June 7, 2023

If Not Buying Anything Was A Reality Show

Fill this space with the basics for living. Free stuff only. That's the challenge.

If Not Buying Anything had a reality show that I produced, it would go like this.

Contestants would be couples, preferably with simple living experience.

Teams would be given similar empty living spaces, say around 92 sq m (1000 sq ft.). Their task would be to acquire all the basics to furnish and live in their space.

Here is the twist - it would all have to be done without buying anything. Only free stuff.

So, dumpster diving, free stores, cruising back alley garbages, picking up curb side stuff with a "free" sign on it, the For Free section of places like Craigslist, and whatever (legal) way one can get the things they need without money.

The basics list would have to be brainstormed, but obvious things would be on it, such as cookware, a bed, table, chair or chairs, small wardrobe, etc.

My suspicion has always been that one could probably outfit an entire apartment or house with everything one needs from free sources. 

Teams would be given a certain period of time to complete the task, and the show would highlight the frugal methods used by each.

While the declared winners would have the most complete set-up in the time given, when we nurture our inner creative frugalite, everyone wins.

What do you think? Shall I sign your team up? After I find some backers, the casting call will go out.

I think it would go over rather well at this point in time, and much better than re-runs of Lifestyles of The Rich and Famous would as we potentially slip into a Greater Depression.

If this happens, a lot of people will be looking to up their game in the "making do with less" category.

The Not Buying Anything Challenge reality show will be required viewing.

Alternative show name: Lifestyles of the Frugal and Fabulous.


  1. Oh my gosh! Sign me up Gregg! I would flipping LOVE LOVE LOVE to be on this show. I would also watch the heck out of it lol. And if I competed and lost, I would still be so stoked to see how frugal the winners were, and how innovative all the other contestants were. What a great idea. Alas, it probably won't float cos who would sponsor it? If there's no money to be made, there's likely no interest for the mainstream :(

  2. We have two free give-away weekends here every year - lots of people start cruising the streets very early in the morning seeking out the best of the "trash." One year my daughter came a way with five place settings and a number of serving pieces of antique Wedgewood "Florentine" patterned dinnerware - pretty swanky for a gal working her way through university going back and forth between a call centre and a bar.

    "Lifestyles of the Frugal and Fabulous" made me go to my bookshelf and pull out my well-worn and much stained copy of Charles Long's "How to Survive Without a Salary" - it will make some pleasant reading over the weekend.


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