I decided not to be the ugly neighbor any longer. I didn’t do much to my yard last summer, so this year, it’s looking a little rough. Should I go shopping? This is going to be weird…
I chose Home Depot because I had a store credit from a return I made over a year ago. The card had $43.00 on it, so I thought that would be a good start to getting the yard stuff I needed. I guess need is the key word here. So how was my first shopping experience after a year of no retail shopping? It’s not what I thought it would be.
What I expected…
I expected to feel strange and out of place. I expected it to be a longer period of time before I went to a retail store. I expected the shopping process itself to be different, although I’m not sure exactly what I expected to be different. One thing would be how I chose to spend my money in a retail store, but beyond that, I’m not sure.
What I experienced…
It did feel strange, not being in a store, but knowing I was there to make a purchase. I went in many stores during the challenge for various reasons, just not spending money there. I had a little guilt mixed with apprehension, and I quickly realized I missed my no retail shopping safety net. There’s nothing keeping me from buying everything and anything I want, well, besides my built-in frugalness and common sense.
It didn’t feel different. I went in there for mulch, fill dirt, plants and a pot to put my happy tree in. (I’ll explain that later) The feelings I had were familiar, a level of stress looking for just the right stuff at the right price, a self-imposed rush because I could be doing better things with my time and a sense of being sucked into the vortex of consumerism again, which I worked so hard to get out of. I know, I know, balance. I’m just saying this is how I felt.
What I bought… and returned.
I did look on craigslist for some of this stuff. Anyone that had plants of fill dirt wanted you to dig it out. I’m not opposed to the work, but I just didn’t feel right doing that. What if I screw something up? I bought all of the things I needed at Home Depot, including 2 big pots. The $69 tage above these is not the right tag for these pots. They were $27, and one was chipped, so I got 20% off. Shape-wise, these are exactly what I wanted. Color-wise, they need a paint job. Great, I just purchased another project to do, one that I don’t have time for.
I needed to go to Lowe’s for the fill dirt. there I found some smaller ceramic pots on a big-time sale. They were on sale because someone stacked them and they were all stuck together and breaking if someone tried to pry them apart. I found one red one and 3 gray ones, perfect for the red yuccas my friends were giving me. I did go dig these up from their yard. After pondering the money I spent on the big pots, I chose to return them. I didn’t need them, and I’m not even sure I wanted them.
I was a little upset with myself that I bought these and had to spend time and gas money to return them. This shopping process is what I really dislike. I went to the store with a purpose. It’s a rare occasion I could ever just go into a store, find exactly what I want for the price I want, buy it and live happily ever after. The process is riddled with anxiety for me. It just shouldn’t be so much work to shop. There are too many choices, too much research needed and then you need money to get the final product you decide on.
After making my returns, I ended up spending about $100, $43 of it from my store credit. My yard looks great, my foundation is more stable after me filling in the bare spot on the corner where the slab was exposed and I was able to rearrange things to find a pot for my happy tree. Yes, it’s a dead tree and the blue color is not an optical illusion. I dyed it blue. It’s an art project that I’ve been wanting to do for a long time.
Some of the stuff was cosmetic, some was not. Doing the no retail shopping for a year did postpone some things I should have been doing to maintain my house. The fill dirt should have been done a long time ago. I’m sure there will be some other maintenance items that will creep up over the next few months. I will still be applying my try-to-do-anything-to-avoid-retail-shopping techniques whenever possible, but I won’t rule out retail shopping. I will make it a last resort though.