Two small but interesting situations arose last week that raised questions about my goals to purchase only necessities and gifts and to not shop at any big box stores.

First, I remembered that I still had Christmas money — a gift from a relative — that I had not yet spent. When I originally included “gifts” in my allowed purchasing, I was thinking only of gifts I would buy for other people; I hadn’t given a single thought to buying gifts for myself, from someone else, because it only happens once a year. 

I ultimately decided it’s okay to purchase non-necessities as a gift for myself with money gifted me by someone else.  The funny thing is, I can’t think of a single thing to buy; as a result, the money will remain in my checking account until I happen upon something that will be a real treat and bring me pleasure.

Last week, I also signed a 12-month lease on a small apartment in my hometown; my daughter has accepted a job there, so all of us — daughter, son-in-law, two granddaughters (who I babysit), and I — are moving back home.

The apartment I’ll be living in has a nice balcony with plenty of room for a small table, my ultra-comfortable reclining lawn chair, and a few planters.  It also is separated only by a railing from the next-door-neighbor’s balcony. 

I’d love to have planters with a few vegetable plants and flowers, as well as a trellis of some sort along the side that abuts the neighbor. The problem is that I don’t own a trellis and I sold my planters before moving two years ago. Of course, neither a trellis nor planters (or plants) are a necessity. I shared on fb that if anyone has any planters or a trellis that they either were planning to throw away or that they’d lend me, I’d truly appreciate it. A long-time friend offered me two beautiful planters she no longer wants or needs, so that’s a start.

And trust me, it didn’t escape me that I may just have found something on which to spend my Christmas money come Spring!

Week 2 Recap:


I purchased only gas and food — necessities — and wasn’t even tempted to purchase anything else. 

No purchases from big box stores:

Zero shopping — not even on amazon!

Using items from my stashes

I completed 6 rows on a (knitted) scarf I’m working on. I’m no longer on track to finish it by the end of January — preparing for the move has taken precedence — and I’m okay with that. 

Getting rid of stuff

As I’ve been boxing up things, I’ve thrown away one large garbage bag full of papers & other stuff and sold 1 book (through the reading challenge I host on fb).

All in all, a successful week!