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Storing Versus Buying at a Moment’s Notice

toy box

My husband and I are not always on the same page about money. In his recent quest to rid the house of unwanted clutter he’s discussed a new philosophy I’ve nicknamed just buy it again. He told me to get rid of everything I don’t want to part with fully knowing that nothing is particularly unique and that everything can be purchased again.

The frugal side of me is fighting against the clutter-phobic side of me. If I had to pay to store these items I would get rid of them in a heartbeat. I would simply sell and donate everything we owned and start again when and if the need arises. But since I don’t have to pay to store them, (I can find space somewhere in my house), the penny pincher in me doesn’t want to risk paying for things a second time.

Space now exists where stuff once stood and my husband is adamant that we stick with our minimalist basement. When our monthly shipment arrived from Amazon’s Subscribe and Save he nearly lost his lid. “How many tissues do we need? How much toilet paper?” The answer is quite a bit. My son often refuses to use a tissue more than once. The result: a lot of tissues end up in the wastebasket each day.

Along with the just buy it again philosophy my husband is attempting to institute a just in time approach to our belongings. His philosophy is not to keep a lot of stuff on hand. There is no need to stock up on supplies when Amazon Prime can ship most packages to our home within two days. The prices aren’t as low as they would be with sales and coupons, but they are most definitely lower than the retail price at most brick and mortar stores. He is willing to pay a little bit more to keep our rooms spacious and open.

I’m still struggling with his concept. We have very limited storage space at our beach house and my son has outgrown the majority of toys we keep there. Our younger son is at least a year or two away from playing with these items. Is it in our best interest to donate the toys we own and simply buy them again when the time arises or try to cram them in some small space just so we don’t have to buy new toys many moons from now?

The answer seems simple; donate the stuff we don’t need and buy it again if we need it in the future, so why can’t I convince my frugal self to do that?

Revanche

Thursday 7th of May 2015

It's funny - PiC struggles with letting go of things he once used but we can't see having a use for in the next decade (at least!) while I am perfectly fine with selling or donating that stuff. My struggle is with getting rid of things that I think we might have to buy again. I do not want clutter but simply can't bear the thought of the waste of getting rid of a thing only to turn around and buy it again!

Now, though, I have all this Newborn stuff that I want to gift to friends who are trying to conceive but obviously I don't know when that'll be. And I don't want to give it to them early for fear it'll be insensitive to their struggle.

One Frugal Girl

Friday 8th of May 2015

That's my struggle too. I don't want to get rid of something we'll need to buy again. We wouldn't need to buy these exact toys again, but we'd probably need to buy some type of replacement toy so kid #2 has age appropriate stuff to play with. Of course, I'm all for giving the kids an empty egg carton and a few bouncy balls and leaving the rest to their imaginations :)

The newborn thing is tricky. Some people are very superstitious about receiving gifts before giving birth let alone conceiving. In the Jewish tradition women used to wait until after the baby was born to receive gifts. I wouldn't accept anything until I reached the half way mark. It's silly, but it took us so long to conceive that I didn't want to jinx it.

Do you think you'll have another or are you pretty set with just one? I would have been fine with one, but my husband really wanted my son to have a sibling. I've read bits and pieces about your brother so I thought you might feel differently about the whole sibling connection ;)

Christeen

Tuesday 5th of May 2015

Hi I hear you. Just this last weekend I was trying to rid our garage of stuff. I was kind of thinking the same. Most of the stuff we have in there hasn't been used since we moved back from Holland to Australia 10 years ago and most of it we could just buy again if really needed. I managed to get rid of some things but about an hour into it I started to struggle. So I've now decided to do it in blocks.

One Frugal Girl

Friday 8th of May 2015

Thanks for the comment. The hard part is deciding whether or not you really want to buy something again and how much the stress of clutter outweighs the stress of spending money for the second time. I seem to be terribly torn on the topic, but as time passes I think my husband is swaying me to the 'get rid of it' side. I think I want the freedom of open space more than the savings, but each time I plan to get rid of something it seems to be more trouble than I ever could have expected. Of course, so far I haven't actually 'replaced' anything we've gotten rid of.