How to Stop Impulse Buying

I see you. Cruising the aisles of Costco pushing a cart loaded with ground beef, assorted bath towels, a 5lb bag of trail mix and a 3 pack of Windex. As you huff and puff that heavy cart past the table of hoodies, you slow down. I mean, it is getting colder and you think your cozy collection might be running low. You look at the tag, “Oh my gosh, $10?! That’s an easy yes,” and you toss two of them into the cart next to the cans of Rotel tomatoes. 

Impulse buying. We have all done it. Shoot, I do it, too. This is more for my ladies out there where this type of scenario is the only shopping you do. Shopping out of convenience at a store where you plan to get other things and the purchase is out of panic or because you were already there. The result is typically a closet full of junk that doesn’t actually amount to a stylish, versatile wardrobe and/or is a packed and overwhelming closet. 

So, how do we stop this cycle of buying nonsense when our closet needs actual substance? My best advice, and how I personally avoid (most) impulse buying….

Keep a shopping list. 

Now, to be clear this should be a separate list from your Costco shopping list because, hopefully, you are not purchasing your fall wardrobe there. Also, this means there is a first step of actually knowing what is in your closet to create the shopping list. A pro-tip for making this shopping list a success is to prioritize it. 

I recently heard that when faced with overwhelming options, it is best to create binary comparison. This is an either/or scenario when having to choose so you just have two to decide between. I find this is helpful when prioritizing your shopping list. “Do you need the Costco hoodie or items #1, the tan boots, more?” I already know what you’re thinking, “the tan boots are way more expensive than the Costco hoodie! That’s not even a fair comparison.” Approach it this way instead — save those $10 and put it toward items on your shopping list and decrease the amount of overwhelming junk in your closet. 

So, let’s recap.

Create a shopping list based on needs, gaps and wants within your current wardrobe

Prioritize your shopping list 

Use your list to guide your shopping and avoid impulse buying 

Do not blow your money on junk at Costco

I think that covers it! Next time you go to a warehouse and feel tempted to buy clothing, think of me. Better clothing awaits you at a real store.

Good luck out there!