New Stuff Sucks

New Stuff Sucks

Intimate stories (and tips!) from the life
of one of America’s worst consumers

by Kay Sather

New stuff sucks?

What a strange thing to say. I mean, who doesn’t appreciate new things? Who doesn’t like to shop—in stores, online, however? And doesn’t shopping help the economy? You probably know someone who buys new stuff just to get a lift, or to feel better about something.

Fixed plant pot

So you’re curious about who would say that, and why. Well, your curiosity has brought you to a good place. New stuff sucks for a lot of reasons, and the ones I talk about include entertaining stories, helpful ideas, humor, and different ways to look at life—based on facts, of course, not fantasies. If you keep reading, you might begin to agree that new stuff really can get in the way of happiness—your own, and the world’s. I’ve found it’s a lot of fun to get around it. And it’s not that hard.

So check out my blog posts and subscribe to get notified when I post more. My intent is to post something—long or short, with fun photos—each week. Welcome!

If you wish to share your ideas, you can reach me at

Latest from the Blog

Post 44: Three for Free

So now we’ve got inflation again, and higher prices at the grocery store. We’ve got empty shelves, here and there. Supply chain problems, we’re told—but “chain” is too simple a concept. Our global interdependence is more like a fine web, covering the planet in such detail that nobody can understand much more than the nearbyContinue reading Post 44: Three for Free

Post 43:  Distance Loving

I was allowed a parakeet in a cage; that’s all. No cats, no dogs. We babysat a cat once, my cousin John’s, for a week. It must have been traumatic for the cat: These days, we realize cats bond with their homes and prefer the babysitter to visit them, to fill their familiar food andContinue reading Post 43:  Distance Loving


Hate the fact that you have to drive so much? You can “undo” some of your    carbon emissions. Trees and plants take carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere—so plant some. If your yard’s already full of green, or if you have more money than time, send $10 or $100 to American Forests ( / 1220 L Street NW, Suite 750, Washington DC 20005 / 202-737-1944). The trees are just $1 each. Sounds like a good deal to me.

Click on the above audio thingy to hear Kay’s recent interview on KXCI’s “Broad Perspectives” show.
Kay and Lalo

Older Posts

  1. Personal Confessions
  2. So What is New Stuff, Exactly?
  3. Warning! New Stuff Ahead!
  4. What I Did on my COVID Vacation, Pt. 1
  5. What I Did on my COVID Vacation, Pt. 2: Building Like an Animal
  6. What I Did on my COVID Vacation, Pt. 3
  7. How I Got This Way
  8. Wabi Sabi, Maybe?
  9. Minimalism. And Nuffi Stuffi.
  10. To See the World in a Plastic Cap*
  11. Free Drinks!!!
  12. Old Dog Learns New Tricks
  13. Why I Write This #@!$% Blog
  14. Garbage In, Beauty Out
  15. It’s Only Natural
  16. Miracle Growth
  17. Riches to Rags
  18. Henpecked
  19. Girl Power
  20. It All Comes Out in the Wash Water
  21. Motherlode: Free Gifts from Our Mother Earth.
  22. Ribbons Are Forever
  23. Shirts from Shower Curtains
  24. Oprah Was Wrong
  25. Biking into 2022
  26. An Unqualified Reviewer Takes On “Don’t Look Up”
  27. Flat Is Beautiful
  28. The Curbside Mall
  29. Post 29: The Compost Post
  30. Don’t Touch It—Eat It!
  31. Quest to Divest
  32. I Failed. My Own Kid Buys New Stuff
  33. Motion Sickness and the Unexamined Life
  34. Loving Your Before and After
  35. Don’t Shop. Repair Shop!
  36. Bad Influence
  37. What the Jell is Jojoba?
  38. Top 10 Reasons I Don’t Eat Out (Much)
  39. A Rose Is a Rose, But . . .
  40. A Fresh Code of Paint
  41. Post 41: No New . . . Caskets?

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Kay Sather is the coauthor (with Marge Pellegrino) of Neon Words, a writing book for teens and young adults. She was named Illustrator of the Year in 1995 by the Arizona Library Association. She has illustrated many children’s books, included the award-winning Soft Child, by Joe Hayes. Her articles and stories have appeared in the Mississippi Review, Edible Baja Arizona, The Santa Fe Reporter, Counterpunch, the Tucson Weekly, the Tucson Guide Quarterly, and many others. She has worked in publishing as a graphic designer, illustrator, and writer for more than thirty years. She has been the subject of a documentary titled Mud (
and is currently finishing a book detailing her experiences building a house by hand. Kay has a B.A. in German Language and Literature and an M.A. in teaching English as a Second Language from the University of Minnesota.