Mark Twain

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Thursday, June 18, 2015

Your shopping DNA!

It is funny how touching every single thing you own in the world can change your behavior  ...  at least a bit.

While recovering from back spasms, I took the time to look at my local town newspaper.  I seldom do this anymore - I am just not a newspaper kind of person.  But the paper is free and shows up on  my door step every week, so I settled down to see what I had been missing.

Nothing!  I doubt I will be looking again any time soon.

But I did notice a few advertised sales and it did prompt a reflection or two.

The act of shopping logically results in something that comes into the house.  Recently I have been focused on things going out of the house.

As I was checking out these sales I realized that my perspective has changed.  In fact, I was so changed that I stopped looking and just discarded the paper.

I got to thinking ...
  • There is nothing that I want/need at present - but - looking at the sales I saw some interesting "this or that" at a great price.  Hmm ...
  • I generally hate shopping in brick and mortar stores.  It takes up too much time.  You have to get in the car, drive, park, walk into the store, look around, maybe stand on line, or maybe discover they don't have "this or that," then get back in the car, and repeat the process at another store.  
  • Trips to the store or reading sales literature often results in extraneous purchases not on my current need list -  totally impulse buys - and are potential clutter once brought into the house.
I used to LOVE to go shopping!  Not so much now.  I much prefer to order on line and let someone deliver the item to my door.  

Yikes, when did this disconnect happen?

For example:  A few years back I was very focused on reducing our grocery spending.  In my typical fashion I read up on ways to save on this expenditure.  I clipped and sorted coupons.  I periodically purged for expiration dates.  I had a big box for coupons!!  I looked for double and triple coupon days at our local stores and I visited many stores seeking the best price using sales and coupons.  I even kept a price book listing our staples by name, size, and best price.  The book helped me identify if a sale was really the best price based on history.  The whole process was so time consuming it became almost a part time job.   I was never able to buy $125 worth of groceries for $30 like you sometimes saw as examples to aspire to.  And here is how crazy it was ... I don't even like to cook and yet here I was deeply engrossed in a cooking related activity.  During that time our food expenditure mostly went up.  We purchased more food than we needed because it was a "great price" and we would use it in the future.  Ironically those rock-bottom priced items sometimes got tossed after a time because we had more than we could use and they would go passed their expiration date.  It was a total fiasco for me.  Looking back I can see it was a nutty use of energy.

Now we grocery shop at one store only each week, I seldom use coupons, I will shop sales, but I don't buy ahead and I seldom check the ads for sales.  Our bills have gone down.  But even with those changes, we still seem to have too much food in the house.  I am working to correct that.

Sadly that grocery example has played out in other purchases as well.   I am hoping this is all in the past.

Apparently decluttering has done more than just injuring my lower back.   My "want/need" level regarding items has been significantly lowered.   

It is like my shopping DNA has been chemically altered.  Nuts!  I wish this had happened many years ago.  Just think of how rich I would be now if I hadn't spent all that money shopping.

So how do you shop?
Is it for need or want?
Is it for amusement?
Are you an internet shopper
 or do you prefer "brick and mortar stores?" 

Personal Disclaimers (or the devil is in the details):  :-)
  • My hobby stuff is exempt from this whole discussion.  :-) My old shopping self is still very much alive in my hobbies.  Baby steps, baby steps  ...
  • I value the brick and mortar store as a necessary part of our economy - I do support several despite my aversion to shopping in them.
  • Clothing and food for me are best made in a brick and mortar store. 

10 comments:

  1. I hate going shopping too. I mostly spend all my time on the computer, shopping, blogging, emailing friends. When did I join this great world of being so disconnected. I think it is because I am such an introvert as well. I added an email subscribe to my blog per your request. Good to see you getting around some!

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    1. Thank you for the option to subscribe by email. I have already taken advantage of it.

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  2. For me, shopping takes an inordinate amount of time and energy, not to mention that I hate spending money (even on my hobbies!). But I do find that every once in awhile I seem to turn to "retail therapy" – although by "retail" I usually mean second-hand, as in eBay, Goodwill, etc. Still, my expenditures on nearly anything pale to the average American's.

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    1. It is such a consumer culture we live in. It is somewhat freeing to separate from it.

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  3. I shop on line and in stores, mostly for things I need but I still do buy the occasional thing because I just like it. I have learned to pass up a lot of things like that now though. I
    I don't shop for amusement but do like to go to auctions! Does that count as shopping? : )
    I like to go food shopping once a week but that always doesn't happen.

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    1. You guys are busy expanding your life up on Happy Trails. Your purchases are useful - functional. And they are so much fun to watch from my blogging perspective.

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  4. Hope your back continues to improve! I use to shop for fun but that has changed. I too see every purchase as something coming in the house when my goal is less. On line is my preference. Only occasionally shop in brick and mortar since my husband does the grocery shopping.

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    1. Ahhh, yes, the husband that not only food shops but cooks. You are truly blessed dear cousin!!

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  5. I am with you on liking things to leave the house, rather than buying more things. I do not mind grocery shopping, and have 4 favorite stores where I know where the bargains are, plus organic produce, etc. A good aspect about shopping in local stores is we are providing jobs for the workers there.

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  6. Shopping these days is different for sure. "Back in the day' there were department stores that carried everything. Sadly, this is no longer the case. We shop local but definitely use online as well. For amusement...definitely thrift stores ..there might be treasures!

    Take care of your back.

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