Friday, March 30, 2012

Can I or Can't I?

Since starting the year, I've tried to draw a clear and defined line of what's new or used. It hasn't been easy and I keep coming across new items that cause internal fights of "can I or can't I buy this?"

Originally, buying used was meant to be a challenge for myself because it would force me to get creative and really research what I need and don't need. Secretly, it was also way to save money. I'm like a chubby teenager saying she's cutting out French fries for Lent but she's Lutheran.

For the last couple months, I've been doing a lot of baking. I have found some great vegan recipes online including zucchini bread, banana bread, dump cakes and cookies. It led to a dilemma just this week over a pie crust. Here is my situation: I wanted to make a pecan pie but didn't have a pie tin so I went to Out of the Closet. I had seen one there a few weeks back when I had my dirty shoe freak out. I bought this great, glass pie dish for $1.00 and it worked perfectly for my first pie. Two weeks later I wanted to make a sublime lime pie but it called for a graham cracker crust. Most people buy the pre-made, pre-packaged crusts at grocery stores since they're convenient and the tins are disposable. So when I went to Whole Foods to pick up ingredients for my sublime lime pie, I stood in the baking aisle for at least 30 minutes. This was my thought process-if I had to buy a secondhand pie dish for my pecan pie, I can't buy a tin for this new pie. Sure I'm buying the tin for the crust but if I can make the crust then I shouldn't have to buy the tin. Does that make sense? It did to me. So then I stood in front of the graham crackers for another ten minutes deciding on which would work best. I haven't made the pie yet because now I feel the whole process is going to be too much work!!!

  I ended up getting them at Trader Joe's!

My dad's birthday was this week and my brother and I bought him this really great book on tattoos. We knew he would like it but I couldn't help but think I should've gotten him something secondhand. I'm sure my dad would've appreciated a used gift but not everyone would. Again, the challenge applies to this as well. If I look hard enough, I'm sure I could find a special, used gift for anyone in mind. It just requires more time, energy and sometimes more money. But if it isn't for me, the gift should be something the person would appreciate and not everyone wants something that was someone else's already.

Other things on my list are toiletries, make-up and tattoos. If I run out of foundation, can I not buy more? Should I ask for used soaps and lotions from hotels? I've gotten two tattoos since the beginning of the year and was told "but thats new!" several times. Should I get tattooed with used ink? That's not going to happen. Or gear that can't come used like tire replacement for my road bike and repair kits. I bought a kit on eBay recently before asking the seller if it was pre-owned. He said it was dead stock which means I shouldn't have bought it. I'll have to resell it now.

Of course this is all self induced but I'm trying to hold up to my challenge. I'm not sure if I'm taking it too seriously or not enough. My friend Kristin reminded me after I vented to her that it's all up to me since I decided to take this challenge on. I know that's true but it helps to get more opinions, suggestions and another options. Thanks in advance useroos.

4.02 Update:
I made the pie over the weekend. The crust wasn't as difficult as I expected it to be and the pie turned out great!! Here are pics of my latest baking successes.

Banana Bread

Oatmeal Pecan Cookies and Pecan Pie

Ginger Bread

I would be happy to give anyone recipies if you are interested. Everything I bake and cook is vegan unless noted.

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