Mindful shopping is a practice of mindful living. Mindful living brings joy, happiness, and meaning to your life. By being a mindful shopper, you are intentionally making choices that contribute to you living your best life. One of my favourite inspirational quotes is:
The late fashion designer Vivienne Westwood made this powerful statement and showed that these three simple actions can change the way you shop, spend money, and live. A mindful shopper is a person who thinks carefully about what they buy. They consider the impact that the purchase has on their life before they buy the item. This might sound like a lot of effort to go through when shopping, but the more we think about what we buy, the more value we get from our money. Shopping becomes intentional, and you become more mindful about choices you make in life.
Watch: How To Shop More Mindfully
Some of the benefits of being a mindful shopper include saving money and time. Not buying impulsively when shopping will save you money and, by knowing exactly what you want to buy, you also save time trying to make quick decisions on items you are not sure about. Mindful shoppers have a home with minimal clutter as they only buy what they need when they need it. This contributes to a simple lifestyle as you have less things to worry about in your home.
You may think that having less things means having a less valuable life, but it is actually the opposite. Purchasing only the items you need and love will add value to your life by cutting out items that do not add anything to your life goals. Mindful living is a lifestyle where you are aware of your choices and make decisions to nurture your mental and physical health. Here are eight tips to get you started.
1. Do a Stock-Take
Check what you already have before you go shopping. If you are planning to browse your favourite home and fashion stores, think about what you actually need. If you know there is a good clothing sale going on, go through your wardrobe and write down what items you need. For example, if you have a pair of jeans that are worn out, do you need to buy another pair or do you already have enough?
If you are shopping for food, check what it is in the pantry and fridge. You may have forgotten what you have. Buy food that complements what you have, so you can use it in a planned and tasty meal. Shopping for food should be purposeful, and you should have certain meals in mind to ensure you use up what you have already bought.
2. Use a Shopping List
A list helps you to shop with intention. Group together items on the list according to what shop you are going to. You likely already know what the best places are to get certain things, so be patient and stick to your plan. For example, if you are going to a certain shopping mall that you know has your favourite clothing store, think about what items you would need specifically from that shop. Also, write down optional items that you may not need right away, but are worth buying if they are on sale.
3. Be Patient with Sales
The purpose of a sale for the retailer is to sell as much of their current stock as quickly as possible so that they can make space for the new stock. Advertising for sales makes us think that we need to buy quickly or risk losing out on amazing savings. Do not fall into this trap! Only buy what you need when you are ready to buy it. If you do not find what you want on sale, do not settle for something less desirable just because it’s cheap. You will most likely not use the item, waste your money, and create clutter in your home.
4. Be Careful of Deals
Marketing campaigns that are very popular are promotional deals like ‘Buy 3, Get 2 Free’ or ‘Buy 2 for the price of 1’. Do you really need so many of the same or similar products? Again, this could be a clutter trap. If you really only need one bottle of something, then only buy one bottle of something. Getting three more in order to save a few dirhams might not be the best decision if you do not have space to store the items and only use them once a month, for example.
5. Buy to Enhance
Enhance what you already have. When you go shopping to buy new outfits or home décor, have a good look at your current style. What do you already have that could be worn differently? Would some accessories or a specific piece create new outfits from what you have? For example, if you have a good pair of trousers that you haven’t worn because of its colour, you could buy a new top to complement it.
Are there décor pieces, say, of a certain accent colour, that could enhance the furnishings you already have instead of buying a complete set of new items? For example, you could buy new scatter cushions and a rug that brings in a new colour to your room instead of replacing the furniture. By enhancing what you have, you are reusing what you have in a different way and making it last.
6. Think Quality, Not Quantity
Buying quality items means they last longer, which means you save money in the long term. If items last longer, then you will also be buying less. Buying less means less clutter in addition to saving money and time shopping. Look after your purchases to help them last longer. A few things to consider when you want stuff to last: where you buy your items, how you store them, and how you maintain them.
For example, a simple item like a shirt will last longer if it is of better quality. Choose shops that you know have good quality shirts. Once you have bought a good quality item, wash it according to the recommendations to make it last. If you see a shirt on sale in a shop that you know is not high in quality, ask yourself if you really want it.
7. Protect the Environment
Take your own bags when you go shopping. This is one of the easiest actions you can take to protect the environment. Avoid plastic bags where possible. Use reusable canvas shopping bags, and your handbag for small items. Keep shopping bags in the back of your car in case you forget them at home. Also, keep a small foldable tote bag in your handbag for unexpected purchases.
When buying something, think about how it was made. Support small businesses and artisans if you can, which use methods that are less harmful to the environment. Buying less items over time will also help protect the environment.
8. New Things In, Old Things Out
This depends on how much storage space you have for items. If your storage is already limited, you will need to get rid of old items as you buy new ones. Think about what you can donate or sell. By constantly doing this, you will have a clutter-free home. It will also help you to be more aware of what you have and what you need.