Originally Posted by KayleeZoo
I've been working really hard on not buying non-essentials for the past 6mos or so and decluttering what we already have. Some weeks I do really well, and other times I head to Target and come out with 18 things we didn't need. I know where my weaknesses are, and I get aggravated with myself for buying, but then I'll find shirts for my 5yo for $1.97 at JCPenneys and buy 4 of them when she has too many shirts to begin with, or a spare booster seat at Target for $33 when we already have 2 spares!
Do you have any tips, mantras, strategies, etc. that keep you from adding to the clutter in your homes/lives?
First of all, is the stuff you bought returnable?
I used to do a lot of "bulimic shopping." One day I'd go to the mall to hang out and get exercise (back when I had a baby or 2 in the stroller), and end up buying a lot of stuff I didn't actually need. I'd get home and realize this. Another day I'd go to the mall and hang out and get exercise and return everything I'd bought the last time- BEFORE the credit card statement came in.
Later, I got better at analyzing what I actually needed before going shopping. I learned to tell myself "Buying this shirt I don't need will cost me $3. Not buying this shirt I don't need will only cost me $0." Buying ANYTHING I don't actually need is simply a waste of money, whether it's 25 cents or $200.
I have a bigger problem at thrift stores than dept stores- because at the thrift store it's "buy it now or it won't be there later" plus it's not returnable. I can donate items back to the store but I can't get my money back. So, I always take stock of what we have in the house, and what we actually need, before heading out to the thrift store.
I need to donate some stuff soon, and with gas prices what they are, I'm planning to combine the donation trip with a shopping trip. I know that DD2 needs some short sleeved shirts, and possibly a new dress or two with some "growing room" in it. I don't *need* anything, but I'd like (and would get good use out of) a new dress or dressy outfit. DS doesn't need anything, and I need to go through DD1's stuff before we go. If the kids want anything they don't *need* then it will have to come out of their money, not mine.