Dollar Diet: Look for the holes

We’ve had a reasonable week in our Tawhero household.  Chip is totally weaned onto soy milk which helps our grocery budget a tad, and we have broccoli coming out of our ears thanks to my garden.

We ended the school holidays with more frugal fun at home or at the beach.  I am sticking to my resolve of doing fewer structured inside activities with my children, and will be dropping two playgroups a week (which means we have two play dates a week) when the weather is fine.  I NEED to be outside, and fortunately Chip is of the same ilk.  Sausage is more of a books-and-being-inside girl so I think it will be good for her to get comfortable with the great outdoors.

In other frugal things, D managed to get his phone rather wet and fried the screen.  In true Dollar Diet style, he has opted to fix his phone instead of buying a new one.  He has mad skills, it’s true.

Not so frugally, I finally broke and bought a new pair of shoes and a new-to-me-swimsuit (my old ones were falling off, making them rather risque.  Scored the new pair for $10, hurray!).

Filling a hole

Filling a hole

I have been thinking about my clothes a great deal and wondering how to cure myself of my shopping habit.  So I go out and buy more stuff, you say?  I am following a great blogger Jen from My Make do and Mend Life who has given herself the challenge of no new clothes for a year.  I can’t fully commit to this challenge simply because I keep losing weight and am running out of clothes that actually fit me, but it is a great community to get involved with.  If you have a shopping habit you’d like to break, or simply want to get more creative with what you have, I highly recommend joining the Facebook group for all kinds of inspiration.  Anyway, on the FB page, someone shared about capsule wardrobes – which are all about carefully choosing just a few pieces of clothing that will give you the maximum number of outfits.

My BFF and I are clothing-mad, always have been, always will.  But we try to make the best of what we have, and neither of us have ever been of the ‘more is more’ variety when it comes to the size of our wardrobes.  Back in our poor student days we were obsessed with capsule wardrobes, and would write lists of items we needed in order to have perfect outfits at our fingertips.  You can find examples of capsule wardrobes here and here.

I stopped that sort of thing years ago, but actually there is a LOT of sense in having a capsule wardrobe.  I don’t mean the ‘choose one or two neutrals only’ sort of thing.  What I think is helpful is assessing your wardrobe to see what can be paired together, and where you might have some holes.  For instance, in order to make several outfits look ‘right’ I have needed a pair of black flat shoes for oh, months and months.  My Mum gave me some awesome flats at the start of the year, and come summer I will wear them a lot.  But they are open-toed shoes, and so aren’t suitable for wet or wintry weather.  My new black flats can be paired with pretty much anything which makes them a valuable addition to my wardrobe.

So think about it; what works in your wardrobe and what doesn’t?  Is there an item of clothing you don’t currently have that could suddenly turn one outfit into three or four?  Do you need a plain t-shirt to pair with your collection of print cardis?  Do you need a singlet to go under that shirt you never wear because it’s a bit see-through?  Do you need to invest in some thermals so you’re not freezing all the time?  Has your job changed so you find you need more or fewer professional clothes?

While I can’t commit to buying nothing new for a year, I can commit to only filling the gaps.

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