10 Great Strategies To Avoid Shopping Altogether


I love to shop. Shopping provides me with this innate sense of happiness and satisfaction. I just adore it. Sadly, I haven’t the time to do it. I haven’t the time to do it, and I haven’t the patience to do it anymore. With four kids, I don’t have the leisure time I once had to shop and really enjoy it. I either have kids with me, which absolutely sucks the pleasure right out of shopping, or they are home with daddy and I’m missing out on family time or we have a sitter and we have about 78 other things we’d rather be doing than shopping (like sitting down somewhere for meal without kids that includes a lot of wine as opposed to a lot of whine).

My husband loves this; he loves that I don’t have time to shop anymore. I spend less money because I’m in such a hurry when I do go that I never bother with things I don’t even need. Now, he doesn’t love it when I have some free time waiting for the pick-up line to move in the afternoons when I pick our daughter up from school and Nordstrom.com screams my name over and over again until I succumb to its not so subtly calls to spend money. But really, in the past few years since having kids, I have found that you can actually avoid shopping all together if you’re really careful. If you’re looking to save money, time or just the headache of even more to do on a daily basis, these strategies might work for you, too. Here’s how to avoid shopping as often as possible, save money and save time.

Pay at the pump

If you’re looking for a way to avoid shopping all together, stay out of the store. Pay for your gas at the pump and save yourself the time and effort it takes to go into the store and potentially purchase items in there that you do not need.

Write checks and mail your bills

If you’re paying your bills online, you’re probably tempted to stop and shop online, too, and you should not. Write those checks and mail them the old-fashioned way so that you can save money and time by not browsing the internet and shopping.

Ignore hobbies that require shopping

Hobbies are expensive, so try not to take up any that require new items. For example, when my daughter began cheerleading this fall and I decided not to coach for the first time in three years, I did decide I’d take up exercising in a different manner, which was walking with the other mothers while the girls are practicing. I felt that required a new walking wardrobe, and several hundred dollars later I have new tennis shows, yoga pants and racer-back shirts. I use them all the time to work out now, but still; it would have been very easily avoidable.

Learn the difference between needing and wanting

I always need something new. I need new sunglasses that are white. I need a new handbag that goes with my new dress. I need a new pair of black sandals to go with my shirt that I wear to cheer on my daughter at her games on Saturdays. Except that I don’t actually need any of this. I just want it all. When you learn to understand the difference, you can avoid shopping. For example, I need tampons. I don’t want them, but I need them.

Make a list

Make a list and check it more than twice. In fact, keep the list going. When you see that you are out of something or running low on it, put it on the list. This helps you have a more comprehensive list when you do have to go shopping to feed your family and whatnot, and it helps you to avoid future trips to the store when you forget things.

Plan your meals

If you can plan your meals a week in advance, you will find that you don’t have to go to the store every time you turn around to buy stuff. You can have all the ingredients on hand already so that it’s there and you’re able to cook without feeling some sort of desire to shop first.

Order online

The best way to avoid the store is to order things online. My husband once told me that he’d rather me order his underpants online or our daughter’s plain white socks for cheerleading online. I said I could just run to the store and pick them up and save on shipping, and he said, “I’d much rather you spend the money on shipping than the additional $300 you’re going to spend when you walk into the store and see all the other stuff you cannot live without,” and it all made sense to me.

Ask for someone’s assistance

Here’s what I do when I need something and don’t want to lug the twins into the store in the middle of a storm or super cold weather; I ask for help. I’ll call my aunt who lives down the street and shows up almost every night for dinner with her son, regardless, and ask her to stop for toilet paper for me. I’ll call my husband on his way home and ask him to run into the store for more milk. I ask for help; I’ll even call and ask for eggs or sugar from a friend down the street if it means not having to go out in bad weather with the babies or spend 45 minutes getting them into and out of the store for one item.

Get rid of your saved payment information

And then do not memorize your card information. That’s what I do, so it’s not helpful. But it’s easy to avoid shopping when you’re too lazy to get up and actually go get your payment information from another room. Try it; you might be surprised.

Grow things

I run out of a few things all the time and find myself at the store for these things more than anything; garlic, basil and rosemary. I should just grow them. We talk about this all the time, but we don’t. maybe one day we will get around to it and save me ample trips to the store.

Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images


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