Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Who, what, when, why, and how...

Welcome!  This blog is my wife's and my brainchild for documenting our year-long attempt to avoid the purchase of brand new products.  This will be accomplished mainly through buying secondhand items from Craigslist, Goodwill, Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity ReStore, eBay, and other common marketplaces where brand new is faux pas.  We pride ourselves on being pretty handy and resourceful, so building or making items will also serve as an alternative to purchasing brand new, ready-made.  In extreme situations we may actually avoid buying altogether (Crazy, I know!).

Why the heck would we consider such a deviation from the culturally established consumer lifestyle of “I want, therefore I buy”?  Well, there are several reasons:

  1. With the arrival of our beautiful baby boy Elijah in October of 2012, we became a single income family so that Becky could quit her day job to stay at home and care for him.  Although we have been successful with this transition, we obviously do not save as much nor have the financial freedom that we did when we were DINCs (dual income, no children).
  2. We want to record and share how much money a family can save by buying goods secondhand.
  3. We want to decrease our environmental impact.
  4. We want to decrease the amount of discretionary spending that we do. That money could be better spent on experiences, vacations, food & drink, charitable giving...the list goes on.
  5. We want to demonstrate how easy (or difficult) it is to find and buy “everyday goods” secondhand.
  6. We want to challenge ourselves.
If you’ve made it this far, you’ve probably got a list of items in your mind that you consider to be darn near impossible to avoid buying brand new.  We’re right there with you, and that’s why we’ve made a list of exceptions:

  • Food & drink products
  • Cleaning & hygiene products
  • Medical products
  • Car maintenance & repair materials
  • Home maintenance & repair materials (including outdoors/yard)
  • Some clothing items (i.e. undergarments)
Most of these categories could fall under a general guideline: if buying an item secondhand could pose a significant risk to our health and/or safety, we will purchase brand new.

As we progress through the year, both Becky and I will post updates as well as high-level thoughts about living simply.  We hope that you enjoy following along with our journey!


  1. Car maintenance & repair materials - I've bought used tires that have close to 80-90% tread at less than half the price. Recently I had a flat tire .. firestone's charge to fix the tire was $30. Since my tire was really old, I opted to get a used tire instead for $35 :).

  2. I love the way you write and share your niche! Very interesting and different! Keep it coming! mobile truck repair