Avoiding Impulse Shopping

As part of the July No Buying Challenge, I thought I would give a few tips on avoiding unnecessary or impulse buying.

  1. Avoid stores, both physical structures and online stores. Try setting a number of times to go shopping per week, and go no more often. I try not to go shopping more than once per week.
  2. Make an inclusive list and stick to it. Keep a list throughout the week, and put everything on it that you will need for the next week. Don't buy anything that you did not include on your list.
  3. Have a meal plan. Don't just write down the meals you plan to make during the week, write down the ingredients as well. Try to plan meals with corresponding ingredients (ex. if you have to buy an entire head of cabbage make sure you plan meals that will use an entire head of cabbage.
  4. Trip chain. Trip chaining is making multiple stops on a single trip out of the house, rather than making several trips to the store and back home. Getting everything done on one trip saves time, gas, and discourages the additional shopping that occurs on multiple trips.
  5. Shop local. Local shops may not have prices quite a low as big box stores, but you might still spend less at them. Why? Local shops usually can't afford marketers that know exactly where and how to place products to make you want to buy them. They also have fewer products, so you are less likely to find a product that you have never heard of but can't live without. Shopping local also helps the local economy, which can help you in the long run.

any other suggestions?