I could have titled this piece as my No Purchase Year like I see in You Tube videos of No Purchase Year or No Spend Year. However, I viewed a couple of these videos and it turned out they were Low Spend Year than No Spend Year because they bought essentials like food.
Last year , I did or came close to doing that because of the pandemic and lockdowns.
My purchases were limited to the following:
- Food – only the essentials for meals. At the start of lockdowns there were those who stocked a lot for provisions to the point of panic buying and hoarding. I tried not to give in to the fear of supplies running out and I bought just right.
- Cleaning or sanitation items. – I did purchase a little more than my usual stock of alcohol that I didn’t buy more for the whole year.
- Replacements for essential items – I had to buy a replacement for our stove .
The things I did not buy/spend on:
- Clothes – we were not allowed to go out during the quarantine so I only wore house clothes most of the time. There were few times when it was necessary to go out like when I had to buy replacement items so I got to wear some of my weekend clothes to the mall/grocery . I also wore nice tops for Zoom meets, but I only rotated my present clothes.
- Accessories – we’re always covered in a face mask and a face shield when we go out so accessories are unnecessary.
- Gasoline – there were few trips so my gas lasted. It helped that there’s a small grocery nearby and I just walked when I had to buy essential items. There’s also a fruit stand within walking distance. It also helped that my brother who was stranded here (he’s now US based) borrowed my car to go to his in-laws a few times and he gassed up full tank before he left. That was in June last year and I still haven’t bought gas as of this writing.
- Face Masks – our municipal government gave out disposable masks, a religious organization gave washable cloth masks house-to-house and a friend gifted me with face masks.
- Face shield – another gift from a friend
- Make up- I didn’t go out and I put just a little lipstick during Zoom meets.
- Lotion- I have enough in store from gifts from friends and “pasalubongs” from balikbayan friend and relatives. Pasalubongs are gifts from people coming from a trip or another location. Balikbayans are countrymen who are now based in other countries and are returning for a visit or for good.
- Slippers – my current set ( one each for the bedroom/inside the house, for the bathroom and for the yard) lasted for a year.
- Shoes/sandals – I wear these for going out so I only used a few for the few times I went out. I wore my rubber shoes more often , when I walked to the fruit stand to buy fruits and walked to visit our church. Rubber shoes are really designed to last.
- Haircut in a salon – I cut my own hair.
- Other salon services. I didn’t go to salons for facials. In lieu, I steam my face to clean my pores. I think it’s not really an equivalent/ a substitute but I thought it was the more prudent option because of the pandemic.
- Plant pots – I recycled some pats and old containers.
I also did not buy these items last year but I usually don’t buy them even before the pandemic so I list them separately:
- Garbage bags – I recycle shopping bags from department stores and supermarkets.
- Kitchen counter tops wipes – I make rags from old towels/ hand towels or T-shirts.
- Mops – I make them from old clothes.
There are fruit-bearing small trees in our yard so they lessened my purchase of fruits. We have mangoes, papaya, balimbing and guava. I had a good harvest from our mango and papaya trees and I was able to give away some.
My neighbor has a santol tree and she gave me some of her harvests.
In addition to the fruits that the trees give, they also help in cooling our house during the dry season. They also attract birds because of their fruits and their shade which make mornings more beautiful with their playing and chirping.
The past year has demonstrated that we can indeed live on less. This will help our finances and in a bigger view, this will help the environment , this will help the earth.