The other day I found myself in Marshalls searching for new picture frames. I’ve been in Marshalls about a million times, so I know exactly where the frames are located in the store, but rather than walking directly to that aisle I decided to take a stroll around the store. This is usually what happens to me. I check out the clothes racks, the cookware, the children’s section, then I go in search of the item I actually intended to buy.
I come from a long line of avid shoppers. Both my mother and my grandmother absolutely love to shop. In fact, my grandmother always dreamed of being a buyer for Macy’s or a personal shopper for the rich and famous, (she never did either), so I suppose I have been conditioned to shop this way.
Over the years I’ve found ways to prevent bad habits. Trick number one: I almost never use a shopping cart, not even in the grocery store. Without a cart you are limited to purchasing as many items as you can carry. I often put down one item I want in place of another, because I simply cannot carry both. Trick number two: I almost always put items on hold. If I really want
the item I force myself to go back to purchase it. Usually, after leaving the store, I decide I don’t really need or want it. Trick number three: I use my hourly pay rate to determine how many hours of work it will take to earn the amount of money I am about to spend. (This is a nifty trick my mom taught me.)
Despite all of these tricks, every once in awhile, I find myself walking to the register with an unexpected item in hand. More often than not I’ve picked up something during my leisurely stroll through the aisles, so I’ve added yet another trick to my repertoire. I now go to the store with a specific list of items I wish to purchase in mind. If I pick up an item that isn’t on the list, (unless I absolutely have to have it), I put it down. Surprisingly, I’ve been able to avoid impulse buys in my last two trips to the store.