Bye-bye ‘Buy-hiatus’— it was ‘fun’ while it lasted

Our household game called “buy-hiatus” or the “spend-down” is crawling to an end, unless my husband reads this and challenges me to play another round.

Just to update you, it’s been nearly two months since the hubby and I began our new game. The ground rules for this self-inflicted sport were that we couldn’t spend any money with the exception of purchasing essentials, which were defined as food, water from the tap, gasoline and toilet paper. We originally agreed to play for one month, but had so much “fun” that we played into February as well.

We did have one day of freedom at the beginning of February.

My cheat expenditures in January included:

Three small pieces of wood for $3.59 at Lowe’s to make a birdhouse.

Two Artcraft tickets at $4 each. (Which, may I point out, can be deemed as essential to family well-being, since we were celebrating my mom’s birthday and most of the siblings also were present.)

U-Paint it Pottery. Technically, I used leftover Christmas gift money, so my mom and dad actually paid for this expenditure. But this also could be deemed as an essential aunt/niece date time — best money spent painting across the table from each other and just talking.

Otherwise January’s game closed with an $11.39 overture.

I must admit I experienced some full-body withdrawal tremors when the plant and seed magazines began to show up in the mailbox. He never vocalized it, but I could see the same look on my husband’s face as I caught him salivating over some hunting and fishing property that I caught him “just looking at” on a southern Johnson County real estate site.

But we are content.

I took my one-free-day-from-the-buy-hiatus when we were attending a conference in Arizona the first week in February. They had a Dillard’s Clearance Outlet — a mere 30 minutes from where we were staying. This store is like walking into a Von Maur, and they tell you everything is 90 percent off for the next hour.

Let me first explain that I’m not a brand-name connoisseur and I wear everything from Rural King to one Eileen Fisher suit in my closet, but I do like comfortable classic well-made clothes. So I may or may not have picked up the following:

ZOZO Cardigan — originally $168 — got it for $16.80

Niche knee-length vest with pockets, originally $148 – got it for $14.

Ralph Lauren dress, originally $129 — snagged it for $12.

I won’t bore you with the rest, but I’m sure you’ll understand if you see me gardening in the yard this summer with my ‘Skies are Blue’ floor-length halter dress or my grass-green sleeveless Antonio Melani silk and cotton top.

Just honk, and I’ll know you’re acknowledging that I bought this all for under $100 and that I was well within the rules of the game.

The game was fun while we played, and I noticed that I was growing rather content in entering stores for only grocery items. There’s not too much that we really need. But it’s nearing gardening season and the hubby and I have been eyeing some new conifers and vegetable seed packets for the garden.

Game over.

Full disclosure: Last Wednesday when I accidentally stopped by Christy’s Auction and saw two leather maroon chairs with nail-head trim that perfectly matched two benches we bought when we were first married — I would’ve bought them. Some guy with the bid No. 210 bought a total of four of these chairs for $15. That lucky guy obviously wasn’t playing the spend-down game.