Can Your Family Survive the “Nothing New for a Year” Challenge?

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nothing-new-for-a-year-8485040 Retail sales are a thing of the past for those who take the “Nothing New for a Year” challenge. The rules are simple: no new products except consumables for an entire year. Your entire shopping experience revolves around garage sales, thrift stores and trash-to-treasure finds. Gifts, clothes and household items come from recycled, re-purposed or used items that once belonged to someone else.

The object of the challenge is to save money, reunite with forgotten items and clear the clutter from your home. Your purchases are made out of necessity instead of want and carefully thought out before being made. The added benefit of the “Nothing New for a Year” challenge is that items normally bound for the landfill have a second chance.

The question is what would it take to be successful in this endeavor. Could the average family survive an entire year avoiding the retail market? The key to accomplishing the task is in the preparation.

The first step involves setting guidelines to follow through the year. For instance, absolute necessities and undergarments should be brand new. The list of necessities include things like medical supplies, office supplies and certain school or business expenses. However, tee shirts and jeans or a table lamp do not make the list. If you must deviate from the plan, it should be for things like dinner out with the family on a special occasion or purchases done for a previously planned event, such as a family or business function.

You may need to learn some new skills during the challenge, such as changing the oil in the car or cutting hair. You may also learn you have a talent for woodworking or painting when creating homemade gifts for holidays or special events. The idea is to save money and cut costs where ever possible in your day-to-day life. As an example, check out the local library for the latest movies, CD’s and video games instead of going to the movies or buying them from the store. Most public libraries rent these items for free and for a longer period of time than rental places.

While you are at the library, browse through the do-it-yourself, cookbook and craft sections for ideas and inspiration when tackling projects. The gardening section provides an array of books for beginner and advanced gardeners that explain how to grow your own food. Remember to look at sewing books while you are there, as well.

Before starting the challenge, it is a good idea to stock up on supplies you may need throughout the year. For example, you will need gardening tools if you lack the necessary ones for a garden and yard work. Craft supplies you need to make greeting cards or gifts and sewing notions should also be stockpiled.

Once you begin the challenge, make a note of all the thrift stores in your area. Talk with your neighbors who may be willing to trade one service for another, such as yard work for auto maintenance. Browse the classifieds to find free items no longer wanted but still usable and that your family needs. Watch for estate sales and auctions. Be on the lookout for items you can refinish or repurpose into usable items that your friends and family will love as a gift. For instance, an old wooden chair could be restored into a plant stand or embellished empty jars transform into outdoor candle holders for an evening get-together.

Think of the money your family will save and the valuable life lessons you will learn along the way.

This article was written by Karl Stockton for They can assist you and your family in your quest to avoid purchasing new things with their excellent auctions; contact them today to learn more about their used forklifts.