Mindful shopping, mindful living
Updated: Jun 22, 2022
1. Do a Stock Take
Check what you already have before you go shopping. If you are planning to browse your favorite home and fashion stores, think about what you actually need. If you know there is a good clothing sale going on, go through your wardrobe and write down what items you need. For example, if you have a pair of jeans that are worn out, do you need to buy another pair or do you already have enough?
If you are shopping for food, check what it is in the pantry and fridge. You may have forgotten what you have. Buy food that complements what you have, so you can use it in a planned and tasty meal. Shopping for food should be purposeful, and you should have certain meals in mind to ensure you use up what you have already bought.
2. Use a Shopping List
A list helps you to shop with intention. Group together items on the list according to what shop you are going to. You likely already know what the best places are to get certain things, so be patient and stick to your plan. For example, if you are going to a certain shopping mall that you know has your favorite clothing store, think about what items you would need specifically from that shop. Also, write down optional items that you may not need right away, but are worth buying if they are on sale.
3. Be Patient with Sales
The purpose of a sale for the retailer is to sell as much of their stock as quickly as possible, so that they can make space for the new stock. Advertising for sales makes us think that we need to buy quickly or risk losing out on amazing savings. Do not fall into this trap! Only buy what you need when you are ready to buy it. If you do not find what you want on sale, do not settle for something less desirable just because it’s cheap. You will most likely not use the item, waste your money, and create clutter in your home.
4. Be Careful of Deals
Marketing campaigns that are very popular are promotional deals like ‘Buy 3, Get 2 Free’ or ‘Buy 2 for the price of 1’. Do you really need so many same or similar products? Again, this could be a trap. If you really only need one bottle of something, then only buy one bottle of something. Getting three more in order to save a few dirhams might not be the best decision if you do not have space to store the items and only use them once a month, for example.
5. Buy to Enhance
Enhance what you already have. When you go shopping to buy new outfits or home décor, have a good look at your current style. What do you already have that could be worn differently? Would some accessories or a specific piece create new outfits from what you have? For example, if you have a good pair of trousers that you haven’t worn because of its color, you could buy a new top to complement it.
Are there décor pieces, say of a certain accent color, that could enhance the furnishings you already have instead of buying a complete set of new items? For example, you could buy new scatter cushions and a rug that brings in a new color to your room instead of replacing the furniture. By enhancing what you have, you are reusing what you have in a different way and making it last.
6. Think Quality, Not Quantity
Buying quality items means they last longer, which means you save money in the long term. If items last longer, then you will also be buying less. Buying less means less clutter in addition to saving money and time shopping. Look after your purchases to help them last longer. Things to consider is where you buy your items, how you store them, and how you maintain them.
For example, a simple item like a shirt will last longer if it is of better quality. Choose shops that you know have good quality shirts. Once you have bought a good quality item, wash it according to the recommendations to make it last. If you see a shirt on sale in a shop that you know is not high in quality, ask yourself if you really want it.
7. Protect the Environment
Take your own bags when you go shopping. This is one of the easiest actions you can take to protect the environment. Avoid plastic bags where possible. Use reusable canvas shopping bags, and use your handbag for small items. Keep shopping bags in the back of your car in case you forget them at home. Also, keep a small foldable tote bag in your handbag for unexpected purchases.
When buying items, think about how it was made. Support small businesses and artisans if you can, which use methods that are less harmful to the environment. Buying less items over time will also help protect the environment.
8. New Things In, Old Things Out
This depends on how much storage space you have for items. If your storage is already limited, you will need to get rid of old items as you buy new ones. Think about what you can donate or sell. By constantly doing this, you will have a clutter-free home. It will also help you to be more aware of what you have and what you need.