Nothing New – The Rules.

ChamomilePIN IT

Before I lay out my (finally) formulated rules for our year of Nothing New, let me just make a few things clear.

I am in no way telling any of you how to live your lives… I have no idea what I’m doing with my life and it’s pretty safe to say I’m in no place to be telling anyone else what to do with theirs. I’m just doing what most of us are doing, just trying to make the right choices for myself, for my kid, for my world… and this experiment is about just that. We are all in vastly different situations, with different values and different needs and I’m totally cool with that. So let’s just be friends. OK?

I’m going to try very hard to stick to my own rules, and when I screw it up, and let’s face it, I probably will… I’ll be honest about it.

The whole point of Nothing New for a year is to change my own spending habits, to look more at how, what and why I consume. It’s not about depriving us of fun or stripping the joy out of life. It’s about coming back to a place of simplicity, where life becomes more about the people and the world outside our door instead of all the shit we buy. Where our self worth is about who we are, not what we have.

So… with all that being said, here we go!

Nothing New for 2014  – The “rules.”


No new clothes or accessories or shoes (I know, mum, don’t flip out) for either of us. As for purchasing second hand? No clothes or shoes second hand unless there is a genuine need that cannot be filled elsewhere… We are going to start looking more seriously at clothing swaps, freecycle and our local facebook pages for swaps and barters for things we need.


No new toys will be bought either new or second hand. We have no battery operated or plastic toys in our house (except for in the bath) and still, we have too much. Besides, Bo barely plays with her “toys” anyway… she’s got better things to do. Again if we feel the need for toys we will make them, swap them with friends or visit our local Toy Library for a loan.


We wont be paying for any organised toddler classes or activities this year. I’m always surprised at the amount of money parents will spend on kids activities… when really, you can do so many great things for free. I’ve found a wonderful free playgroup (where you pay with a piece of fruit) that encourages parent/child interaction and outdoor play and we will be attending that instead of any other activities. The only exception to this is swimming lessons. I haven’t signed her up yet, but I want Bo to do a term class this year, it’s an issue of safety living in such a water centered environment and I’m not in any way qualified to teach her.

Fun family friendly activities? Like road trips and travel and visits to the local aquarium or the zoo from time to time? Sure. We will definitely be doing fun things like that… but we will NOT be visiting any gift shops along the way.


We will not be purchasing any mass produced baby food or toddler snacks. We will be making all of our own snacks and treats and sharing the recipes here on the blog. I don’t buy a lot of processed food any way, and I will be cutting it right back to the bare basics and making as much as I can from scratch at home. Besides that, food is good… we need food… until we have the self sustainable food set up that I dream of, we will be buying food. And lots of it.

What about eating out? I’ve decided that supporting small, local eateries and coffee shops is A-OK, particularly considering I have a big road trip planned for later in the year and sometimes these places are our saving grace… so they stay.


No cosmetics will be purchased. No foundations or eyeliners… no lipstick or fancy moisturizers packed full of whatever they are selling this week. I will use up what I have and then I will go with out. I will use simple recipes for moisturisers and bath products, and I will start making more of our own. We already use simple, earth-friendly soaps, sanitary wear, shampoo and conditioner which, to me, are all deemed necessary. We will certainly continue to use all of these.


No new or op-shop homewares will be purchased. This is a hard one for me. There are a few things I “want” but I’m going to have to let it go. In the spirit of full disclosure, I did buy a new (old) couch for $40 from an opshop at the beginning of January. From now on, any homewares or furniture will be swapped, salvaged from a tip or  if we are really lucky “inherited” from family or from a roadside collection.


I do a fair amount of up-cycling and photography projects around the home. For these projects I often take a trip to Bunnings, or Spotlight… I will no longer be visiting these stores for anything. If I want to do a project I will need to source ALL of my materials second hand, either through purchasing from garage sales, jumble sales, through bartering or from the local salvage yard or tip shop. If I need tools I’m going to need to borrow them by engaging with my local community a bit more… I did pick up a few pots of paint for Bo’s birthday present the other week for a couple of dollars from a tip shop. Nothing like making use of someone else’s garbage and reducing a bit of landfill while I’m at it.

Exceptions: The only total exceptions for this project are any medical needs (because, our health is very important) and travel costs (airfares, road trips, visa’s etc) because, it’s in my blood and I’m really hoping to get Bo back to Indonesia this year to immerse her in a bit of her culture. If at any time this year I feel I must purchase something and go against my rules… I will confess to it.

I will not be receiving any gifts of any of the products I’m not allowed to buy from sponsors of this space… because it really defeats the purpose.

Personal gifts from family and friends for birthdays/Christmas are not at all necessary (we’d much prefer a dinner with the people we love) but will be accepted with genuine thanks and love.

I’m still not sure how this is going to go… So I’m just taking a deep breath and jumping in, head first.


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  • January 21, 2014 - 4:58 pm

    sarah - I am incredibly inspired by this lifestyle choice*, Sash! Although I will admit I couldn’t be so brave and adventurous, you have definitely got me thinking and talking with Sam about our spending habits and our impact. All the best for this year – in all your endeavours!
    Sar xx
    *calling it a ‘project’ sounded too flimsy for such an amazing decision, though a ‘lifestyle choice’ felt intense. Know I had the best intentions.ReplyCancel

    • January 22, 2014 - 6:27 am

      Sash - Thanks Sar! Thinking and talking is an awesome thing, and really more than I could ever hope for from this “lifestyle choice” 🙂ReplyCancel

  • January 21, 2014 - 6:05 pm

    Julie - Can’t wait to see how you go. With myself, the longer I did not buy ‘stuff’ the less I need or wanted it. I guess it is like a caffeine withdrawal. People think they need coffee to get through a day, where in fact they need good healthy food and enough sleep.ReplyCancel

    • January 22, 2014 - 6:26 am

      Sash - I’ve found that even in the past few weeks. It’s funny how quickly your mind is actually reprogrammed… though I did see a cute print on sale in office works the other day (i was getting some photos printed)… and I would have liked it. I’ll admit, it was hard to walk away from it… but I did.ReplyCancel

  • January 21, 2014 - 9:43 pm

    Cath - I love this idea Sash! Inspiring. Really looking forward to ‘hearing’ all about it 🙂ReplyCancel

  • January 21, 2014 - 11:33 pm

    Alma - Something u can make on ur own from the blog I really like, a little bit of support for the ‘Cosmetics’ part of resolution. If I would have chalkboard wall I would put all this very visible,-) Greets xReplyCancel

    • January 22, 2014 - 6:27 am

      Sash - I love Petite Kitchen. Thanks for the link Alma 🙂ReplyCancel

  • January 22, 2014 - 2:39 am

    Emma - I wish you all the best and good for giving it a go. I hope it brings you excitment joy and new adventures:)ReplyCancel

  • January 22, 2014 - 7:55 am

    Tina - You’ve inspired me Sasha. I’m returning to uni for my teaching quals next month. I got into the habit of shopping way too much in the last year while I had money. We moved into our own place this time last year and I keep finding things I want to do to it. The boy (15 months) has more toys than he’ll play with for the next year so I am stopping shopping now. Going back to uni means very much reduced money.

    Good luck with it.


  • January 22, 2014 - 9:09 am

    Naomi @ (Not) Just A Mummy - Go Sash go! I’m really looking forward to seeing how this all pans out for you. Reading your posts has already helped me be a little more conscious of what I’m spending and where. Finally found a local farmers market in our new home and checking it out this week! One thing I would add to your list (maybe) is sunscreen? I am such a sun protection loon though and perhaps you guys do fine without it? Or maybe you can make your own (I know coconut oil has SPF properties..) Anywho, can;t wait to follow along. XxReplyCancel

  • January 23, 2014 - 12:04 am

    Alicia - This a difficult challenge. I think it will be most difficult in temporary moments of sadness when all that you really want to do is just to go shopping and treat yourself to something new. Shopping was my mood lifter… I think I need to look for a new one.ReplyCancel

  • January 23, 2014 - 6:19 am

    old hippy - Thank you for some sensible rules and the inspiration, I started yesterday and have been thinking it through on and off all day.
    I still intend to go to the op shops for supplies for gifts , yarn, fabric etc if I don’t have some in the stash.
    My daughter makes some” pocket money” by buying furniture from oppy’s to restore and rejuvinate and resell.
    .I hope you enjoy this wonderful challenge you have set yourself, it would be interesting to keep track of the money saved on stuff you didn’t buy that you reeeaally wanted or worked out how to do without.
    My first saving was some cotton voil for new summer pants, about $20, I will make them from a cotton voil scarf //sarong that I have.ReplyCancel

  • January 27, 2014 - 3:40 pm

    A secondhand life - Ooh sounds great! Cant wait to read about how you go. My philosopy is I try to buy secondhand where possible instead of new. I am also starting small & doing the “Meet me at Mike’s eco clothing challenge” this year.ReplyCancel

  • July 8, 2014 - 1:43 pm

    Anna Vaschina - You truly are so inspirational. Really.ReplyCancel

  • September 6, 2014 - 9:08 pm

    Samantha - Thanks for sharing. I am trying to reduce the amount I buy and make more and Look for other health options that I can brew and grow. I like your rawness and the truth. Again thanks for sharing.ReplyCancel

    • September 9, 2014 - 12:50 pm

      Sash - Ah, thanks so much for stopping by! xReplyCancel

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