I have to share an insight I had last night about the idiocy of advertising. I was driving along when a Toyota commercial came on. The tag line was - how would you like to save some money this year? Then the commercial went on to indicate that the best way was to buy a new Toyota. Maybe I'm a little slow, but isn't that kind of counter-intuitive.
It seems like this concept that a friend of mine once dubbed "spave," or spend to save. It's what draws people like crazy to Costco and other related discount warehouse stores. I have to stay away...mostly because I can't afford the price of admission, but also because I often buy what I don't need there out of some sense that I'm saving money. But if I didn't need it, how am I saving money by buying it?
I'm trying out buying everything that is possible used or recycled this year. I do draw the lines at underwear, toothbrushes, etc. But I've just gotten so frustrated with how much I'm wasting when I don't explore those other options.