing and the habits of a lifetime make me want to shop and spend money. As I have this under control in my clothes choices it has leaked over to makeup. I am a sucker for a new lipstick. Thus I have an incredible lipstick collection of which about 1/3 really suit me (there are of course more which look OK. I plan on giving away the 2/3 to friends (although not that many of my friends are too into lippies). Then I can reclaim my muji storage and use it to house my sewing supplies.

Spesking of crafts- I like to think of myself as a crafty person and it is very easy to accumulate craft supplies with no project in mind just because they are pretty. No more, I will only be buying stuff once i have a set project in mind and only enough for one project at a time. My next big thing is to learn to make clothes, hopefully finding a more sustainable way of clothing myself and also increasing my control over what I wear (no more will I be unable to find what I want in the shops).

I think the key is removing yourself from temptation. Not browsing the shops at lunch or online, not reading a multitude of beauty blogs all advertising the latest high end lipstick. Instead I plan on retunring to an individual sense of what I need and how much I can afford to spend. I think sadly of all the items that I have in a pile to send to friends, used once or twice at most. Hopefully this will be enough motivation to keep me on the straight and narrow.

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Reducing food packaging waste

The most obvious first step for me in reducing waste is eliminating food packaging from our weekly shop. We currently live in Acton and are fairly close to both a Saturday farmer's market (at Notting Hill Gate) and also two bulk grocery stores (one in Maida Vale and the other on High Street Kensington). 

This weekend I went to the farmer's market to see what was available there and was pleasantly surprised. There was plentiful veg, bread and meat (sadly all the meat was pre packaged) and also a stall selling mushrooms and one selling bacon and egg sandwiches.  I picked up some mushrooms and a handful of tomatoes to try and will take Stuart back next weekend to do it properly. We definitely would need to take some smaller fabric bags to put the veg in to avoid the plastic ones on offer at every stall.

I then made the trip north to Maida Vale to investigate the Dry Goods Store, only to discover that it was closed until the 2nd September while the owner recovers from a broken foot. However from what I could see through the window it looks pretty good- rows of dispensers. After a little search on the Internet it turns out they do a good coffee as well! Here is the (pretty rubbish) photo I took while I was there.

I am so excited to go back and do a proper scout out of the shop.

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