Chicago family says they went a year (and counting) without anything new

January 8, 2014 (CHICAGO)

Thrift and Thrive is in the 6000-block of West Irving Park. It's one of those places filled with low prices and nothing new-- it's all used. Melissa Basilone and her husband Joe have owned the shop for two and a half years.

"We're a retail boutique in Portage Park and we sell used goods. Clothes, shoes, accessories, toys, merchandise, furniture," said Melissa Basilone.

"Our mission is to provide, you know, good quality low cost merchandise for the community. So we're a resale shop," said Joe Basilone.

Yes, Melissa and Joe know thrift. Maybe better than anyone, and that's because last year in 2013 they made a resolution: absolutely nothing new. Guess what.

"We didn't buy anything new," said Melissa.

"We made the whole year. It's. . .the first week of the new year and we're still going strong," said Joe.

So for all of 2013 this couple with two small children bought nothing new except for a few necessities.

"We had a couple of exceptions to our resolution which was food. We were able to purchase that, as well as any medical necessities, medicines, that sort of thing. But that was pretty much it," said Melissa.

"When you do something like this you realize how much you already have and you become very grateful for that and you realize the difference between needs and wants," said Joe.

"I didn't buy any makeup and I didn't buy any tissues. I decided tissues were not a necessity so I used old-fashioned handkerchiefs," said Melissa.

"Comparing year on year, we saved about $10,000 and half of that was not taking trips to the big box stores," said Joe.

So, what was the first purchase for this year?

"We still haven't bought anything new. (You haven't?) No, we really didn't feel the need," said Melissa.

Victory? I guess so.

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