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Avoiding the Impulse Buy

How often do you find yourself impulsively purchasing an item you didn’t intend to? You know, you are wandering down the isle of some large store looking for X and find Y. You think, “I’m not sure how I lived so long without this,” even though you’ve never seen or thought about this particular item until right now.

This used to happen to me a lot in the grocery store. Typically because I arrived tired and hungry after a long day of work. Now I try to eat a snack or more preferably a meal before I go. A starving girl is bound to throw quite a few items in the cart that an otherwise rational and well fed girl would ignore.

The best way to avoid impulse shopping is simply to stay out of the store. If I don’t really need something than I just stay away, but when I do venture inside I must say I find myself tempted by all of the pretty trinkets and otherwise unnecessary items along the way.

On a recent trip to Target I had to walk all the way to the back of the store in search of plastic containers to store my disorderly holiday decorations. As I walked I was tempted by all of the colorful Easter decorations and displays around me.

I know that I don’t need special Easter dishes with pink and purple designs, but they sure would look cute on my kitchen table. I know I have a pile of candles at home just waited to be burned, but those yellow and blue ones sure smell good.

Most of the time I can simply walk by and avoid the temptation. I remind myself that I’m a minimalist at heart, that I really don’t need another X or Y, and that at the end of the day it’s a waste of money to buy most of these things. Most of the time…

One Frugal Girl

Sunday 10th of April 2011

@Momma Jorje - I completely agree. I always feel more lured by Target than any other store!

Momma Jorje

Wednesday 6th of April 2011

It is so easy to lose an hour wandering around a Target or Walmart... and easy to spend $100 or $200 only to get home and realize you got nothin' but junk!

I think Target is somehow more browser-friendly, too. I'm not sure why.

One Frugal Girl

Wednesday 6th of April 2011

@Cate - Why is Target so enticing?

@Grace - I completely agree. The best policy is just to avoid the stores all together.

Grace Hwang Lynch

Wednesday 6th of April 2011

I find that the less time I spend in stores, the less temptation for impulse buys. Sure, it may be the fact that I don't have the opportunity, but after three months of severely cutting back on spending (ie no clothes shopping), the instinctive pull to fill an extra hour or so by wandering around a store is much weaker.

Cate @ Liberal Simplicity

Tuesday 5th of April 2011

I struggle with impulse buys. I don't know why, but when I go to Target, I ALWAYS see something that I never thought about until just then, at which point I have to have it! I don't always, or even usually, buy the item in question, but it still creates a longing for it. I try to stay away from recreational shopping as much as possible.