Saturday, 29 November 2008

International No Shopping Day - Hurray!

Now, this is more like it! An entire day devoted to the studied avoidance of consumerism; twenty-four hours of not being deluded into thinking that the route to happiness lies in conspicuous consumption. In the midst of International Week of the Keyboard, World Nest-Of-Tables Day or the European City of Plywood Manufacturing, this is a day whose cause I can subscribe to wholeheartedly; this is a issue worthy of a good deal more attention.
I am well-known, in those circles where I am well known, for my frugality of lifestyle. Not for me the flash cars and the fancy meals; not for me the monogrammed, designer cassocks or the patent-leather chasuble. Oh no. When one is in receipt of a modest stipend, supplemented by the odd (decidedly) half-hour of teaching and some solo singing at fifty quid a pop one needs to live within one's means.
Many times in these financial straitened months have I been asked to 'share the secret', as it were. It is with increasingly regularity that I am petitioned for advice on matters of financial frugality. People are clearly 'tightening their belts' a little, and who better to go to for advice than someone used to half-a-lifetime of living on next-to-nothing. So, here is Can Bass's Guide to the Credit Crunch:
1. Live within your means

2. Treat shopping as a necessity rather than a hobby;

3. In supermarkets, look above and below the 'eye level' shelves;

4. Use a weekly market, if you have one;

5. Put on an extra layer of clothes, and turn the heating down.

And that's it!

20 comments:

Kitty said...

I think your hint No.1 hits the nail on the head. It's really not rocket science is it? If I can't afford it, I don't buy it. End of, as they say.

Do you frequent the world of the Charity Shop? Truly marvellous places.

x

Z said...

I didn't shop, but the only thing I needed was a potato. As it was, the three of us shared two. We're not very hungry tonight.

scarlet-blue said...

Knitting. You missed out knitting. And sewing. And starting new trends that involve wearing old clothes...
Sx

Gadjo Dilo said...

And growing your own food, don't forget that, and making your own soap (my father-in-law still does that here), and using your bathwater to flush the toilet (thus paying less water rates). Oh, and nicking stuff. Bonne chance!

Brother Tobias said...

Great advice. I'd also suggest no central heating at all (we manage fine, and the furniture loves it). And recognise the difference between proper fruit and vegetables (apples, pears, plums, tomatoes, peas, green beans, cabbage, potatoes etc) and crossword puzzle answers (kiwi, kumquats, mangoes, squashes, mange tout, okra etc. Oh, and buy own brand gin.

Lay Clerk said...

Own-brand gin is fine, as long as it's paired with Schweppes Tonic and not own-brand stuff. Discovered that wonderful wee fact years ago!

Z said...

Absolutely right, Lay Clerk. Unlike brandy or whisky, bog-standard gin is fine, but the tonic isn't.

The Dotterel said...

Timely hints, CB. And here's one more - turn off all those gadgets plugged in to the mains instead of putting them on 'standby'. The clock on a microwave can use as much power as the microwave itself!

Rob Clack said...

Oh no, not a patent leather chasuble!

Sir Monocle said...

So un-American!

susan s. said...

Tobias, squashes are good vegetables. Especially Pumpkins that make great soup. Winter squash is relatively cheap where I live.

Oh, and Sir Monocle, even Americans are doing these things! Not buying was very restful for me.

ChickPea said...

'Share your bath' can have something to recommend it too.....

And 'Sharing Body Heat'is HIGHLY recommended ..... (by my cat on a cold night.........)

Hadriana's Treasures said...

I bought a box of tea for 24p at LIDL the other week. Tastes fine!

Rob Clack said...

ChickPea has nailed it - share body heat. When my wife is away, I encourage the cat to join me under the bedclothes. Cat fur on naked flesh....phoarrrrrr!

Millennium Housewife said...

Excent stuff CB, the only one I don't practise is the eye level looking, a new one on me. Do you mean they put the cheaper stuff where you can't see it? Ah, finally a use for my toddler. MH

Lucy Fishwife said...

ONLINE SHOPPING. Believe me since I started using the worldwide wonderweb I have browsed far less and ended up at the (virtual) till with EXACTLY WHAT I NEEDED. Mostly because when internet shopping you don't feel guilty about filling your trolley then dumping most of it again before you reach the till.
Also my mother was the queen of leftovers so I'm quite thrifty with the carcass of a chicken - to quote the great Calvin Trillin "For years my mother fed us on leftovers. The original meal has never been found."

The Poet Laura-eate said...

I think I am following most of these already Can Bass, but you are still definitely better at it than me.

Unfortunately being quite a tall girl, I seldom find things which fit in the sales as my size tends to go first when new stock comes into a shop, but I am discovering the joys of second hand clothes on e-bay at the moment. And I do wear my clothes until they fall to bits!

Working mum said...

If others had only taken advice no.1 we wouldn't be in this mess, would we?

I speak as one who has always lived within her means and am quite annoyed about having to pay for the excesses of others.

Can Bass 1 said...

I am gratified to find so many of us are of like mind. Would you all mind awfully standing for election as the next British Government?

inkspot said...

Calvin Trillin. That takes me back. Lordy me, yes. Do you remember him writing about the Chinatown chicken that played noughts and crosses (tic-tac-toe)? I played against that chicken and lost six times in a row.

[Voices off: Ok grandad, time for your pills.]