Life, Low-waste Living, Plastic-Free Living, Random Thoughts

Before I buy ‘new’….

Have you ever noticed that I really don’t talk much about non-food related shopping — well there’s a reason for that. I’m not the type of person that goes shopping just to go shopping — I like to have a reason to go into a store. NOW let me disclaim that isn’t always the case — every now and then I like a good ‘window shopping’ moment. Not to go down a terrible spiral, I think my thoughts on shopping changed after becoming a mother. it’s a heck harder to shop when you got a little one with you.

But we have now entered the time of year that typically encourages more potential purchases than normal (for our household). Around this time, our family celebrates 4 friend/family birthdays, embraces a new school year, and requires a wardrobe change. So I thought I would briefly share what I do before buying any ‘new’ clothes/shoes, household items, life needs.

Check to see if already have an item or something that can be repurposed: I don’t know about you but I use to be notorious about buying something and then realize I already had it. (My family would say because I have a laissez faire approach to organization) So now I do an audit of what we have when recognize a need for a purchase. For example, my daughters just did a semi inventory check of our school supplies so that we can mark off items on the soon-to-com supply list. One thing for sure we don’t need any paper — we have a few spiral notebooks that each can use/tear for their assignments.

Attempt to find it secondhand (if applicable): Once it’s been verified that the item actually has to be purchased, I determine if this is one of those must be new or secondhand is okay purchases. Yes — There are some items that I don’t even dare consider purchasing secondhand. If it is okay to purchase secondhand then I start searching my go-to secondhand options to see if I can locate the desired item. I would typically make a trip to our favorite thrift shops, but right now online is our current option.

Research/Contemplate Options: Here’s the deal I like to stew before making a purchase. So once I find an item I take time to reflect over the cost, the way it feels/fits, and if it’s actually needed or can it wait. (Y’all I don’t like spending money if I don’t have to) I also don’t just buy the first item I see – options are my friend.

Some would say that my approach takes too long. But I feel my non-impulse shopping style beneficial for the environment, my budget, and our apartment space. It’s multiple forms of unnecessary landfill waste prevention.

How do you approach shopping for ‘new’ items?

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