In this post, I’ll share some life hacks for saving money – they’re not all original ideas, but they have all proven successful in my life and hopefully will in yours too. Also, more on the ridiculous photo accompanying this post below…
I LOVE shopping – the more frivolous, the better! Dollar Tree, Target, Walgreens…it doesn’t matter. The automatic doors glide open, the real world gently falls away under the retail lighting, and all that is before me is new stuff with promises of a new me, a new life, (everybody sing, A Whole New World!).
I’ll always enjoy shopping, but I want to be more conscious of what I’m buying to reduce clutter at home and because sometimes there are more meaningful ways to spend time and money. You would think by now I would see through the marketing mirage of a newly packaged drugstore lipstick with the promise of everlasting perfection. Yet perfectly good-enough lipsticks, glosses, and lip crayons recline unnoticed in the far reaches of my purses and bathroom drawers. Which brings us to tip number one:
Shop Your Home
-Get creative and move stuff around. Bring sentimental treasures that live in Sterlite bins into the light. Arrange items into collections and create a cabinet of curiosities.
-Sort out your stuff because that junk drawer may have four pairs of scissors, three flashlights, and five rolls of tape you’ve been “needing” (true story).
Will this end up in a yard sale? Asking myself this question while pouring over a sea of whimsical, aquatic-themed ephemera at TJ Maxx has helped me admire objects, but leave them where they lie – lest that brass sea turtle magnifying glass soon be buried in a donation pile once the whim passes. If something stays on my mind sometimes I’ll go back after a few days and purchase it, but that almost never happens. Hitting pause staves off that impulse that can later lead to buyer’s remorse.
Grab a Hand Basket Instead of a Cart (“Buggy” if you’re in the South)
Simple right? If you’re just browsing or know you only need a couple of things, then grab a basket. This is especially helpful in stores that offer everything in the world like Target or Walmart. Sometimes I fill that sucker high to where I can barely squeeze my hand under the handle, but baby steps.
Make a List
This is essential to me for food shopping or if I’m redecorating. For groceries, this is obvious – stick to your list and you also stick to your budget. Similar mindset for home décor only you’re also keeping in mind what your color palette and style are so you don’t get side-tracked by sea turtle trinkets. I’ve made Pinterest boards that I can access on my phone to help me focus in on home décor or even clothing styles.
Carrying a set amount of cash can prevent you from reasoning, “Well I want this one thing from the Dollar Tree, but I don’t want to put only $1 on my card so I better buy more stuff to make it worthwhile.” Carrying cash has saved me on numerous occasions. However, for some people, cash goes too quickly and they rely best on cards that give them visual tracking via their spending logs. Whatever works best for you to be a conscious shopper.
I hope these tips and tricks help you if you’re also on a journey to shop mindfully and find even more joy in the things you bring into your home/life.
Bonus tip: Do a budget-friendly photo shoot in your vehicle using your car’s ac vents and natural backlighting. Then slap on a free instant makeup app for a glam glow. *I’m totally kidding and my boyfriend caught me doing this for blogging purposes* 😂