When we returned from the book tour, I received emails from two readers eager to know what I bought while I was away. I thought it was quite odd to assume I'd bought anything seeing as I write about moving away from a consumerist mindset. And mindset really is the key word here - you need to have thought about your spending and materialism and have turned your back on it for this kind of life to be your new "normal". That is not saying that I will never buy anything frivolous again, it's saying instead that I only buy necessities and what will give me pleasure, and therefore enhance my life.
I know what you're thinking - surely she bought more than that! Well, yes, I did, and I'm still not sure what category I'd place these purchases - necessities or pleasure; I think they're both. I need a pair of new slippers for winter. I wanted to buy real Ugg slippers and had already priced them on the Sunshine Coast. Too expensive. I wanted quality but I knew I could get quality at a better price so I was prepared to wait. When we moved here I bought a pair of real Uggs. They lasted me for eight years. Then I bought cheap slippers, and each time I did, they lasted about two years. I wanted to get back to the Uggs - to buy the best quality I could afford - but I wanted the price to be right. I found them at Blue Mountains Uggs at Faulconbridge. We bought a pair of Ugg scuffs for Hanno and a pair of short ankle Uggs for me - I like my slippers to cuddle my feet. Both are real sheepskin and wool. Both pairs together cost the same price I was quoted for one pair here. Well worth the wait.
The other thing I bought was a vintage potato masher. The one I had been using had a very long handle on it, much longer than any person would need. It is uncomfortable to use and doesn't do a great job. I wanted one like my mother used, although I didn't know that until I saw it sitting inside a beautiful vintage glass mixing bowl/jug. It cost $8 and has remnants of the old green paint on the wooden handle. This was made in the days before plastic. When I picked it up I felt like I'd picked it up a hundred times before. I bought it. When we came home, I soaked it in vinegar water for an hour, gave it a good scrubbing with hot water and soap, and added it to my kitchen utensils. It makes the best mash.
I found this masher treasure in a place called Frou Frou in Springwood. My nephew Danny told me about this shop, I tried to get there last time I was in Springwood at Easter, but they were moving then and the shop was closed during my visit. If you're in the Blue Mountains and like vintage clothes and bits and pieces, it's well worth a visit. Just looking at the stock brought back a few memories for me and made me smile.
And that's it, folks. No big shopping spree, no souvenirs, just cards and a stationery set, shoes for Hanno to wear on the trip, Uggs and a potato masher. All necessities that will bring pleasure too; I reckon that's good shopping. We didn't need anything else and we certainly didn't go walking through shops looking for "stuff" to buy.
Are you having trouble stopping shopping? What are your downfalls? What are you doing to get back to frugality? Maybe you've found not shopping much easier than you imagined it to be. If so, tell me your story.