How to Avoid Impulsive Shopping?

impulsive shoppingIt happens many times, you go shopping for black shoes but you like purple ones and you buy them quickly.

It’s  because you like it so much that you totally forget about your need and it is to grab black shoes.

Impulse buying is quite common and this action makes you regret it later as you have spent money on something you like not what you need.

I’ve done this a lot myself over the years and I would hate to guess how many thousands of dollars I’ve lost all because I got caught up in the moment.

If you want to avoid impulsive shopping then you can try these 6 tips.


#1 Don’t Buy When You Are Hungry

If you want to be a smart shopper then you should not buy when you are hungry.

This is indeed an important shopping tip. When you are hungry then you want to buy quickly.  If you are hungry then it is suggested to satisfy your hunger first and then go for shopping.

I now for me I like to eat before we go shopping because I’ve found that I save so much more because I won’t get all the extra things I’m hungry for in that moment of time.

I’m sure this has happened to you at one point or another, but the key is to go shopping on a full belly so your stomach doesn’t trick you into thinking you need all the extra food.


#2 Keep a List With You

Always make a list of items you need and then keep this list with you all the time. Check it time to time.

This list will keep your mind off from emotional shopping and help you stay in your budget limit. For example, if you are going for grocery shopping then you can make a virtual list instead of paper list.

You can use applications such as out of milk,   grocery IQ, Anylist, etc , which make it easy for you to have a list of all needed items all the time with you in your smartphone.


#3 Do Pre-Shopping Online

It is essential to check price and collection of different items online before you visit local store.

This pre-shopping help you know the price and you will be clear about an item, which you like to buy. You are able to get free discount codes online. Use these codes and save some bucks on a thing you really need.

This is something we’ve been doing for a while now and I’ve been able to plan out how much I can save and what my total bill will be before I even get to the store.

This might take a little extra work but in the end it can mean a huge savings for your wallet.


#4 Stay Focused

When you are going to buy something you want, it is important to keep your focus on that particular thing.

Repeat its name in your mind, it helps you maintain your focus. Don’t fall for emotions. If you like something very bad, then take some time. This time will help you decide whether you want this thing or not.

Staying focused can be hard when stores like to have a bunch of different sign up promoting different items but they do this to catch you off guard and change your mind.

Another tip I can give here is that you want to if possible go shopping alone.  Kids and even your spouse can get you off focus and derail the entire shopping trip.


#5 Ask Questions

It is good to ask questions like…

Do I really need it?

Is it Okay to buy it?

These questions make it clear for you whether you need a product or it is just an impulse buy. You have to maintain a habit of asking questions.

If you have certain confusion regarding shopping then these questions will help you clear them. You can analyze your shopping via this habit.

I did this once when I wanted to buy a huge container of beef jerky.  I love beef jerky but it can cost a lot.  I literally sat there asking myself those two questions until I finally talked myself out of buying it.


#6 Don’t Buy it Just Because it is on Sale

It is a fact that people tend to buy more items when they find out that these are on sale. You don’t have to repeat the same mistake.

It is possible that this sale item is of low quality.  You need to learn good shopper tactics. You can watch news where you can learn how to spend your money in a wise manner and how to avoid ads and promotional tricks of retailers.

A good example of this is why retailers will put milk on sale.  But have you ever noticed that they always have the milk in the very back of the store.

They do this because they know you’ll likely see something else and before you know it you’ll have an entire cart full of stuff.  In the ends sales are just a tactic to get more people in their stores.


My Final Thoughts on Being a Better Shopper

I’m sure that when you follow these tips you’ll be much more likely to make an impulsive buying decision.  In the end though it’s going to take a strong willpower and a little skill.

Have you ever made a bad impulsive buy?  Share your story, tips and comments below and share your struggle with this problem and how you were able to over come it.


BTW –  Want more consumer tips?  Check the Consumer Advice section here.

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