credit card buy less and buy better

When I was younger, I used to love nothing more than spending my Saturdays at the shops. Whether it was hanging out with friends or family, there was nothing more exciting than shopping. Looking for that new outfit for a Saturday night, the perfect make up and accessories, gifts or shoes. Then as I became a student, I’d love pouring over second hand book shops, marvelling at the dusty tomes. When I started a family, it was a whole new level of shopping – cute toys, clothes, bedroom furniture, the must-have pushchairs…the list could go on. You get the idea….

Nowadays, unless I’m looking for something specific, shopping has a tendency to bore me and I try and avoid it if I can. I don’t buy magazines, I mute the adverts if they come on TV and I spurn commercial radio stations…..what changed?

The first step was working in retail. Seeing the effort and wizadry (for want of a better word) that goes into advertising and promoting products. The tricks that some advertisers use to persuade audiences that they must have the latest gadget, fashion item or toy. I’ve lost count of the times that I’ve fallen prey to this. Only this week, I’ve decluttered kitchen equipment that I’ve never used (spiralizer, anyone?) and clothes that have rarely been worn. Yesterday, I listed the latest, most fantastic ceramic hair straighteners on eBay….I was sucked into buying them last Christmas for almost £100. And just listed them for £10. They have, as yet, no watchers or bids.

Supermarket aisle buy less and buy better

Then I worked as a mystery shopper, and that really made me think. We were to check if the advertising was right, the customer was greeted correctly, enough attempts were made to sell and upsell….the list goes on. After a while, it did leave me with some cynicism.

Then there’s the all out advertising we see for the holidays….It’s August, the end of summer is barely approaching, and I don’t want to see it end just yet – but already I’ve seen mention of autumnal Halloween. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for carving out a pumpkin and having fun… I just don’t enjoy all the add-on “must-have” purchases we’ll no doubt start to see soon.

These days my shopping strategy has changed. I still need to shop, and if I’m buying something special then I do enjoy the process, but I like to think more about what I’m buying. Here are some of the principles that I try to follow –

Buy less and buy better – I want to buy the best quality items that I can afford and to buy once. I want products that last and do what they’re supposed to do. Last year, a big success was my son’s BMX bike, he’s played and played on it. Fails? All the extraneous add on gifts I felt compelled to buy, the stocking fillers, the mini figures, the clutter… I probably had more fun buying it than the kids had playing with them. Lesson learned.

Brand loyalty is back – if I find a product that I love then I’ll stick with it. An example would be my iPhone – I know it works, it does what I want it to do and it’s easy to use. If it breaks (read – if I drop it down the loo or let the kids meddle with it), I get it fixed. 

Keep it simple – These days, I like to buy all I can in smaller stores. The independent traders in our street have great, quality produce and I love to buy local if I can.

Value your time – If I need to do a big grocery shop, then I’ll head to our local discount store (in the UK my local is Aldi)… there’s less choice and less time spent shopping. If I want baked beans there’s regular or value – not 25 different tins from different brands to choose from. 

Keep it natural – if something is wholesome and good for you, then there won’t need to be multiple health claims or bylines. Research where your items come from, where they’re made and who benefits. I’m starting to love smaller, independent retailers and stores. 

Get involved – my favourite place to learn about new products is Instagram, which may sound a little strange. Why do I love it? It’s a great place to make connections, get involved in conversations, meet independent retailers and get product recommendations from real people. 

I’d love to hear how you shop – do you love it or hate it? Do you stay loyal to brands or do you prefer shopping around for the best deal? Please join the conversation below.




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34 comments on “Why I Fell Out of Love with Shopping”

  1. Great read Ms Daisy!

    I try to avoid unnecessary shopping these days too. I’ve been conned into buying the latest this that or the other for long enough to finally realise they don’t always do what they say or fall apart or I just didn’t need them after all.

    Being selective, buying local and being tough with myself has helped put me back on track. Valuing those ‘real’ purchase is a delight and my home has less clutter for it, not to mention helping a bit with the environment.

    Loving your articles,

    • Thanks for your lovely comment, Dayve, I’m so pleased you like my articles. It seems we have similar shopping principles 🙂 I’m glad you mentioned valuing “real” purchases, and how this also helps the environment, this is something that matters to me, too.

  2. Great post – and always glad to be reminded that I’m not the only person who doesn’t like shopping! Often people think this is strange for someone who writes about fashion but it’s true. There’s so much pressure, whatever we’re shopping for, to buy bigger, more and more regularly. Too much choice is paralysing, and we’re usually just picking from a whole load of the same. A rummage in a vintage sale or charity shop is one thing, an afternoon on the high street another.

    • Thanks, Rae 🙂 The choice on the high street can definitely be overwhelming, and nowhere near as interesting as vintage, charity or independent stores 🙂

  3. With a retail background, you certainly have an insight into shopping that the rest of us don’t!

    I don’t have brand loyalty as much as store loyalty. I can think of 3 times within the last year that our grocery store bent over backwards to fix mistakes (items didn’t get bagged at the checkout, stuff like that). Twice it was their error. Once it was mine, but they still helped me out anyway. I wouldn’t consider going anywhere else for groceries with customer service like that.

    Nice post!

    • Thanks, Priscilla…yes, store loyalty is so important isn’t it – I’m glad you mentioned that! I think the personal touch and getting to know and help your customer can never be underrated 🙂

  4. I think you might be my favourite blog find of 2017! I definitely am feeling less love for shopping these days. I look around at the amount of stuff we have in our home and wonder how did it get there and it actually makes me quite sad. However, on your recommendation, I bought the Joy of Less on Kindle and I’m about half way through it… in about a week or so, there will be some decluttering. Right now, I am going with the clutter management of “one in one out”.

    • What a lovely comment, Steph. Thank you so much for your kind words, that means a lot. I’m so pleased that you’re joining me on a decluttering journey… try not to feel sad though, look forwards to the wonderful changes you are going to make x

  5. I’ve completely fallen out of love with shopping too! The few times I’ve accompanied my friends over the last few months, it’s felt so hollow. I feel genuinely free from the pressure of always seeking the next new thing. Great post, and I’m with you on the Instagram point – it’s my fave place to find new indie brands.

  6. Great read. I’ve completely fallen out of love with shopping too. I much prefer to buy stuff online as I can shop around and talk myself out of buying what I originally was going to purchase x x

  7. I used to love shopping but since I had the kids I don’t really enjoy it the same. I do all of my shopping on line, it’s way easier and I can find so many little shops on Etsy and Instagram that I wouldn’t discover on the high street!

    • Oh me too! I love browsing Etsy and Instagram. It’s lovely hearing the stories behind the independent stores and getting to know a little about the creators 🙂 Sometimes you make an online friend into the bargain, too!

  8. I totally get this! I used to be such a shopaholic when I was younger but now find it a waste of time and only buy what I need…it’s become way more functional probably because I simply don’t have the time!

  9. My relationship with shopping has definitely changed over the years and how I like to spend my money has really changed. I like your approach as there are a few things that resonate with me in your list.

    • Thanks for your comment Gareth, that’s important too…..there’s nothing more stressful than an unexpected bill if you don’t have the money put away to pay for it. And of course, saving up for special occasions is great, too.

    • Saving up for family holidays sounds lovely, I wonder where you’re going! I love having bigger goals like this, too, instead of frittering away money mindlessly x

  10. I’ve been feeling the exact same as you for some time now. I totally fell out of love with it and it started to feel like a chore more than anything. I never look through the rails any more and expect clothes to just jump out of me! I do however love shopping for my son still.

  11. Love this. My husband always tells me “buy cheap, buy twice”, I used to not care. I just loved the “rush” of buying something. Nowadays, it is different. I find myself, like you, buying quality over quantity and yes brand loyalty is back with a bang. I buy what I know does what it’s supposed to. Great read, thanks!

    • Thanks, Ger, I’m glad you enjoyed the post. “Buy cheap, buy twice”, is a great way to think about it…thanks for sharing and stopping by 🙂

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