Slow shopping is a new way to look at your purchasing strategy.
Instead of rushing out to buy an item as soon as a want arises, slow shopping encourages an entirely different pace. With slow shopping, the goal is a more intentional shopping experience that ends with only items that you truly want making their way into your home.
Curious about what slow shopping could mean for you? Take a deep dive with us below.
What is slow shopping?
At its most basic level, slow shopping is exactly what it sounds like. It is an aspect of slow living. The concept involves slowly acquiring what you need instead of rushing out to make impulse buys.
With this extremely intentional approach to shopping, there are many benefits. First, choosing your purchases very carefully leads to fewer chances of overspending.
When you carefully think through your purchases, you also take the time to consider your budget. In most cases, this pause allows you to avoid the temptation of overspending.
Beyond protecting your wallet, slow shopping also protects our planet and your sanity. A reduction in the consumption of goods means your spending habits aren’t leading to the creation of more items in the world.
Plus, purchasing fewer things means that your home will naturally avoid some of the inevitable clutter that comes with a lack of intentional shopping.
When you are thinking through each and every purchase, you’ll likely find fewer items make their way into your home.
Why is slow shopping beneficial?
Ultimately, slow shopping leads you to focus on the quality of items over the quantity of items. When you are only buying what you truly need, you’ll likely find that your spending naturally decreases.
With less spending, your budget will have more flexibility. You can use that wiggle room to purchase high-quality items that you need and save the rest for your other financial goals.
A final reason to love slow shopping is to make the experience more enjoyable. If you feel the pressure to purchase a certain ‘must-have’ item in a single shopping excursion, it can get stressful quickly. But if you are simply waiting for the right item to come along, that can make shopping a bit more enjoyable.
How to get started with slow shopping
Are you interested in giving slow shopping a try? Here are some practical strategies to help you adopt this new habit.
Create a running shopping list
No matter if you're shopping for your home or your closet, you can likely think of a few things that you’d like to add.
For example, you want to add a comfortable pair of flats and a new pair of jeans to your closet. Instead of running out to buy the first pair of flats that fit the bill, consider creating a running shopping list and keeping it on your phone.
Whenever you are out shopping, you can check your list to see what you might need. The running list is especially helpful if you don’t like to settle on something that’s not a perfect match.
Personally, I follow this strategy for my closet and household needs. A few items on my list are a unique end table, a new purse, and a comfortable set of sandals. Whenever I find myself at a store that might have these items, I can quickly refer to my list.
Look for deals
When you make a running list, be on the lookout for deals. For example, you might decide that you need a new couch. Instead of heading straight to the store, you can practice slow shopping, and choose to wait for a big furniture sale.
And sometimes things that are out of season are cheaper to buy. Try making purchases at times when items are less expensive.
Make shopping a solo adventure
When shopping with a crowd, it’s easy to get caught up in the fun experience. Beyond that, you might feel social pressures to spend on items that you don’t actually need in your home.
If you feel the pressure whenever shopping with a group, then switch to shopping alone. As you pursue a store by yourself, you won’t feel the same pressure to make a purchase. After all, it’s only you making the decisions.
Find the right fit for you
We’ve all run into the classic dilemma that occurs when an item that looked great on the hanger just doesn’t quite work for us. It’s a sad situation.
But instead of trying to make an item work for you, it’s a better option to only purchase items that absolutely work for your body and tastes.
Otherwise, it’s not hard to end up with a closet full of clothes that you just don’t quite feel comfortable in. A moment of honesty in the dressing room can save you money and space in your closet. Ask yourself if you really love it before taking it home.
Think quality over quantity
A high-quality piece can last forever. If you find a handful of items that you truly love, you can avoid an overstuffed closet and empty wallet through slow shopping.
When you are shopping for items, consider the quality of the piece. It’s fine to purchase lower-quality items. But be realistic about the use you may get out of them.
In most cases, it’s a better idea to opt for a high-quality piece. Even if that means saving up for the right piece.
Research clothing companies before buying
One way to make sure you are buying quality items is to research the clothing company before buying. With some research, you can easily find out what customers are saying about the brand.
In some cases, you’ll find promises of a high-quality item. But in other cases, you’ll see that customers aren’t satisfied with the quality of purchased items.
Additionally, you can scope out the environmental impact of a particular company before moving forward. Ultimately, the goal of doing research is to make sure you’ll be happy with your purchase.
Consider your space restrictions
Everyone has space limitations to consider. This is especially true when it comes to a wardrobe. Take the time to consider how many items can truly work for your space.
Since everyone has a limit, consider adopting a trade policy.
For example, you could make it a point to get rid of one old item in your closet for every new item you purchase. If you stick to the policy, that means thinking about what dress you would get rid of before buying a new dress.
Consider the number of times you intend to wear a piece
When shopping for a piece, consider what kind of usage you want. If you are buying a purse, then you might expect to wear it every day for years. But if you are purchasing a dress for a special occasion, you might not plan to wear it more than a few times.
For items that you plan to use extensively, seeking out a high-quality item is critical. Otherwise, you’ll constantly be replacing the item.
But for items that you don’t plan to use very often, you don’t necessarily need to spring for the highest quality you can obtain.
Ask for trusted opinions
Although shopping alone comes with perks, some slow shoppers do better with like-minded companions along for the ride. If you struggle to limit your impulse buys, then shopping with a friend on a similar budget can be a worthwhile experience.
You'll get to spend time with your friend, and also ask for opinions along the way. Personally, I enjoy shopping with a friend for fashion advice. But you’ll need to decide which is the right strategy for your situation.
Come back to it later
When you find an item that’s not on your shopping list, consider giving yourself some time before making the purchase. Usually, a 24-hour rule is sufficient to eliminate any impulse buys on items you truly don’t need.
Next time you want to make an unplanned purchase, make yourself wait for at least 24 hours. If you still want to buy the item after sleeping on it, then move forward. But in many cases, you’ll change your mind.
That’s good news for your wallet!
The bottom line: slow shopping helps prevent impulse buys!
Slow shopping can help you limit your consumption habits. The change will be reflected in your wallet and your home. Every item that you avoid bringing home will limit clutter and free space in your budget.
Want to set money goals for that newfound space in your budget? Set and reach your big financial goals with the great resources here at Clever Girl Finance.