First Quarter 2015


I can’t believe it’s April, and the first quarter of my second year participating in the challenge has come and gone!


Clothing: 47 out of 66 coupons remaining

After getting a few basics, then getting pretty angry over how the marketing was handled after an online purchase, I am trying to avoid first hand shopping. That doesn’t mean I haven’t needed things! I’ve just gotten supremely lucky at my local thrift shop.

I recently attended a tool making workshop which involved sawing, filing, sanding, working with an axe, and other dusty and dangerous business. I needed jeans and some sort of knock around yet presentable top to work in. My local thrift provided! I got a pair of cute and comfortable jeans with the tags still on them, and a flowery t-shirt to wear with them. Good thing, too. By the end of the weekend, I was covered in dust, poked holes in my shirt with a file (which I mended, see above! You can see the mends a bit on the beige part of the big flower, but not too bad, eh?), and roughed up my jeans doing filing in my lap. I would have been really sad if I used coupons on said things and got them so beat up on their first outing!

I am finding the jeans useful for my Book Arts class too. We often use PVA glue, paint, and wheat paste, plus sit on these high backless stools that you need to straddle when you concentrate — it makes skirt and dress wearing not so wise. The sacrifices we must make for our art 😉

I’ve also found another top, a dress, and two skirts on my recent thrifting forays. The nice thing is I pop in when I get off the train, on my walk home. I spend about 20 minutes looking around and trying things on then go home and make dinner 🙂 No shopping-as-a-hobby sort of business. My goal is to try to stop in every other week to once a month on my way home so I can catch things as they come in. I’m in desperate need of warm weather clothing this year and I hope this little plan will slowly but surely net me a tiny summer wardrobe.

I also want to explore buying second-hand because I recently ran into the term second order consumption on one of the Rhet/Comp blogs I love.

And I quote: “The act of reusing materials seems powerful to me because it employs an aesthetic and politics that Adela Licona has called second order consumption — an oppositional process that “disrupts the capitalist imperative and circuits of production and consumption that rely on the individual to value the new, the first, the singular, and the latest, including planned obsolescence” (153n60).”

This is so interesting to think about and practice. Check out the entire blog post (and look at the slides, especially if you are interested in the circulation of information and publishing. Lots to read and think about).

. . .


Speaking of tiny wardrobes, I’ve always felt a little funny wearing the same thing twice during one week at work. I’ve now gotten over it 🙂 If I’m clean, and the clothing is clean, what is the difference? I’m willing to wear things more than once in a week right now until my warm weather wardrobe grows in a Life During Wartime friendly manner.


Soap: 10 out of 12 coupons remaining

Soap coupons are working out really well this year! As long as I have coupons enough to buy the occasional shampoo bar and thing of deodorant (I think I’m going for the deodorant stone next, and I hear they last a very long time) I’m pretty much golden. I also wear a tinted moisturizer with SPF each day, but I last purchased some in 2013 — a bottle lasts me a long time. I also love to wear lipstick, but haven’t had to purchase any since 2013 as well. Everything else seems to be a single ingredient item I use as is, or combine with other single ingredient items to use — no coupons necessary.

I am almost out of blush, and I am pretty sure I am no longer going to purchase blush. I blush at the drop of a hat and am constantly reddening! Why do we have to have rosy cheeks anyway (answer: we don’t!)? I haven’t worn blush at all this week and I pretty much look the same.

One of the things I so value about this project is all of the questioning.  Without this, I would have just picked up another plastic container of blush. I’ll save the bit I have left for a rainy (extremely pale, green with flu, or otherwise desperate) day (which may never come!).


Tea: 28 out of 30 coupons remaining

Wow, tea coupons have become such a non-issue! This is perhaps the biggest surprise of the year because tea coupons were SUCH an issue last year, and the only thing I had an overage on. I’m experiencing just as much enjoyment — maybe more — because it’s so much less stressful to open a cupboard or drawer and see a lovely selection of tea rather than an overstuffed, can’t move things around, tins falling on your head TOO MUCHNESS. We’ll see how it goes, but if I do well this year I will take tea off as a ration category.

This just goes to show that even if it takes time, and is very uncomfortable for a while, you can change your habits.

Yay to a successful and illuminating first quarter of my second year on the ration!



  1. Isn’t it funny how a little reflection can change certain consumption patterns around, like your approach to tea.

    I’m never going to be a minimalist but I really appreciate the joy of a modest collection of good quality whatever: clothes, simple toiletries, tea,… I feel truly exhausted by all the choice that is thrust upon us. *shudder* I like that I don’t even consider 85% of it all.

    I know what you mean about getting over wearing the same outfit in week! I remember my maths teacher in secondary had three or four outfits which she just rotated. The other girls mocked her but even then, I knew there was some wisdom in her choice.

    I do wish I could find decent second-hand shops in my area though. The selection (of two) are really poor. They don’t even provide decent teeshirts for pottery or garden wear…

    1. The second hand clothing is great in my town, which is nice but not so nice — it means that other people are buying too much and buying what they can’t use. Most the items I buy still have the tags on which is sad even though it is good for me and my pocketbook! it is so obvious when I go that the USA is taking 4 earths of resources 😦

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s