Welcome to day seven, the final day of Thrift Week. Today’s topic is shopping and gift giving.
This may come as a surprise to my readers, but I really, really like to go shopping. But unlike many, I only like to shop in thrift stores. (It’s the exciting thrill-of-the-hunt!) But just like a regular retail store, thrift shops can also be full of overpriced, useless items.
I spent years buying all kinds of fabulous stuff from thrift stores, which led to a super cluttery house. One technique that helped me was that I noticed that I often mentally talked myself into purchases.
C’mon Katy, this thing is so cool, you’d be a fool to pass it up!
I now have enough self-awareness to pay attention to this kind of mentality. My new personal rule is if I’m having to talk myself into buying something, then I shouldn’t buy it. And this has saved me from buying countless things.
The key to shopping is to be strict with oneself, and ask yourself these questions:
Do I need this?
Where will I put it?
Do I already have something like it?
If I change my mind, can I sell this for more than I’m paying?
If it’s a want, is it super cheap with some resale value?
For me, shopping and gift giving go hand-in-hand. I’m not a crafty gal, so my gifts are things that I purchase, (albeit Compact-friendly thrift store buys.)
I’m trying to wean myself from excessive gift giving. I spoke with almost all family members last year about not exchanging holiday gifts. A few people were horrified, but most people thought it was a great idea. And as a result, Christmas, (and the days leading up to it) this year were much less harried than usual.
It’s okay to not give presents, or to give lightly.
If you still want to do something nice for the people in your life, consider doing something nice for that person, such as a home cooked meal or an evening of babysitting.
“Every dollar I spend is a statement about the kind of world I want and the kind of life I value.”
The flip side gives some very timely shopping advice:
Do I need this, and do I need it now?
Was it made sustainably?
Were the workers who made it treated well?
Does it have too much packaging?
Is it worth the money?
Make a difference
I couldn’t have said it better myself.
Thank you to everyone who participated in Thrift Week! I appreciate all your great ideas and community. Maybe I should have next week be Frugal Week, then it’ll be Tightwad Week, then maybe . . . Well, you get my drift.
Don’t forget to write in a thrifty-tip for a chance to win the book, “Thrift: A Cyclopedia.”
“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”