Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Consumerism & Second Hand Market

One of my goals every year is to avoid consumerism as much as possible. Consumerism, to me, is shopping for entertainment, going out and buying things that we don't need, or buying things we cannot afford on our budget.

Consumption should be based on satisfying basic human needs such as shelter, food, clothing, and healthcare. Of course, consumerism encompasses different things to different people. Your version of consumerism may be different than mine and that is alright.

Many people believe they work to make ends meet, but upon closer examination of their households reveal they spend part of their income on unnecessary items or even name brand items when they cannot afford them.

My goal is limiting consumerism as much as possible. For example, shoes with name brand labels are not needed in order to take a hike. Board game pieces made from marble don't make the game any more enjoyable than a game played with plastic pieces. 

Around here the Yeti tumblers have been the go to item in recent years, and the price of those is quite high. We don't have Yeti tumblers here, but we each have a tumbler equivalent to the Yeti. And we bought them in the second-hand market for $1.00 each.

In our household we use things up and use things until they no longer useful. Such as a favorite bowl that develops a crack in the side. I will use it until it is no longer useful.

I used to have a non-smart phone that I had for years. There was no reason for me to replace it because it worked great. Some students at school would actually talk to me about how obsolete it was, but in reality, the phone was in perfect working condition and would stay charged for days.

When my daughter finally talked me into using her old smartphone you would have thought I won the lottery by the student’s reactions at school. Even today I will get a comment about getting a "new" phone even though it's not a new phone.

We shopped the second-hand market when my daughter bought it and she used it for a couple of years before she passed it on to me.

We shop the second-hand market for things we need and in doing so are not purchasing items made with new materials for the things we need. This practice not only helps us to save money, but is also good for the environment because we are not using new virgin materials to have something made for us. 

The second hand market is wonderful for trying to live this type of lifestyle. We love to shop at flea markets, garage sales, and thrift shops for the things we need first. And we even like to dicker with the sellers. 

These days I strive to be less of a consumer. If, as the experts say, we have to spend money to keep the economy flowing they can count our household out of that equation. It may not be for everyone and that is OK, but I am content with my life. 

~ Living within our Means ~


  1. Ah, contentment! That's key, isn't it? We live a similar life here. I try to avoid consumerism. My time and money are spent deliberately, with intention.
    Funny about the phone--DH and have a flip phone too, which we share. It does exactly what we need it to--receive/make calls when we are out and about. For the bulk of our phone needs, our landline is sufficient. I don't know why our phone bothers people so much, but it does. Frankly, it's not something I give any thought to--people can reach me when they need, and I can reach them.

  2. Exactly, Meg. You get it about the phones. Students at school (who probably are not even paying for their phones) haven't the foggiest idea that having a new phone is not a top priority for me. I just want one that works well since I count on it in order to sub. Contentment is definitely the key. Glad we are on the same page. :)

  3. LOVE this post. So true! Funny I wrote about yard sales today.
    I just love the looking and visiting with neighbors and strangers, more than shopping. I am a people watcher for sure!

    I have THAT bowl with a crack and it is used for dry items - not liquid now. My hubs and I BOTH still have flip phones (dumb phones). No need to text or read the internet - they are just for convenience calls.

    I can't remember the last time I bought NEW (at the store) clothes. Mine come from thrift stores or yard sales.

    We have all worked hard for our money - why throw it away. I agree with you CONTENTMENT is the key!
    Thanks so much

    1. Thank you, Cheryl. I too, love the camaraderie that comes with yard sales and neighbors. It's just the best. I love your stance on cell phones too. So glad you loved my post. I wasn't sure what reaction it would get.

  4. Right you are! They can count us out! LOL.

  5. Reading about your phone made me smile. I can relate to your experience. I had a very basic Nokia flip phone with a prepaid plan for a long time. My current phone is 7 years old. It's a smart phone, but I keep it dumb. :) Sometimes when I'm traveling I use it as a Wi-Fi hot spot.

    1. That is great, Nil. I love reading about stores like that, which are similar to my own experiences. Way to go. :)

  6. I am the same about the phone. I just wait till someone in the family updates and inherit their old phone. I just don't understand the need to have a new one every few years.

    1. I agree, Jan. I don't understand why someone would want to spend so much money when inevitably they will decrease in price.

  7. Contentment matters, surely for me; however, seasons of life may alter one's contentment often because of need at a particular season. There was a season when I sewed at my machine for 4 as well as household needs and gifts. At the same time, I was teaching secondary classes in junior high and high school. During this season of life, one adult child's family has DH and me on their family cell phone plan with bells and whistles, which I told before. $300 yearly for 2 cells. I use my cell continually as a dictionary, thesaurus, encyclopedia, e-mail, YouTube, and calculator. At heart, I am a student and use my cell and laptop as my university teachers. Thrifting takes us far, Belinda.


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