Smart Shopping

We’ve all been there. Not shopped for a few days only to come back with items you’re left thinking why from impulse buys. Or got swayed by pretty packaging, offers or an online shopping basket where you can’t physically see the items to think about pennies, only to again to be asking why when you got back or excitedly opening the parcel.


Today I’m sharing tips I use to try to keep pennies in the bank account, stop unwanted items left unused then donated or thrown out. Try as I have my moments where all sanity left my brain. I know just don’t shop. It’s nice to look at things! 

Ask yourself what mood you’re in. Have you not shopped for a few days, weeks and it’s I must satisfy spending need day? Is it a feel better buy? A quick fix purchase? The times I get caught up in this, 9 times out of 10 I’ve regretted it and returned the item. I always say shopping is modern day hunting and foraging satisfying our cave man DNA. Their rules were don’t take more than you need. I’m learning to quickly check on my mood.

Ask yourself do you really need it! Do you have a similar item? Recently I was checking out new travel sized eyeshadow palettes. The brand was new to Sephora, the packaging caught my eye. I knew it was a I must buy it purchase! It’s new brand! The truth, it wasn’t a new brand. I have by the same brand purchased online a bigger eyeshadow palette with very similar colours. Of which I only use 3. I walked away and the need to feel part of the crowd, have the latest must have walked in the opposite direction. I didn’t need it. Take a moment to reflect, think if you really need it. Even more so to take a moment when you’re unsure. My Mum has an a expression, You’ll know it when you see it. If you’re questioning it, think about it. Usually you don’t need it.

Will it take away from something you’re saving up for? Short term quick purchase satisfaction or joy of what you really want that took a while to work towards? This isn’t cut in stone. Many impulse and emergency buys have have ended up being staples. But that’s back to you’ll know it when you see it. 

If like me you’re trying to reduce your plastic consumption or recycle less think about the packaging. Many times I’ve walked away as the amount of plastic packaging is stupid, over the top. This also applies if I can go without or find a plastic free alternative. I’ve started applying this to clothes. Some items I can’t escape the nylon or polyester. If I can I think twice and walk away.

With clothes, ask how many washes before it falls apart, how often will I wear it. Generally coats, jackets, trousers, shoes, bras I’m happy to spend more as they do a lot of work. Regardless of the price I ask myself, how often will I wear it or would I wear it.

Some people are happy to have multiples of items. I’m guilty of this! That said I try to not accumulate things. Try. It’s work in progress. If energy is blocked or can’t flow people get stale, angry, depressed. Keep things tidy (to you!). Drawers filled with unused items, products can create a need to buy more to feel better when sometimes, having clear out will make them feel even better. The trick is not to refill the cupboards and drawers to overflowing again! 

Ask if you really need the 3×2 offer? If you just want 1, you just want 1 not 3! Ignore the sales people saying you’re missing out on saving money! If you’re not going to use it and by not buying extra you are saving on unwanted goods. If you are going to use 3 and if it saves, then yes go for the offer.

Sign up for newsletters, store cards of brands and products you use. If you can handle the bombardment of emails, texts. Some get out of hand with must have items and offers. However every now and then and if you need it there’s discount days, weekends, birthday discounts etc. Get to know national, international holidays and celebrations. If you can, hold off buying until those discount days, but be savvy. A bargain is only a bargain if you need it and can afford it. Black Friday’s crazy. I completely get the whole hashtag avoid Black Friday. However Black Friday if you’ve been stalking a product for weeks, you can get a good discount. Remember not all offers are good offers.

A trick I’ve learnt online shopping is leave the basket overnight or for a day or 2. 9 times out of 10 the when I check the basket, none are appealing anymore. Sometimes the basket’s empty and I can’t remember what was in it! If you’re still thinking about it, then like my Mum says, you’ll know it when you see it. Also as you can’t physically touch items in a basket, card details are saved, the money transaction is so quick, so fast you don’t give a second thought as you would in store. Leaving the basket overnight, you reflect if you really need those items. Less impulse buys! 

Budget! Budget all that need to be paid, bills, food, vets, emergency, car, etc. What’s left look at what you want, vs what you need which helps no end when shopping. Value on what you place on things change. 

If you can make your own! I love cereal or date bars. I don’t like the plastic packaging or price. I get bored making them, however knowing I know what’s in them, they’re cheaper and taste nicer I make them everyone and then. My Mum is an amazing cook, baker, knitter, seamstress. She used to make all her own clothes although now says it’s cheaper to buy than make. She still knits, makes tote bags and can basically make any item of clothing bar underwear. My sister is an amazing craft knitter and stitcher. They get so much satisfaction making their own (and saving pennies!). Unfortunately I haven’t the same patience as them. Instead I bake out of necessity, rarely eat out as I’m it’s cheaper to make my own!

There you have it, my spend less shopping tips. Basically don’t get swayed, think out it. My mum also has another great shopping expression. If you see it, get it. If you know it’s right and you’re not likely to see it again, get it (but don’t get in debt doing so). My mum’s an amazing bargain hunter if you really need it shopper. And my ‘bad influence’! What tips and tricks do you use shopping? Please share below! 


  1. says:

    Another option: buy second hand! I’m getting a lot of second hand clothes and toys for the baby. They’re in great condition and often “imported” as I buy from expats who brought their baby things from abroad haha.
    We’re also selling things on the Chinese equivalent of Wallapop and I’m in a group to swap or give away things for free. It is very satisfying to get rid of something that you haven’t used for years knowing that someone else will enjoy it now!

    1. says:

      Second hand is a great idea! But only if you really need it! I’m trying to save pennies at the mo, so have to ask do I really need it etc! Babies grow so quickly, I think second hand is the way to go with their clothes.

      Yes, that satisfying feeling of getting rid of something you haven’t used in years that someone else might enjoy. I always donate to the local charity/second hand shop. As I drop of the items I quietly whisper in my head to them, thank you, I hope the next person appreciates you more. I think the second hand place also takes clothes too badly worn to resell for recycling etc. Those items I always say enjoy your next adventure! I know. I’m a little crazy!

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