Does buying stuff make you happy?

I’ve been having a war on consumerism with myself for a while now, trying to reduce the amount of stuff I purchase and bring into my home. Try as I might, I still feel like I purchase too much. I’m constantly throwing things away, or recycling them, or giving them away. I just don’t like buying all this stuff to then not do anything with it. And I don’t like all the packaging that comes with even the smallest stuff. At the moment, most of my purchases are grouped into these categories:
1. books–I buy a lot less than a I used to but I still pick up a couple a month. I’ve got a stack of about 20 ready to go to the used book store now. They are old books I bought years ago. I try to only buy books that are reference materials–things I’ll look at over and over again. Or things that I can’t seem to get any other way.
2. art supplies–I’ve been doing a lot of artsy things lately and I’ve been trying out new mediums. It’s fun and I’m using all this stuff and trying to incorporate recycled materials but still, it’s a lot of purchasing. But they’ll last a long time–so that’s good.
3. food–it’s crazy but I’m a serious foodie so I shop for food. I drove 30 minutes to a Central Market at 7:30 on Saturday morning so I could get in and get out while still having an awesome selection of good raw foods to work with this week. I can’t wait for the Farmer’s Markets to really get going. Plus I have a small garden in back so it should get kicking in the next few weeks. I’m only harvesting lettuce and cilantro right now because we’ve had such a cold spring.

I’d like to spend more time working the garden so I’m less dependent on the grocery store. That’s part of the plan for the move to the farm later this year. In addition to a large garden, I can have chickens and maybe goats.

Overall, I’m not doing that badly in terms of leisure purchases. I’m not into clothes or jewelry or the usual girly stuff. But still, it’s not just me that lives here and we have way too much stuff coming into our house.

If you’re concerned about this too, check out this website and video on American’s stuff and our mass consumerism: http://www.storyofstuff.org/
The Story of Stuff

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