Do you ever go into a store for one item and come out with a cartful?
Most of the time I’m a smart shopper. I check ads. I make a list. But occasionally the siren song of impulse buys entices me. I throw caution to the wind and toss items into my cart.
Certain stores prove more dangerous to my wallet than others. You’ve seen those rollback prices. I once stopped to pick up some inexpensive Christmas stocking stuffers but spent over two hundred dollars. The items in my cart were great deals, but I forgot to do the math. All the individual prices added up to a much higher total than I anticipated.
My rational explanation for these spending mishaps is that I would’ve bought the stuff anyway, so in the overall budget picture, I did save money. (That kind of spending logic helps me sleep at night.)
According to a post by Maria Speidel on Kitchn, I’m not alone. Check out her Ikea shopping trip story. She interviewed experts about our economic decision making. It turns out retailers understand our impulsive urges better than we do.
Her post made me wonder. When am I most likely to ignore my sensible list and start piling up the goods?
- When I find a good sale. I love a scoring a deal. That’s how my pantry became stuffed full of canned tomatoes and paper towels.
- When I have too much time to browse. Hello, Ikea maze. What could be more fun than winding through the displays, stopping for lunch, and loading up on Scandinavian wares?
- When I don’t have enough time to shop. I grab the first items I see. If they’re wrong, I’ll bring them back later. Really…I’ll take them back…NOT.
- When I don’t go to a store very often. For example: Trader Joe’s. I don’t go weekly, so when I’m there, I stock up. Yes, I need three packages of turkey meatballs.
- When I order online and want free shipping. Enough said.
Storage space is limited in our condo, and the two of us need a lot less stuff than five of us did. Still, I find a good deal hard to resist. How do you manage your over-shopping tendencies? Share your tips in the comments.