Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Kill the Catalogs

Today's frugal tip is a simple one: get yourself off those catalog mailing lists! Do it for any or all of these reasons:

  • You don't need anything they're selling. Really.
  • Reduce your garbage bill/need to recycle/landfill contributions
  • Lower your level of covetousness
  • Prevent impulse spending
  • Conserve natural resources
Frugality is easier when there are fewer temptations. And guess what? If you never see the stuff in those catalogs, you'll never talk yourself into buying any of it. And you won't miss any of it either. What the eye doesn't see, the heart never mourns.

Did you know that 60 million trees are cut down annually in the US just to create the junk mail catalogs that inundate our mailboxes? Scandalous! And that says nothing about the oil that is wasted moving that timber, that paper, and the finished catalogs around until they wind up in said landfill.

So tackle that pile of unwanted and wasteful catalogs a little bit at a time. Call a few each evening for a week. And here's a few tips. Once you get a representative on the line, be sure to ask if they maintain the mailing list for any other catalogs, other than the one you're calling about. If so, ask them to remove you from all the distribution lists they service. You'll save a call. And speaking of saving calls, don't keep calling back if you get the same catalogs two weeks after your initial call. Give it three months between fits of anti-marketing opt-out calling. It takes a while for you to be dropped from some mailing lists. So don't duplicate your efforts unless it's really necessary.


Anonymous said...

Hiya Kate:

With some success we have used this service. You need to do a bit of searching on the catalogs you receive to get the customer number but it works pretty well...plus no pesky phoning on your part :)


Lolly said...

I have to agree! I finally got off of most catalog mailing lists. I always just throw them away anyway.
Thrifty Thoughts,
Mommy Mia's World,
Mia's Motivation &
Mia's Menu Mania

Anonymous said...

I have to second el's recommendation of www.catalogchoice.org it seems to be working for me!

Kate said...

Thanks, El and Christine. I knew someone would come along and recommend one of those services. I just went the traditional route, but I'm glad to have some first-hand endorsements for junk mail elimination.