Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Stuff Diet

Catherine Porter is one of my favourite writers at the Toronto Star. Unlike columnists at "other" papers, she actually writes about things that normal, busy, working people might be interested in. Oh, and she writes with humour and intelligence. In her column today, she writes about The Stuff Diet. If you go on the Stuff Diet, you are asked not to buy anything other than food, booze (I'm not making that one up), and health-related products for three months. At first, I thought I could never manage this, but then she mentioned that you can shop at thrift stores. Woo-hoo! I'm in.

I'm the perfect candidate for this because: 1. I hate shopping for clothes 2. I loath malls - I sneeze just thinking about the perfume counter 3. I don't need anything except for funky vintage things for the house.

I can do this. Going on this extended shopping Lent will allow me to be smug about consumerism and still go out and prowl for Pyrex and load up on other treasures. My only disclaimer is that we've ordered a replica fifties kitchen table and chair set and we will still have to pay the balance on within six weeks. Technically that means I'll be buying something fairly big, but here's my justification: By now we were supposed to have our dream wooden dining room table and chair set, but the Amish Furniture Outlet went bankrupt and we lost our sizable deposit. After 17 years of marriage, we lost a substantial chunk of money and still had no dining table for us to sit at with our young son. I don't feel guilty about the fifties kitchen set because A. It is being custom made in Winnipeg and I'm therefore supporting the Canadian economy. B. It looks very cool. C. We plan on having it for our lifetime, so it's not the same as loading up on a pile of disposable junk.
I'll blog for the next three months. Can I make it? Oh thrift stores, don't let me down!


  1. I've just book marked this... I think I can do this and it's a great idea. Spending money isn't all its cracked up to be and most of the crap I buy ends up being stuff I don't remember buying anyway. Ive just joined freecycle to get rid of it all!

  2. Hi Erin,
    This 3 month challenge sounds like a great money-saving idea. Not sure if you're still interested in an Amish Dining Room table, but if you are, email me back at case@metaspring.com. I'm affiliated with an Amish Furniture distributor and we might be able to work out a deal wherein we waive a "grievance" fee. Let me know! Great post!

  3. Fun idea, but I shop for a living and could NEVER do that, even though most of the stuff I buy is thrift. Ok, I'm curious about your new dining room set - have you posted anything on it yet even though it's not thrift?

    P.S. I will be doing a b-day giveaway soon (I'm copying Thrifted Treasure) so check back soon!

  4. Interesting post - I just wrote about thinking twice before buying things. My blog covers subjects like getting organized and decluttering, saving money, eating healthy and all things green and environmentally friendly. I am in Toronto too.

  5. Thanks, Laurel Alanna. I'll link your blog to mine. I took a peak and it looks like it's full of good ideas.


About Me

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I'm a slightly off-beat Toronto-area teacher who enjoys writing and photography. I come from a family of collectors and now I'm dragging my own family around to yard sales. It's just a bit of fun. Enjoy the scenes.