Minimalist Monday: A Little Less Shopping

I used to love browsing shops. For clothes, for homeware and for gifts. I'd try and squeeze in a little shopping after work and always found time for some retail therapy at the weekend. Now I feel uncomfortable in a shop unless I'm actually there to buy something. I do my research at home and usually make quick decisions about my purchases. If I know I need an item and I have the money to pay for it, I find there's no need to agonise over a decision and no guilt felt afterwards. And I no longer feel guilty if I walk out of a shop empty handed however friendly the staff.

I don't covet designer bags but like the anonymity of my reusable bags. I find less fuss no frills German supermarkets friendlier than the larger supermarkets that have grown so big they're now soulless, but I'm not loyal to any one shop or brand. I prefer to buy second hand or ethically - but quite often I prefer to save my money or spend it on an experience instead. 

My shopping list is my friend not my credit card – I haven't had one of those for years. A shopping list keeps me on track and means fewer visits to supermarkets and more no spend days. I don't leave home without a shopping list even if it's no bigger than a postage stamp and my menu plan informs my grocery list. I prefer a shopping basket to a trolley and like editing my virtual shopping basket when I shop online. 

If I go shopping with a friend I spend more time chatting over coffee than choosing clothes.

I get annoyed when I receive emails about sales and promotions. And when I do buy something new to wear I don't keep it for best (or hide it in the wardrobe) but enjoy each wear as if it was the first. I'm not tempted by multi buy offers unless it's something I use regularly. 

I no longer fear that if I buy one thing then I'll be back a few days later for something to go with it – the gaps in my wardrobe can wait to be filled. 

Advertising drives me mad – I will never buy a sofa for Christmas or a perfume just because it bears the name of a celebrity. 

These habits have evolved over the last few years since my minimalist journey began. 

Every step to a little less shopping helps.

Have your shopping habits changed? I'd love to hear. 



  1. Your post is timely. I was just thinking about starting Christmas gift shopping. The thing is I abhor and cannot bring myself to buy "stuff" anymore. I feel like I am wasting money on clutter that the recipients will not use and end up donating anyway. Also, it is hard for me to buy things for people that already have so much. If anyone asks me what I want for Christmas and they insist on getting me something, I might tell them to make a donation to a charity in my name instead.

  2. I'm quite like you, as you describe your shopping habits above, I think, but not because I've learned or refined the good habits, I just hate shopping with a passion and go only when I really have to!

    I do however have a weakness for bookshops, but now (more out of necessity) when I find books I want I usually make a note and then check for cheaper deals or add it to my amazon wishlist for future reference.

  3. My husband always jokes that I'm the queen of making lists.

  4. My shopping habits have evolved to become extremely similar to yours and I am happier now than I ever was.

  5. If I buy anything (non grocery), I usually buy it online and shop for the best price. I rarely go to the mall or to department stores anymore so I don't fall victim to pretty merchandising and impulse buying. We went out to eat the other night with another couple. It cost $50 and all I kept thinking of was how much food I could have purchased at the supermarket with that money. But I guess I have to enjoy myself once in a while too, right? It's hard though because I've developed this new way of thinking plus I'm living on a small budget.

  6. I'm agreeing with just about everything you said there. Advertising, especially around this time of year, makes me feel sick. Hate it. I went to the nearby mall recently to buy a suit for job interviews, and it felt so strange to be out buying new clothes. Something I haven't really done in years.

  7. Maybe a boring comment because I feel exactly the same as you :) I have developed an immunity to advertising and just ignore it as far as possible, since I'm not stupid enough to buy anything being marketed like that anyway. These days I buy what I need and just admire what might once have been "wants" - in most cases I already own something similar anyway!
    As far as gift giving goes, I still like to give books I know will interest the recipient and keep them busy on Christmas Day, or older generations always love photobooks they can look at repeatedly and show off to their friends, that to me is worthwhile spending: for their pleasure. But I also like giving (and receiving) experiences, i.e. tickets to something or other - far more memorable than any wrapped gift. In Advent I'm planning to give my hubbie tickets to take our grandson to see a theatre version of their favourite children's story before Christmas. Homemade is also good - giving and getting :)

  8. I have followed a similar journey to you and the hours going shopping have dramatically reduced over the past few years, giving me more time to enjoy doing more creative things instead. Following your lead I have reduced my wardrobe and plan what I need to replace. I did however go into a charity shop today and bought a top today! Sarah x

  9. My shopping habits have evolved quite over the past years or so... I still shop too much, but not as much as I used too. I have lots of criteria that must be checked before I buy anything and that help. I don't go into large supermarket. I am very loyal to some brand, because I love their ethic and their quality. I, today, do not always look for the best price, but I rather look for the item I need, I know I will use a lot, I love, I know will last and meet my "ethical" criteria.

  10. My habits have indeed changed, and my approach is very similar to yours. I just don't have that much interest in shopping as a hobby any more. I prefer to make my own things (knitting, drawing. sewing) and find secondhand or vintage items with a story behind them. A few knocks and scratches add to the appeal.
    Mass-produced things just don't do it for me any more. And I love the challenge of making do and mending.
    All this, yet we go without very little. Opting out of conspicuous consumption has bought me something far more valuable: time off work while my son is little. I can't put a price on that :)


  11. Yes I was a collector and a gatherer.
    Now my blood runs cold when I look at stuff in shops and think if I buy this thing I shall have to clean it, maintain it, worry over it, find space for it and then declutter it!
    I tell myself that when you own things they can end up owning you.

  12. Yes, from someone who once could spend a day browsing shops, five years on, I now have such limited tolerance for it! Can relate to all you have written. Even when we travel I think I should take advantage of the different shops but still can't spend much time doing it because I want to get back exploring as soon as possible. I picked up a couple of good pieces this trip though, which were much needed. But I researched on the website prior to travelling so I knew what I wanted and could minimise time. I use websites for pre-browsing here at home too. I hope you are well!

  13. I have followed a similar journey to you and the hours going shopping have dramatically reduced over the past few years, giving me more time to enjoy doing more creative things instead. Following your lead I have reduced my wardrobe and plan what I need to replace.

    minimalist shops


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