This past weekend, we finally made a much-needed trip to the op shop. I finally had to break down and go shopping, as my work shoes broke (they were old and worn, could not be repaired). And I thought it was time to share with you our “how to” when it comes to shopping (shopping for things that aren’t food).
I know we have all heard before that taking a list when you go shopping ensures that you get everything you need, but this goes beyond that. I know there are some of you out there who don’t love to live by lists, you love spontaneity – and I think this can work for you too! I categorize our shopping into 3 groups – urgent, necessary and novelty.
- Urgent- This would include the previously mentioned shoes. I would have gone to work barefoot on Monday, had I not purchased new shoes – not pretty! These items are generally the motivator or the permission (depending on your thoughts on shopping) to go thrift shopping. This list generally doesn’t get too long before a trip to the store.
- Necessary- these items are things that I have decided would be valuable in my life, but I can live without for right now. This goes on a list of items that I actively look for when I do make a trip to the op shop. On this trip, I purchased a cake tin with a removable bottom and a mortar and pestle I have been wanting for ages! Remaining on this list is a new kettle (hoping for a completely stainless steel one) some completely glass containers and a wooden hairbrush. I currently have a kettle, a hairbrush, and Tupperware, but these items are on their way out, and I want to replace them with more eco-friendly or long-lasting items. This is where spontaneity comes in – you get to hunt for bargains on the items you want – just like you would have previously when bargain hunting in regular stores!
- Novelty – These items are not necessary, and don’t bring an immediate or long-term value to my life. Often, these can be things like books, DVDs, new electronics novelty cups etc. Usually, I wake up the next day, or a week later and don’t want them anymore. I realize that they won’t actually make me happy. If I decide that these items will make me happy, I find an ethical way to get them temporarily (borrowing from the library or a friend) or buying them online second hand.
And the trick is to stick to the lists. Don’t impulse buy (unless you find something that’s already on a list) and don’t stretch your willpower. Avoid putting yourself in situations where you are tempted. Happy Shopping!