Sunday, October 30, 2011

Buying Less

It wasn't long ago that the boy and I viewed shopping as a recreational activity. We spent many a weekend afternoon browsing at the mall or shopping center; Often buying things we didn't really need. We weren't shopaholics, or hoarders. In fact we looked like many other typical Americans. Shopping is almost encouraged as a national past time.

Eventually, I became sick of wasting so many hours shopping. More and more often I would refuse to spend the afternoon shopping. At first the boy resisted, but eventually he too was fine with the idea of shopping less.

Even though I cut down on shopping, and have never been a spendthrift, I was still buying more than I needed. When I decided to take make a concerted effort to stop buying items I didn't really need or really, really want and would use; I was nervous about going into a store. But you know what? It gets easier, much easier.

Friday night, I decided to brave the mall to get some needed heavy duty moisturizing shampoo. I was there for about 40 minutes and during that time I browsed four of my favorite stores. In that time you know what I was tempted to buy besides the shampoo I came for? Nothing. Not. One. Thing.

At this point in time, buying a bunch of crap I don't really need holds no appeal whatsoever. I even went to my favorite clothing store, but since I'd already gone though my closet and pulled out every piece of clothing I own, I knew I had more than enough clothing and didn't need to purchase more.

After trying to transition into using less toxic body products, the smells in my once beloved bath and body store were overpowering. I left after a few moments.

So if you're just starting on your journey to a less consumerist lifestyle, take heart. The longer you resist the pull of consumerism, the less of a hold it has on you. As I drove home from the mall, stuck in traffic, watched the crowds at the chain restaurants and thought about the shoppers laden with bags at the mall, I couldn't have been less tempted to be a part of any of that. I now prefer a less-consumerist life and am thankful I'm no longer one of the shopping zombies.


  1. It's rather amazing isn't it? Once you get yourself out of the consumer mentality - ie once you realize that buying crap you don't need won't make you happy - shopping really looses it's grip on you.


  2. Just wait til Black Friday this year, you are getting up at 4 am.

  3. I love this post. It's so true! Once you get the bug out of your system it's so easy to walk away. I couldn't fathom spending a Saturday at the mall or Costco anymore. There are books to be read, trails to be hiked, clutter to be cleaned, snacks to be baked... So many better things to do.

  4. "In that time you know what I was tempted to buy besides the shampoo I came for? Nothing. Not. One. Thing."

    My husband and I used to shop for sport. After the birth of our second son, I realized we were buying things that we didn't even have time to open and I hated myself for it.
    As Christmas approaches this year, I have zero desire to shop. In fact, the endless streams of ads on TV seems utterly bizarre to me. I saw an ad on late night TV for a fountain pen that comes in a set with 5 other pens and a 64 piece rebuild kit. The idea of 70 pieces actually made me throw up in my mouth a little.


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