Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Wa. State
Re: The ethics of thrifty
I have huge guilt, and also some anger over the fact that family refuses to support my choices in the matter ("I know you don't want a lot of things so I only bought one bag of clothes, and I know you don't want made in china so these are all made in india") seriously. Drives me bonkers.
I guess I am kind of a snob in that sense, but it's something that is really important to me, to eat local, to support local/small businesses, to reduce our consumption and therefore our waste... I also honestly believe all those things help me stay thrifty too, because I'm more interested in doing things myself, using reclaimed materials, bartering/borrowing/sharing resources. It all goes together for me.
I do wish I had a little more money so that I could invest in certain things, like someone mentioned socks. That and underwear are things I buy new, so I would love to buy organic cotton, made in the us, etc. but it is *so* expensive!
Definitely agree w/the bolded!
Originally Posted by badmisterkitty
I have guilt. Not so much the made in China/made in America debate, but just that we simply can't afford to buy the highest quality, locally grown/made stuff. I want the best for my babies and it drives me bonkers that I buy them regular milk. Then you go crazier trying to find research to support your choice and can't find a single unbiased study. So you have to decide which "side" you want to take and you flip flop sides a few times. Then you just throw your arms in the air and say screw it! And buy regular milk without guilt, accepting that you are just a science experiment.
Or, sometimes it's as simple as needing some new socks. I just don't have time to research every sock company to figure out who has the best practices. I don't even have time to look over every single package at the store. So I go into Target, grab a package that may or may not have been made in China and call it good.
I feel I can reconcile some of that guilt by buying secondhard whenever possible and just plain needing/using less. And then striving to improve always. When we know better, we do better. Maybe one day I'll be minding my own business and a sock company will present itself and all my problems with buying socks will be resolved. But it takes time to do all that research, time most of us just don't have anymore, so it's a slow process.
For socks, last I checked hanes socks are still made in the US (a lot of their other stuff is not, but the socks supposedly are).
If I could afford it I'd get lovely organic made in the US socks like these:
http://www.maggiesorganics.com/index.php *sigh* someday.
Yes and yes. I do have huge personal issues with China, but the consumerist mindset and the waste that is generated by it is a much larger issue for me!
Originally Posted by RainandRedemption
Other for me.
I teeter between not feeling guilty (since I do spend a lot of time trying to make the best buying choices and sometimes I can't help it) and feeling guilty.
For me it's not so much the American vs China made products, more about not supporting the consumer culture and the huge structure of corporation run politics that have been built up around us. Part of that is food, clothes, entertainment, ideas, everything.
I could drive myself crazy trying to weed out the crap we're fed, so when I have no other choice I try not to feel guilty about it. I try to buy used and quality. If I have to sacrifice one or the other it'll most likely be quality, unless there is something very specific I want and then might buy it new.
I will admit to recently buying more than 20 cheap diapers from china. I wish I had enough confidence to start sewing up a stash but I honestly don't think I can handle learning to make diapers right now w everything else I'm trying to tackle. I will make wipes and inserts though
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Absolutely! Not only are you not adding to demand for new products, you are putting an existing product to good use and the money is more likely to stay local, used is really the way to go!
Originally Posted by MamaJules
For most things, I think buying used is better than buying new -- local or foreign. I think that for the environment, used trumps new any time. For the economy I suppose you could make the argument that buying a new organic cotton made in the USA t-shirt is better than a made in China t-shirt from Goodwill, but that just isn't an option for us.
Quality is a good factor to keep n mind, I like to try for used first and if I strike out there look for the best quality we can afford, while trying to stay as local as possible... It's all kind of exhausting at times.
Originally Posted by deezee02
I am another who chooses quality over price the majority of the time.
I spend decent money on my kids shoes. A) they last. Ods' foot doesn't grow like a typical kid due to his heart condition. He typically needs new shoes once every 1-2 years (and yes, I take him to get measured to make sure...they do not change.). So to spend $40/year on good tennis shoes is an investment (we buy every year regardless if he needs the next size or not). Many of my friends are always complaining their kids shoes do not last 1-2 months. We don't have that problem, never had. B) I can pass them down. Ods' snow boots tore in the front, took them back to ll bean and got a new pair. C) good shoes help with proper foot development, saving with medical bills in the future.
Same with food, we buy good quality foods, spend less time at the dr (even with an immune deficient child). Cost more initially, but save on gas and co pays
Toys. How many cheap toys does a kid need? Right now we are purging all the kids cheaper toys for better quality. Less toys, less stimulation, more play.
I agree with a world market, I do not care where they are from, if they are good quality (and I like fair trade) I will buy it, saves us in the long run.
I do like supporting my local economy, I love farmers markets and local restaurants...so I tend to go there, the quality is just better IMHO
If my LO's feet grew that slow I'd get really great shoes in a heartbeat! With fast growing feet used is a much more economical way to go
YES. I have had arguments about this with MIL for years now. And it's not just the factories. I won't get on my soap box here though.
Originally Posted by bluecandi
I have a very hard time buying from China since they are such attrocious human rights violators. :/
I don't usually check where used items are made either. Since it's not adding to manufacturing demands or contributing to that country/company when I buy it new I don't care so much, kwim?
Originally Posted by jackkant
It depends; I buy a lot of clothing used, and I don't look at where it's made.
For larger, more expensive things, I don't have a lot of preference, because then small differences in percentage of savings can become significant. For HBA type items, I don't generally have much preference, because other than buying from a small-time business, it's made overseas; I like to buy from Unilever more than I do from P&G, but ultimately, they're both giant corporations.
For produce, except for bananas, I only buy from the USA, preferably as local as possible; this means 4-6 months out of the year, I don't buy bellpeppers, strawberries, peaches or necterines, grapes, and so on. We eat the heck outta 'em when they are in season, though.
Other foods, I usually buy whatever's cheap, unless there's little difference; if it's just a few cents to buy King Arthur flour, then I do that (though my local grocer has stopped carrying the brand
We buy/eat produce as local and in season as possible too, I am *SO* ready for nicer weather to hit so we can start getting some local produce! We freeze a *ton* too to get us through winter, lots and lots of berries! Oh and we dehydrate and can too. Can't beat fresh though... I *love* eating berries that were picked that morning, or stone fruit picked two days ago rather than weeks/months old... Yum...
Wife to my best friend; Mama to Beetle 3/12/09, Tiny 7/22/11, and Nugget 4/5/13
CDing, BWing, BFing, ERFing, Non-Vaxing, Co-Sleeping, Crunchy, Thrifty, SAHM!
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