I had to go to 2 stores for work yesterday. I needed a frame, a mat board and to have 1 photo printed. I decided to go to Aaron Brothers for the frame and mat board, because in January, they have their “buy one, get one for a penny” sale. I found the perfect frame, however I have no idea what we’ll do with the second one. 1¢ is too close to free to pass up.
It felt strange to be in a store. I looked around a little bit, as they have art supplies, but I had no desire to buy anything. I really didn’t want to be there.
Next, I decided to go to Wolf Camera for the print. Now, I love camera equipment, but walking into the store still felt odd. The aroma of film processing chemicals was a sweet reminder of the past, having to pay a lot of money for my photography habit. It sparked a momentary appreciation for digital photography.
I rarely print photos, so I had to ask the quickest way to get one photo printed. The sales guy pointed to the large yellow machine that does instant prints. After several failed attempts to get it to read my jump drive, the sales guy tried. After his many more failed attempts, I decided that wasn’t meant to be.
I had no desire to shop in either of these places. Had I wanted to buy something, and did, it would be classified as an impulse buy, right? It made me think about how many times I’ve done that in the past. Going into a store to buy something I wanted and coming out with other things, things I didn’t need.
All of this made me think about how I will shop after the challenge is over. Here’s some things I thought about:
- Second thoughts about things I need. There have been some maintenance items I’ve had to pass on due to the shopping challenge. Things to repair my house, cleaning supplies, nothing major, but a few things I would normally buy without giving it a second thought. Now, I will give it a second thought. Most of the time there are options, different solutions that might save money, work better or be better for the environment.
- Shopping lists. I’ve never been a shopping list kind of person, but I will probably change that. Not for groceries, but for other things. If I need to buy 3 things to fix my house, I write down the 3 things, I shop effectively for the 3 things and I don’t buy anything else. Sticking to the list will prevent impulse buys and save me money by not purchasing extra stuff.
- Budgeting. I already do a budget and I’m good at sticking to it most of the time. I plan to do a little more detailed analysis of my expenditures. I’m within budget looking at the big picture, but I don’t know how much I’m spending in specific categories like dining, clothing, home repairs, car repairs and other small purchases.
- Planned purchasing. If it’s not planned and thought out, I won’t buy it until I’ve had time to think about it and plan it. This might be a little challenging for my spontaneous nature, but I don’t like being wasteful, so I think it will work. When I did shop, I always felt a bit guilty for buying something I know I didn’t need or intend on buying.
- Frugal shopping habits. I plan to still be frugal, shop on eBay, craigslist and thrift stores. I might buy some things retail when this is over, but not until I’ve exhausted all other possibilities.
- Things I want, but don’t need… retail purchased. Yes, I will a some point buy something I don’t need at a retail store. It’s going to be something good and worthwhile, because I’m going to feel awful about it, and possibly return it. 😉
All in all, I hope I stay changed. My main goal is to not be wasteful. I will repair broken things when possible, I will think about the life span of every item and try to minimize my purchases. 🙂