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mindful shopping

avoid impulse buys - shop from a list

avoid impulse buys - shop from a list

To curb impulse buys, the best thing you can do is shop from a list. Think about it - what happens when you go to the grocery store without a list? You end up with random things that sounded good in the moment but don’t necessarily fit together to make a whole meal. When you meal plan and shop with a list, you actually buy the things you need to make a recipe. It’s the same with clothes. Many people wonder why they have a closet full of clothes and nothing to wear, but it’s this - it’s like having a pantry full of ingredients but no plan. If you buy clothes without thought to how they fit into the rest of your wardrobe, you’re going to end up with a bunch of random stuff.

how to avoid impulse buys

Here’s what to do instead: define your style (pick a recipe), declutter (throw away that rotting head of broccoli), take stock of what's left (what’s in your pantry),  and make a list of what’s missing. You might get rid of all the pants that don’t fit and find that you have plenty of jeans, but you’re only left with one pair of pants that’s appropriate for work. Put it on the list. Maybe every time you try to wear a dress in the winter, you don’t have the appropriate tights. Put them on the list. The next time you end up in front of a clearance rack, you’ll have a plan. If you find well-fitting work pants on sale, go for it. They’re on the list, you must need them! If they're not on the list, you can be pretty sure that you're being swayed by the bargain and that item will end up in the purge pile the next time around. 

Do you use a list when shopping - grocery or otherwise? Do you think it helps?

P.S. My other tip to avoid impulse buys.

nordstrom anniversary sale picks

nordstrom anniversary sale picks

In case you aren't aware, the Nordstrom anniversary sale starts this weekend. If you have a Nordstrom card, you can have access now. The cool thing about this sale is that instead of things going on sale when they've been in the store for a while and are out of season, things are on sale BEFORE the season starts and the items actually go UP in price after the sale. You know that I don't advocate going crazy just because things are on sale, but if you have some items you've had on your wish list, this is the time to get a good price on them. 

 

When you only have a few bottoms, they wear out quickly. I'm really in need of a pair of black skinny pants or jeans. I love Madewell jeans, but they really don't go on sale often at the Madewell store. Luckily, Nordstrom also carries a few Madewell items and I might snag these while they're on sale. $85, after sale $128. (Edited to add: I actually bought these AG black high-waisted jeans instead - sooo comfy!) 

Speaking of bottoms, Paige jeans are always a hit with my clients, they're super soft and stretchy and comfortable. This pair is almost half off during the sale - I can't even find them that cheap on eBay. 

I'm sick of carrying around heavy tote bags, so I've had my eye on a backpack for a while. This one's cute.

Bonus (not pictured): my favorite underwear, which I'll definitely be stocking up on. 

Remember: keep a running shopping list of needs so that you're not tempted by impulse buys!

P.S. This post contains affiliate links. 

P.P.S. fern print pictured via etsy

a few thoughts about mindful holiday shopping

a few thoughts about mindful holiday shopping

It's that magical time of year. The time when all practical considerations go out of the window. When we get caught up in the hysteria created by marketing teams to make us feel that we'll regret it if we pass up an amazing deal. I posted last spring about mindful shopping tips, but at this time of year, sometimes all rational thinking deserts us. 

My thoughts: prepare as much as you can. If you have a list, stick to it. If you don't have a list, make one. Now. My list includes a leather jacket (has been on the list for years), a winter coat (I've had mine, which wasn't expensive to begin with, for about 6 years), a warm sweater with an interesting shape, the elusive lightweight bag, and replacements for my taupe suede booties and black suede wedge booties. If any of these show up with amazing deals this weekend, I'll know I'm buying because it's something I need, not because I'm seduced by the sale.

If you succumb to the excitement, keep your receipt and follow through on returning. (BTW, I returned the tank I got for 92% off from my last post. It didn't even fit well. I got sucked in by the deal.) Yes, I know it can be a hassle, but if you don't, not only do you lose money, but you're stuck with physical clutter. Either you return it now, or have to deal with it in a few years when you finally clean out your closet. Keep items that need returning in your car with the receipt taped to them and you'll be ready next time you're running errands. 

Talk to friends and family about gifts. I feel grateful that my family has never gone crazy with gifts. We send an email every year asking what we should do for gifts. Some years we've set price limits. Some years we've sent specific wish lists. One year we did a white elephant gift exchange. This year, we decided to just give small gifts to the kids. The real fun is watching little ones open things anyway. When I'm going through clients' closets, it never fails to amaze me how many things are given as gifts that the recipient would never even consider wearing. I understand that not everyone's family is open to discussing a plan for gifts, and if that's the case, genuinely and gratefully accept what you're given. The pleasure is usually in the act of giving for the gifter. That moment is really the gift, and it often doesn't matter what happens afterwards (i.e. that item doesn't actually have to live in your closet).

Hope this helps you shop a bit more mindfully this week.

P.S. a mindful closet gift certificate is always a great idea!