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Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Never again

I often do a stock check on my food cupboards and freezer to see exactly what I have got in there, especially before I go shopping. It's so easy to push things to the back and then think you have run out of something. I don't write a shopping list because I always know in my head which items I am running low on and need to be purchased. If I come back from shopping and discover I have forgotten something it isn't the end of the world, I just make do with whatever I have and try to remember it next time. Sometimes being forgetfull can save you money. I never dash out to the local shop to buy something I have forgotten, I just manage without it.

Food stocks need replenishing on a regular basis but then I got to thinking what about all the other things in my house. What about doing a stock check on those things as well. Sometimes when I am walking down the High Street and see something nice in the window I think, oooh, that would be nice in the kitchen, or the bedroom, or wherever. It's a nice colour, it would match the wallpaper, or, wouldn't it be nice to have one of those sitting on the kitchen worktop.

As this blog is about not spending money I very rarely post about non essential items I have bought, because quite simply I very rarely buy anything that isn't useful or I don't need. So instead of me telling you about all my lovely finds in charity shops, clothes shops, shoe shops, bookshops, toiletries and bath product shops, and homeware shops, I'm going to tell you exactly what I don't spend my money on. In fact as I go through the list There are some things that I will never have to buy again, because I have enough to last me for the rest of my life.

Here is my pile of towels. In this picture there are 3 bath sheets, 6 bath towels, and 10 hand towels. In my car I have two more bath towels, I like to keep my front seats covered, and behind me on my office chair is another bath sheet. Some of these towels were given to me, the rest I have had donkeys years. The colours may not be very appealing to some folks, but hey, they are not worn out and will last a good many years more. I may never have to buy another towel again.

Here is my pile of bed linen. There are duvet covers, bottom sheets, pillow cases, and throws. These were in the airing cupboard, there are two duvet covers and four pillow case on my bed at the moment. Some of these were given to me, some of them are quite old and faded, and some will get cut up into dishcloths and dusters when they get too tattered. I have had three throws for over twenty years, they will probably last me another twenty years. I will never have to buy any more bedding, I have enough to last me.

How many pairs of socks? There are 60 pairs in this pile. From thin cotton ones to thick chunky knit ones. If a favourite pair of socks starts to wear under the foot I turn them over and put the sole of the sock on the top of my foot, thus getting extra wear out of them. I will never have to buy any more socks, I have enough.

My boys pants, ha ha. I have spoke about these before. At one point I was up to about 70 pairs a few years ago, my pile has dwindled a little and now I'm down to 35 pairs. Why do I wear boys pants? Because they are so strongly made they last years longer than womens knickers. I have had some of these at least ten years or more. Unless I see some packs of five for a very low price, I may never buy pants ever again.

Some of my clothes are very old. Fashions go round and round and I don't care if my clothes are not fashionable now. I am lucky that my size hasn't changed very much since I was a teenager. There was a time when I did pile on a couple of extra stone, because I was pigging out on convenience food, but that has all stopped, I stay just over eight stone now, so my clothes last me years. I generally wear them untill they look that scruffy I have to cut them up for rags.

Not on these pictures, I have twentyfour pairs of trousers, from jeans, jog bottoms, smart daytime trousers, dressy evening trousers, and walking trousers. I also have in another cupboard twelve jackets for all ocassions, most of them bought from charity shops. I do not need to buy any of these for a very long time. The only clothing items I might have to buy are teeshirts and sweatshirts, because I wear them every day.

These pans are enough for my needs, I used to have more but when I had a new kitchen a few years back I dumped a lot of them. The four red Tower Brand I've had for about nearly thirty years. The big one at the back and the big one in front of it I found in a skip. The little black one in the centre was a gift, and the two at the front I got from a car boot sale. So that's it, these will last me for the rest of ly life, I won't need to buy any more.

I have scaled down my crockery a lot as well. Eight mugs is more than enough, and my plates and bowls are more than thirty years old. I have other matching items for this set which don't get used, because I don't drink tea, and I don't entertain. Every plate and bowl is chipped, but I don't mind. These will last me forever.

I have too many glasses, so I won't be buying any more. I only ever use a small one for wine, or a large one for squash drink. That's all I need.

Cutlery lasts forever. I have enough kitchen tools and cutlery, and I will never need to buy any more.

I have enough pencils and pens to last me for the rest of my life, so I will never buy any more.

My toilet roll stock stands at 154, a bit low at the moment. I buy them cheaply from a wholesaler. With my self imposed limits on useage, 2 for a pee, 3 for a poo, I reckon these will last a couple of years. So I will be buying some more eventually, when I am passing the cash and carry at Sheffield, Lincoln, or Leeds. I will not be washing my fanny with a rag every time I pee, I can afford toilet rolls, they are included in my budget :o)

Another thing I wont be buying ever again is jewelley. The few bits I have are old and cheap. I have nothing of any value, but it is enough for me because I hardly ever wear it. I also have enough bags of every kind, enough shoes and boots, enough ornaments. enough curtains, enough fabric for sewing, enough wool for crochet, enough furniture, tables, chairs, and cupboards. I wont be buying books, I borrow them from the library. I won't be buying cd's or dvd's, I have the radio, and computer for the catchup channels.

That's my stocktake done, there's a whole list of things I won't ever be buying again. I must say it makes shopping a lot easier if you remember all the things you don't need. It means you only have to go in the shops which sell what you do need and bypass all the others.
Toodle pip


  1. I love it! How refreshing to hear about things that you will never have to buy again. I'm afraid I can't fit into boys pants though, haha! I have enough clothes to last me for about the next 10 or so years, that is for sure and as I have no interest in fashion, this suits me fine. They were given to me by a friend whose husband ran off to Brazil and many of them were new. Lucky I was the same size as him.
    I thought i had a good stock pile of loo roll but mine pales in comparison. But towels? I have loads and loads and often when someone I know is chucking some out (because they no longer match the colour scheme, horror of horrors) I always swoop in and nick them.

  2. I feel exactly the same as you do Ilona. I have no need to buy anything for my home. Almost everything is 40 years old but still in good condition. It's good to be reminded of what we don't need. I am, however, a little envious of your loo-roll stockpile!

  3. I did a stocktake {tidy up} of my airing cupboard on saturday and like you found that I had enough of everything for yonks. A friend changed her bathroom colour scheme last month and gave me her towels, some of them still had the tags on, so my oldest are now dog towels and their old towels are now cleaning cloths. I did cut them up and hem them to help them last.
    She also gave me a stack of pillow cases, these will be turned into patchwork backs, with luck the duvet covers will follow. I am not bothered about matching bed linen, I sleep with my eyes shut.
    I am having a minimum spend month and it is going very well so far, only milk and some reduced price salad and fruit.

  4. It`s quite amazing how little you will need when you live alone. I once thought I might reduce all we have by having a massive car boot sale. But DB was horrified by this idea.

  5. Downsizing has really made me realize how little we use on a daily basis. What a person needs is much different from what a person wants. Great post!

  6. Oh I have been meaning to contact you for a while. We spent 5 months travelling in our motorhome in Europe over the summer and before we went we bought hubby some more underwear. He had been given an M&S voucher for christmas, so we bought pants and socks there. However, they are such good quality, and far more expensive than our usual supplier that the pants were too big for him. On our return I purchased some the right size but thought of you and tried his M&S ones on myself - far too good to waste. Being a mature woman my hips are a different shape to his but they fitted really well, are excellently made and really soft fabric!! I think of you each time I wear them - here's to Ilona!! p.s. he got fussy about his socks too so I stuck them in my cupboard too.

  7. I was given some towels by a neighbour when she changed her colour scheme????????? What? towels dry you and it doesn't matter what colour they are. They were given me for my husband to use as rags. Rubbish, I have put them in a plastic box in the garage until she has forgotten about them, just in case she comes into my house when the other neighbour is cat sitting for me.

  8. You are an amazing, balanced and contented human being.

  9. I have two towels I inherited from my Nanna,they've travelled all over the world with Chris in the Navy...I inherited them in 1982.They don't make them like that anymore!!
    Jane x

  10. I hate to use tp of my tender lady bits. I feel like I am being punished when I wipe with tp when out and about. It has nothing to do with what I can

    There is a woman I know who brags about being a minimalist, having only two wash clothes and two towels so she can lable herself with the latest, greatest tag--minimalist. She gave away all but two good outfits and two home outfits, needs only two pair of get the idea. Oh, only needs two of each dish and utenist. Two coffee cups so she can have company. GAG!

    I have more dishes, utensils, pots/pans, towels, blankets than you and sooooo much less in the clothing and socks area. Of course, I have gained weight. That must be really nice to be able to wear clothes for so long! There is a bin of clothes I hope will fit one day after I just lose a bit of weight.

    My kitchen towels were all coordinated, but I got over that when I found dish towels and potholders for a dime at a sale. Plus, I find new ones at yard sales for a quarter. I even found a towel in the park, but and lush and brought it home. Then, there was a towel in the trash at the end of the day at an estate sale. So, it has "Jennifer" embroidered on it. What do I care. There is not much matching in the bathroom anymore.

    The thing is--we both have what fits our comfort level. I probably have you beat on the washcloth

    Today, I turned 66 and was wondering how I could get by the rest of my life without buying anything new again. I have had my everyday eating utensils for 40 years, have not lost a piece, and still love it. So, why should I ever get anything different? No reason.

  11. Ahhhhh a woman after my own heart. Those stockpiles look very much like my own. I am not quite yet on a pension but when I am, I will have to spend NOTHING on loads of items. BTW, I also turn my socks over for extra wear, much to my poor husband's chagrin!

  12. I think we all have to much stuff in our houses.

  13. The day you have that 'lightbulb' moment when you suddenly realise the difference between 'wants' and 'needs' is the day you are liberated from this dreadful consumer society that we live in.

    A fantastic post Ilona.

    Sue xx

  14. Hi Ilona Iv'e been trying to downsize for ages but have a husband who wants to keep everything. I get so angry with him and keep telling him we don't need all this stuff. He is away this week and I have been sneeking bits and bobs out, he won't even notice!! Why do we need three lawn mowers especialy when one has been in the shed for over 20 years and has never been started up in that time. But he tells me he might need it one day. Love your artical Kind regards Jean

  15. What a great post! Love it. I really need to get stuff out of this house and pare down. I will never need another towel or washcloth, anything for the kitchen or to go in my bedroom closet. I have plenty of tp but I haven't seen any colored in years and years. All you can buy here is white. Kleenex too. Only white. But Kleenex has pretty boxes to match your decor so you don't worry about the color. And I have never thought of wearing men's briefs! What a wonderful idea! I am going to ask Santa for a package of those.

  16. I think just like you. I have had the same dishes and towels for years. I could care less that they do not match. When I buy things like clothes and shoes, I get my moneys worth out of them. I wear things until they cannot be worn anymore. I cringe at the wasteful ways of the western world. It is sinful. There are people whose basic needs are not met on a daily basis, yet we are bombarded with ads and shows telling us "we must" renovate our is 5 years old!! You know what I mean. Not sure if it is like that in England, but here in Canada and the U.S, concumerism is rampant. Things are slowly changing with the economy teetering on the brink.

    Your blog is a breath of fresh air.

  17. OOPS...I meant consumerism....not concumerism.

  18. Ilona, I love this post! and I agree with other commenters - what is this business of towels and matching colour schemes??? That actually made me laugh the first time I read it. Towels are for drying yourself on - end of story. Life is too short to over complicate it with such things as towel colour schemes.

  19. Must be very difficult for you Jean. Sounds like your oh is a bit of a hoarder. Don't chuck anything away which might be usefull in 20 years time though. You don't want to have to buy another one later.

    Hi PP. I found a towel in a skip(dumpster) and brought it home, ha ha.

    Hi Alison, glad to hear you have discovered pants.

    Lucky you getting those clothes, Frugal Living. My friends emigrated and I got most of their clothes. I am still wearing John's pants, ha ha.

  20. By my calculations, 154 loo rolls would last 2 years in this house [we have lots of visitors who seem use lots of paper!]
    I agree about towels - I have a towel which was an 18th birthday gift 40 yrs ago, and is still in regular use, also some of my grans which must be even older.
    but why do you have quite so many socks? How did you acquire them all?


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