So, it's been a month since I bought anything on my list of things I am not allowed to shop for, which basically means all I've bought this month has mostly been produce and processed items I can't make myself.
This month has gotten me into the swing of doing a lot more cooking and baking than I'm used to! I've made bread so that my parents will stop buying prepared bread, and every sandwich tastes so much better now. I've made muffins from scratch, lots of salads and pasta dishes (the pasta was pre-made, I don't know how to do that yet), and caramel candy. I've also made peanut butter, which is a real triumph for me, since I didn't know if I'd be able to make it or not. I'm literally making granola as I write this post, and my next recipe to tackle is homemade Oreos, because I sure do miss 'em!
One thing I really enjoy about cooking and baking so much is that I can share what I make. I've been bringing extra bread and baked goods to my friends when I visit them and I made dinner with one of my friends last night. It's so fun to share food with others!
I also went to the farmer's market in the town I attended high school in for the first time ever! It was really fun and I got some delicious produce, including carrots, so that my parents don't have to buy those ridiculously fakey "baby carrots" anymore. It struck me how much more of a social experience shopping at the farmer's market is compared to shopping at the grocery store. Things I did buy at the grocery store included some produce but were mostly raw ingredients, like flour and chocolate pieces. The only processed foods I recall buying are a tub of yogurt, packages of tortellini, cheese, and a can of beans.
I went thrift shopping twice this past month, once to get some new inventory for my Etsy shop, and another time I took a girl that I nanny there just for fun, but I ended up snagging some great tupperware to use in my apartment in the fall!
One thing I am struggling with is the issue of washing my hair. For now I have full bottles of shampoo and conditioner, but I'd like to find a suitable alternative to buying more when it runs out. I've been washing my hair less often than usual and smoothing it down with coconut oil rather than the the store-bought oil I used to use. I've been rubbing baking soda into my scalp as a form of dry shampoo, which works quite well! However, I'm still in search of shampoo and conditioner alternatives. My hair gets pretty oily, so only using water, as some people are able to do, is out of the question for me. I tried baking soda and vinegar last year and absolutely hated the way it made my hair look and feel, so that's out too. I've heard that some people use raw honey diluted with water to wash their hair, and I haven't tried natural shampoo bars yet either, so those two are on the list. Does anyone know of any shampoo/conditioner alternatives I might try?
Another thing that's proving to be a challenge is the fact that I can't buy gifts for anyone anymore. I keep getting great present ideas in my head and then remembering that I can't buy them. Fortunately, the idea I had most recently turns out to be pretty simple to make at home instead, and much cheaper, so my friend is going to get a lot of it for her birthday! In a way, I'm really glad I included this rule in my shopping ban. It's forcing me to be more resourceful, learn new skills, and give more meaningful gifts, all of which are my desired outcomes.
Overall, the first month of my shopping ban has gone really well! It's challenged me to cook new things and be more resourceful about where and how I purchase things. I think that in August I would like to track my food purchases more closely, just to see what packaged and prepared foods I still buy. I will also be sharing lots of recipes that I try, so expect some more of those! And wish me luck with the next 11 months!