We all like to turn into a minimalist while reading housekeeping of Martha Stewart. But when it comes to Shopping!! Everyone goes crazy over shopping. I too had a similar story. My bank statement and my wardrobe were furious witnesses to my shopping sprees. My cupboard was literally overflowing with stuff I hadn’t worn even once. What were those yoga pants and eye-catching neon t-shirts doing in my cupboard?
I had no idea.
Did I even buy them? Or did some ghost hand put them mysteriously inside my wardrobe? Also, I would get a mild heart attack with each credit card bill that came in. How is it possible that I spent so much in such a short time. Surely, my card has been hacked. This cannot be me! (Classic Shopaholic syndrome: Denial!)
I had bought all of them alright. When I used to think I’d do things I had never done since birth, I’d get those things. And these were only clothes. I had such a lot of other stuff that I’d probably never use in my whole life again, that I was perplexed.
Stationery (tons of rulers, erasers, notebooks, geometry boxes, calligraphy pens for goodness sakes!), shoes (all types from the simplest Hawaii chappal to the sexiest heels), luggage (6 traveling bags and 3 huge suitcases, plus assorted handbags), electronics (a camera that I hadn’t used in ages, assorted working and non-working mobile phones, and for some strange reason, a scientific calculator), accessories (earrings, bangles, safety pins, hair clips, saree pins, et al), among other things. The list was endless.
Why had I got these? What had caught hold of me when I’d decided to buy such useless stuff?
That’s when I decided to take up the concept of minimalist living. It was so difficult at first, I tell you. But as time progressed, I started shopping lesser and lesser. Now, though the situation is far from perfect, it is under control, at least.
So what did I do to stop going crazy while shopping? Here are few shopping tips to turn into a minimalist:
1. Buy what you need, not what you want
To be frank, I got this idea from an online video. It came at the right time and it appealed to me immediately. I consciously started asking myself if I “needed” something or just “wanted” it. Trust me, it helped tremendously. It was hard in the beginning, when my mind would say that I needed everything. But I took it up as an exercise, and now I’m able to automatically classify “needs” and “wants”. This really helps in paring down the shopping list.
2. Go to a smaller store
Supermarkets are crazy places. Everything is placed on front of your eyes up for grabs. There are loads of discounts on stuff. I’m a sucker for discounts (who isn’t?) If I see that I’m getting a bottle of jam free with another, I’ll buy both, even if no one at home eats jam much. In fact, I used to spend much above my budgetary limit at a supermarket. It is an oxymoron. You go there to save more, but end up spending more. I started shopping for clothes and groceries at smaller shops. My shopping (and spending) reduced drastically.
3. Make a list
Having a written list is much more useful than having a mental list. It reinforces what you need and you are less likely to drift around the aisles looking for stuff you think you need, but really don’t. But, please, STICK TO THE LIST!
4. Check the quality
At one point, I had three nearly identical dresses brought at different places. While one was of very good quality, the other two were cheap. However, the price was nearly the same. After this incident, I actively started checking the quality of every item I purchased. Cheap quality stuff sells by clever marketing. Putting average stuff with more average stuff creates a great visual, colourful illusion. Bigger stores often follow this strategy. Instead of picking up the first thing you like, check the cloth quality. It will give you a good idea whether to buy it or not.
I found these tips really useful. Have you got any other tips? Please share them with us here! Help stop crazy shopping today!