I have appointed myself a very specific role whenever my family shops at the outlet mall. I bring my book or Paperwhite, find a comfortable bench and am the designated bag holder.
This keeps me from making stupid purchases. If I don't see it, I don't need it and I know in my head that I have everything I could possibly need. It's my eyes that get in the way of this knowledge. I walk into a store and see something on clearance and my eyes and mind have sort of a meeting in which my eyes convince my mind that this is a really great deal and who doesn't need another shirt, bag, pair of pants, pair of socks, etc.? Then there is the real kicker that my mind delivers, "It's on the clearance rack! BARGAIN!"
It's this way of thinking last summer that had me buy a shirt on a trip to the mall with my daughters only to get home and discover the exact same shirt hanging in the closet. What can I say - I must really like that shirt.
Along with my "don't enter the store if I absolutely don't need to" tactic, I am also extremely skeptical about the items I do end up putting on the shopping list. For example, my Suzanne Somers poetry book was falling apart and we can't have that. I had to fix that posthaste!
On my weekly Walmart grocery trip of suffering, glue was on the list but when I got to the glue I considered how stupid it would be to buy a five dollar bottle for what amounted to one little strip of glue with zero future plans for said glue. I decided I would ask around - surely someone had already made such a purchase and I could borrow their glue. As luck would have it, my father-in-law had glue that worked perfectly. I saved five dollars and Suzanne Somers poems are now preserved for generations to come!
I think I am really making progress when it comes to dumb purchases and don't you dare call my recent purchase of Suzanne Somers poetry dumb! :-)
As a matter of fact, today was the day I cleaned out a tote in my closet that had been the cooling period tote of gadgets and what-nots. I believe I talked about this on the podcast a bit back. This is a tote I filled before Christmas of things I know I never use and probably should never have bought in the first place. Aside from a few items I actually pulled out and used, the rest of the items are boxed for the thrift store and another tote of stuff is out of this house along with two more bags of trash.
I am finally getting down to just what I use and the things that spark joy. I no longer look around and see and feel the guilt of items being wasted and the money I wasted buying those items.