No, really, click on this, read the quickie article, and come back. Now this one from our lovely Leo - it's really short too.
OK, let's move on...
We've all experienced it. And in general, buying less stuff is good. I admit to having a natural advantage because I don't like shopping that much. I find comparison shopping stressful and I can't remember ever going on to do more comparison after I've painfully decided what to buy. I hate busy shops with lots of people and ads everywhere. And I don't really like spending money.
So how does the natural (that's me) shop?
Don't go shopping
This is my first line of defense. This may sound too obvious, but when your eyes gets hit with the goodies, your brain gets the gimmes! Marketing creatures are professionals and they are paid to know how you think. What's your win/lose average for going shopping and coming out empty handed (or even with only what you went in for)? Yeah, me too. Wow, I didn't even know I needed that until I saw it....
This applies to
- Real shops
- Online shops
- Mail catalogues
- Plan food shopping - schedules and lists are a must to avoid hitting the supermarket many times a week
- Don't shop as casual entertainment or mood enhancement - the shop owner is getting better entertainment for their dollar than I am and remember that article at the top of the page? Again, with planning you could spend that money on something really satisfying. Shopping can be lots of fun sometimes, I do know that, so keep reading.
- Shop first at basic stores - this goes for food and anything else. The fancier the store, the higher the prices and the better the "come-hither and buy me" tricks.
- Shop at secondhand and charity stores - when I feel the urge for retail therapy, I avoid retail stores. Downmarket shops don't have flashy ads and plastic packaging, a lot of their goods are better quality than new in retail stores, a real range of fashions and sizes are available, and of course, if I feel like some seriously uncontrolled shopping, better at the charity shop than the mall.
- Group shopping tasks together - if I know I have to visit 5 shops before lunch to buy what I need, I am more focused and less likely to browse, even if I had the energy! If you do a casual shopping trip each day of the week, you will magically discover more things you need to buy as you stroll down the aisles.