My new goal to buy absolutely nothing I don’t need comes at a good time. I’ve got a kid in college, an old car, a new dog roughly the size of a grizzly bear. Not buying crap will be a good thing. But it will be a challenge. Where do I even start? The first order of business is to cut myself off from advertising. That meant closing the door on all those wonderful companies I have invited into my inbox. I had to unsubscribe from:
- Panera – (shockingly the hardest. I am not even quite sure that I am unsubscribed. Spinning circle of death. But if I mark them as spam, I’ll teach Gmail to route those to the junk folder.
- Fandango – I almost never go to movies unless it’s something big – like Star Wars, so this isn’t a heartbreak. I can catch movies on DVD next year or on Netflix.
- Funko – I am seriously in love with Funko Pop! figures. I collect most of the Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and Stranger Things items. But not this year. Maybe next year.
- Squishable – This website sells the most ridiculous and wonderful stuff toy thingies. I have two. That is all I need. SO cute. So sweet. But no.
- Target – I unsubscribed from them a while ago because they were spamming me to death! Two or three emails PER DAY! Bye, Felicia!
- Lemuria Books – I ordered a signed copy of THUG before it was released, and now it’s a treasure. But I don’t have room for tons of books.
- Verdant Tea – I think I bought something from them once as a gift? I don’t remember. I don’t drink tea. I drink the blood of virgins. And coffee.
- PayPal – I use them as my primary for online purchases because I can dispute them if the seller turns out to be shady. I will still use Paypal for necessary purchases, but I don’t need the marketing. Also, their algorithms have been drinking. They sent me a link to deals on diamond rings. Yo, dudes, it’s no secret that I dig through poop for a living. What part of that says diamond to you?
- Hot Topic – Don’t judge. Tons of sweet Stranger Things and Harry Potter merch.
- Box Lunch – Same.
- Artscow – a photo gift site that I used a great deal in the past. But their prices have gone up so much that they are unaffordable (like, final cost is now 200% what it was two years ago). This one was a tough goodbye. So many memories, so much business done with this site.
- Loot Crate – a monthly crate subscription to sci-fi/fantasy stuff. I like sci-fi/fantasy, and I love surprises, so Loot Crates appeal to me. Maybe next year.
- Loot Vault – cheap, cheap sci-fi/fantasy merch. One of the few business that still offers NEW Firefly goodies.
- Japan Crate – Like the other “crates,” it’s a monthly subscription for themed surprises. I love such things, but I never ordered. Came close a time or two, which is another reason why they are off my list. I can’t be tempted by cute toys and tasty snacks.
- GameStop – this was one I subscribed to because it has a rewards card. They have a few exclusive items a year I was interested in.
- Poo-pourri – If you’ve ever met people who were all, like, “My poop don’t stink!” it’s because they use Poo-pourri. This stuff WORKS.
- Kool Kid Toys – They have great prices on Funko Pop!, and I ordered from them once. I love Funko, and I do not need this temptation.
- Passive Juice Motel. I bought Dark Arts coffee from them for the Severus Snape packaging. I don’t need it.
- Shutterfly– I tried them once. Too expensive. Even with coupons, and the quality isn’t any better than anyone else. But they send me “free book” photo book coupons. Get behind me, Satan!
- Ebay – How I ever got on this “personalized for you” list, I don’t know. But Ebay is my kryptonite. Need an obscure herpetology text? Check Ebay! Maybe next year.
- Hallmark – I used to work for them, and I do try to get their Harry Potter ornaments. That’s how they get me – encouraging me to come in and buy more to build points for “free” stuff. This one will be hard. They have beautiful HP ornaments. But not this year. Maybe next.
- Amazon Prime- this one was physically the hardest to unsubscribe from. It’s a five-click, multi-page process. Exhausting.
- Joanne Fabric – I am not a serious crafter, so this one was easier. But I do buy some stuff, and if I get into knitting, I will be tempted. “You sure you wanna do that?” “Positive?” “Okay, but, like puppies will die and stuff.” “It’s your call, man. If you’re sure.” “You didn’t mean that.”
- Tractor Supply – don’t laugh. They offer GREAT dog toys. Lumen-proof toys. Also? TRACTORS!
- Dave’s Deals – this email is from Dave Ramsey. He offers some of the best financial advice there is, and Dave’s Deals shares the hottest deals on his books. Somehow I think he would applaud my decision to unsubscribe.
- Booksamillion – I like my local store, I enjoy the events that they host, but I am way too tempted to buy stuff from them. TOO TEMPTED. Because BOOKS!
- Book bub. This site was the hardest goodbye. It’s a website that shares daily deals on e-books. You can choose your favorite authors and EVERYTHING, and it will give you alerts when a deal comes up for one of them. As my hands get worse, I am relying even more on my e-reader. I only get hard copies of Herpetology books and things heavily reliant on photos(and illustrated Harry Potter because DUH) because my hands cramp pretty quickly just trying to hold open a tree book.
Holy crap! Look at all the businesses that slid their way into my email inbox! It has taken me two days to hunt down and unsubscribe from marketing. It is stunning to look back and see how much I have allowed businesses into my inbox without even thinking. I have set myself up to be hammered by advertising because I wanted a coupon, or I was hoping for a good deal, or just because I signed up for a loyalty card and didn’t check the box that disallowed marketing emails. Some of the temptation is gone, or it will be in a few weeks.
Kroger – They are my store. I get good service and decent prices. I’m good at ignoring deals that I don’t need at the grocery store. For now. And also? Friday Freebies. It’s a thing! Every Friday they release a new freebie deal. You don’t have to buy anything in order to get it, just download the coupon. It’s a good way to try new things.
Snapfish – Their photo products are excellent, and they offer numerous coupons via email. Good coupons. Not quite as inexpensive as Artscow used to be, but affordable, good quality, and FAST.
Netgalley – This website offers Advance Reader Copies of upcoming books. I don’t usually meet publisher requirements to receive them, but when I do, these books are FREE, and if I read one that is a real treasure, I can add it to my Christmas wishlist. Yeah, my family shops from lists. They make life SO much simpler. I recommend.
Union Avenue Books – They are a local brick-and-mortar, independently owned and operated, often imitated but never duplicated bookstore. They offer events, like FUN events, book signings, etc. And I don’t get an email more than once a week. I may decide later that they are too much temptation, but for now, I’m keeping them.