If you're happy and you know it don't go shopping

I rarely shop, weekly produce and monthly groceries aside. And of course the once a month family date night at Home Depot or Lowes doesn't count either. Damien takes care of our family's clothing and outdoor gear purchases and most of those are bought on-line with little or no involvement on my part (except to dole out the monthly budget).

I don't consider shopping fun, I consider it work. I'd seriously rather wash dishes or hang laundry. Shopping is a task that is better avoided or delegated. I can't wait till my children are old enough to drive and run errands to the store for me! But sometimes I can't avoid the inevitable - the kids need something that's not provided for in the clothing/gear budget, we run out of thread or gluesticks (heaven forbid!), or a household item needs to be replaced.

In these instances I have no choice but to go shopping, usually to either the craft/fabric/kitchen store complex (big box store types) or to Goodwill. The kids, unlike myself, love these excursions and bring along their change purses because "you never know". And when we go to Goodwill there's almost always something there that one of us either needs or wants and can afford. But even that is not without pitfall.

Take this week for example. The kids and I wanted to buy a funky striped sweater to cut up and craft with, oh... can't wait to show you those creations. I also need materials for Christmas gifts I'm making. Simple enough. Go to Goodwill, look around, see what there is, buy what we need, stay in budget, leave.

Thankfully I stuck to the budget and we left in decent time to make supper but I hadn't been prepared for the "I wants" that assaulted me when I got in the store. And I'm not talking about the kids!!

I'm usually very content with what I have. Because I don't watch tv, don't subscribe to magazines and don't read the catalogs that come in the door (6 were delivered today alone, that's obscene) I'm generally not aware of what's out there for goods. And I'm content that way. I have all the basic tools I need for preparing food, I have what I need of hand me down and discounted outdoor wear clothing, blankets for our beds, decent furniture, one pair of black dress shoes, the pantry is stocked, I have enough yarn for my current project and then some, I have a nice camera and computer, a sewing machine... oh my goodness the list could go on and on. What more could I want?

Well... I could want that fuzzy sweater I saw at the end of the aisle, the glassware with matching lids to replace the plastic in my cupboards, the funky red shoes that looked just so cute, the extra sheets for the beds, more vases to replace the ones I gave away with bouquets this summer. Turns out I could want a lot more. A lot more that I wasn't even aware of until I stepped into the store.

I was contented. I am contented but a word to the wise, shopping can really mess with your mind, proceed with caution and only if you are strong willed.

My birthday is coming up in less than a month and I'm wracking my brain trying to come up with a gift idea for Damien (we rarely surprise each other - too risky). I honestly can't think of anything I need or even want right now so maybe I should ask for a gift certificate to Goodwill!

Photos for this post are from Common Ground Fair, the last time I shopped "for recreation". Even then I didn't buy much other than food but I was very inspired about the things I could come home and make (smile).

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  • 5orangepotatoes

    5orangepotatoes on Nov. 11, 2009, 3:20 a.m.

    Not a fan of shopping here either. I do enjoy a good thrift store once in a while though. I was just going through Fauna's wardrobe last week and realized that she has outgrown all of her warm clothing. Wow, has she grown over the past few months! So to the thrift stores we will have to visit soon.


    5orangepotatoes's last blog post... best unschooling blog 2009


  • Kika

    Kika on Nov. 11, 2009, 3:54 a.m.

    I do not hate shopping but agree that for contentment's sake it is better for me to not watch tv, read decorating-type mags or shop at a mall. Not too hard since I live two hours away from the nearest mall :) I have been enjoying online shopping, actually, learning where I can my hands on nice, quality products that benefit my family but are difficult (or impossible) to find locally. And, if I had a bigger clothing budget, I would certainly enjoy buying a few more sweaters and funky boots.


  • kate

    kate on Nov. 11, 2009, 2:44 p.m.

    Oh girl, i feel your pain:) I'm so not a shopper, but turn me loose even with a list at a well-stocked thrift store and look out! I should tape your little warning to my wallet next time I drift in for a quick crafting need;)


  • nicola@which name?

    nicola@which name? on Nov. 11, 2009, 4:28 p.m.

    i'm with you, renee. with the exception of thrift/used shopping (and even sometimes that) and the produce market, i despise shopping. i hate spending money and i feel like i am wasting time. thrift shopping i do enjoy, as long as i have a list. i have a time limitation, though, at which point i am "done." i find shopping to be utterly exhausting. i don't know if it is the decisions, the slow pace, or what, but it wears me out. my kids have been fairly mellow with "i wants," but i attribute that to no tv at our house, as much as our limiting things. nicola http://whichname.blogspot.com

    nicola@which name?'s last blog post... corner view: favorite dish


  • Barb J.

    Barb J. on Nov. 11, 2009, 4:30 p.m.

    My birthday is coming up too, and we always tell each other what we want. Here's my rule thumb... when in doubt, ask for some of the tons of books on my Amazon wish list!

    Barb J.'s last blog post... Book review: A Prisoner of Versaille


  • Anne @ gifts4kids.net

    Anne @ gifts4kids.net on Nov. 12, 2009, 12:03 p.m.

    I completely agree. I view shopping as a chore and that's why I prefer to shop online. We even get our groceries online and I found it to be much cheaper, as I don't have to face temptation and really do buy only the stuff I need. What I really don't get is people who take shopping holidays. They travel to Paris or London for the shopping. How weird is that? if I go to a wonderful new city I want to do so many things and shopping is NOT one of them!

    Anne @ gifts4kids.net's last blog post... Three most Popular Gifts for Kids in 2009


  • Kelly

    Kelly on Nov. 12, 2009, 4:15 p.m.

    I feel the same way- and when I do buy something unnecessary, most of the time I regret it or forget about it. You have inspired me to check Goodwill more for the needs and wants. Whenever I'm there I think, I should come here more, and then I forget and resort to the much less appealing, expensive, mind overload stores.

    Kelly's last blog post... Halloween- The WHOLE Month Long


  • Greta @ Mom Living Healthy

    Greta @ Mom Living Healthy on Nov. 14, 2009, 3:49 a.m.

    I completely agree with you on this! I don't really enjoy shopping either. When I do go, I usually pick up a bunch of items and then slowly put most of them back, deciding I don't need to spend the money on that. When my son was born, I used to walk around the mall in the winter for a workout and that always got me thinking about all the things I "needed." That is definitely not the feeling you want to have when you're done with a workout!

    Greta @ Mom Living Healthy's last blog post... Fitness Plan Friday: Raking Leaves and Burning Calories


  • turnitupmom

    turnitupmom on Nov. 16, 2009, 7:20 p.m.

    Shopping totally messes with my mind! It confuses what I need and what I want. I guess you could say that I have a love/hate relationship with it. I think I'm content with what is, and then I get a catalog in the mail, and I WANT WANT WANT.

    turnitupmom's last blog post... Shopping for Beef this Holiday Season


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