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Break Your Shopping Habit - Consume Less

Updated on January 11, 2011

Simplify Your Life by Shopping Less

We are constantly bombarded with advertising that is telling us what we need. All forms of media are aimed at us at all hours of the day. Truly, we should be looking at what we don’t need and how we can cut back, break our shopping habits and recycle items that are no longer useful.

We need to simply stop buying so much.  We need to consume less of just about everything. The average American buys around 800lbs of stuff each year. Where does it all end up? Where is your extra stuff? Is it cluttering up your home or garage? Are you tripping over it trying to get to the lawn mover? Is there someone out there who could put it to good use?

Look at every aspect of your life and evaluate where you can cut back on your consumption and the waste that lies in it’s wake. Consuming less will simplify your life.

It's a job that's never started that takes the longest to finish. - J.R.R. Tolkien

Cut back on shopping and simplify your life.
Cut back on shopping and simplify your life.

Reduce Your Shopping Habit

I know this may be a difficult idea for man people, but shopping doesn't need to be a hobby. Do you use every last thing you buy? Do you absolutely need it? Think about these things the next time you find yourself temped to splurge. Establish good shopping habits!

  1. Avoid impulse shopping by eating before you head out to the grocery store.
  2. Don’t use the mall for entertainment! Enjoy the great outdoors and spare your credit cards the hard work.
  3. Borrow books instead of buying (libraries could be so very attractive)>
  4. Read magazines, newspapers and books online. Check out for getting a electronic magazine subscription of your favorite publication. You will be amazed at the quality!

  5. Invest in a electronic book reader like the Sony Reader or the Kindle. You can download books in an instant and take them with you wherever you go. If you have an IPod Touch or IPhone, there is a Kindle application that allows you to download books from Amazon in under a minute!
  6. Buy only things that are built to last - clothing, toys, and other products.
  7. When you no longer need something, sell it on ebay, give it to charity, have a tag sale.
  8. Download music directly to your computer or MP3 Player and eliminate the need to buy CDs.
  9. Give "gifts" of donations to charities in recipient's name
  10. Buy gift cards so that there is no question that the recipient gets what he or she wants. There will be less waste and no need for returns.
  11. Rent movies and video games instead of buying them.
  12. Check out tag sales or estate sales for home decorating items, books and other great items.
  13. Take up dumpster diving when looking to repurpose old materials for a new project.
  14. When purchasing an item, ensure product quality to minimize waste and prolong life span.

Excessive shopping is a problem from many people beyond the environmental issues. Break your bad shopping habits now by only purchasing things that you really, truly need. Establish a waiting period for things you really reall want. If you still want it in two weeks, a month or six-months, then maybe it is worth making space for in your home and life. If not, you will likely forget about it!

Have any ideas to add? Please leave your suggestions for consuming less in the comments section.


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    • profile image


      9 years ago

      iam a shopaholic!!! but i dont waste soo much money just alot of time! how can i lose this habbit?!

    • amy jane profile imageAUTHOR

      amy jane 

      10 years ago from Connecticut

      Thank you Hammerj!

    • Hammerj profile image


      10 years ago from Cebu City

      Nice hub..very informative topic..hope you write more interesting topic again..

    • amy jane profile imageAUTHOR

      amy jane 

      10 years ago from Connecticut

      Thanks Monique! Some of these ideas are so simple and easy to implement! I'm glad you are already doing many already. Thanks for reading and commenting!

    • MoniqueAttinger profile image


      10 years ago from Georgetown, ON

      All good points - and many that I do here too! Another good reminder on the virtue of "waste not, want not".

    • amy jane profile imageAUTHOR

      amy jane 

      10 years ago from Connecticut

      Thank you muley! I'm glad you found some good info here. I'm hoping it will motivate a few people to consume less!

    • muley84 profile image

      Michael A Muehleisen 

      10 years ago from Miami,FL

      Great hub. I do believe we all consume too much. There is some really useful info here.

    • amy jane profile imageAUTHOR

      amy jane 

      10 years ago from Connecticut

      Thank you James! As a country we waste so much, we are so excessive in every way. I think it starting to change, maybe just a little, now that people are more careful with their money. I don't think they are thinking about the environment as much as their bank accounts. :)

    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 

      10 years ago from Chicago

      Ain't it the truth. I read an article by Adam Gropnik in "The New Yorker" just the other day about his collections of razors and such; and the waste of consumerism when times are good. Excellent Hub. I enjoyed it.

    • amy jane profile imageAUTHOR

      amy jane 

      10 years ago from Connecticut

      Thank you all for the comments and suggestions. I think consuming less requires a complete change of lifestyle! We have been so conditioned to think more is better, bigger is better takes time to make these changes but I think we will all be happier if we do!

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 

      10 years ago from East Coast, United States

      Thanks for the great suggestions, Amy Jane. No matter how thrifty we are, there is always another way to cut down on using, spending, and accumulating.

    • Teresa McGurk profile image


      10 years ago from The Other Bangor

      I was able to cut down my consumption of just about everything when my income was reduced by 60% with my disability retirement.

    • Tom Cornett profile image

      Tom Cornett 

      10 years ago from Ohio

      Great hub! We recently downsized from a house to an apartment in an old mansion. We got rid of loads of crap. Lighter is better! Thanks! :)

    • MotherHubber profile image


      10 years ago from Southern California

      I loved this. I am in the process of overhauling and simplifying our entire household, and I am putting several of your points into action. Thanks for reminding readers that less can be so much more!


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