Could you be a compact shopper?

I saw it on a news program last week and they were talking about "compact shoppers." It was about people who, maybe for their new year's resolutions, vowed to not buy anything new for a whole year. I also saw a news report about a family who gave up electricity for a year, but that's a story for another column. As far as the compact shoppers went, groceries, car maintenance and gas didn't count but could you do it? I started thinking.

Well, with 10 seed catalogs sitting right here by my elbow, it would take some planning. Could I do without buying clothes for a whole year? Do I have enough undergarments to last a year? What about home projects? What if I needed nails to fix something, or a tool I didn't have to do a repair job? I wondered if yard maintenance counted like car maintenance. I'd have to not build anything in the yard and that would be big for me. What if a fence needed to be fixed? Are these people normal? Who could vow to not buy anything for a whole year? I understand the idea, but is it feasible?

OK, so let's say for argument's sake that next year I planned to not buy anything new. That means I would probably spend twice as much this year preparing for next year. I'd have to purchase size 8 clothes for my daughter so she'd have clothes to grow into. I'd have to double my seed order for this spring to have leftovers for next season. I'd have to stock up on any screws or nails I would perceive that I would need and a few sheets of plywood.

When it's so-and-so's birthday, what do I give them? There's always my homemade salsa or jam or I could resort to my homemade Kahlua or bean soup mix in a mug. So maybe that's not a big deal. What if someone in the family gets married, like my sister, or has a baby (not like my sister)? I could knit or crochet a blanket, but then I'd have to buy yarn. This is a hard thing to think about.

What if Kenny Chesney comes out with a new CD I can't live without? See, it's getting harder the more I think about the idea of not buying anything new. Could you be a compact shopper?

-- Lisa Welch is a Johnson Lane resident and can be reached at 267-9350.


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