I know I've mentioned before that I have never been and am not now, an enthusiastic shopper. I go months and months without darkening the doors of any store that carries more than food or raw lumber. Obviously though, there comes a time when I need something other than lettuce and tofu. This time it was socks. In reality, I need more than that since I've been wearing the same jeans (washed, of course) every day for three months now, but I must have time to psyche myself up for clothes shopping since it's an impossible experience. I do enjoy some shopping occasionally though, and I have a particular weakness for kitchen items.
It started out very innocently at T.J.Maxx, which happens to be close to my house. Too close. I went in to get the socks. Then I wandered into the home section and picked up some microfibre kitchen towels because they work so well. This snowballed into looking at the handbags for something smaller than my one and only since I don't have to carry around diapers anymore. I found the perfect little bag. When I got home I went online to read about the company (Sherpani) since I saw that they use a large percentage of recycled materials in their products. Checking them out and seeing what else they offered gave me a serious case of the wanties, and I decided these were the bags I wanted for replacements of all my old, wornout bags. Serendipity raised it's beautiful head in that I'm actually going away this weekend and, since I don't fly, I am was sans luggage. I usually pack the girls' and my own things in reusable cloth grocery bags when we go somewhere. The Simple Man urged me to buy, like him, an ugly, cheap duffel bag from Target, but I rebelled. I went back to T.J.Maxx, hunting for more Sherpani bags, which they had. It was a good size for a day long outing with children, but not for any longer than that. So I ordered a larger bag, sized for yoga/gym or a weekend away. It seems like a lot as I'm writing this, but except for the weekend bag, I am actually replacing other items. I'm also neurotic and picky about bags; they can't be too girly, I have to be able to wear them cross body, I want to be able to clean them, and they can't be overwhelming either in size, construction, or bling. So if I seem pathetically excited about my trio of perfect bags, please excuse me.
While I was wandering around in a bag fever, I also spied a dish rack that fits over the sink and a wasp catcher. Neither were items that I really needed, but they are useful. Every summer our house holds a convention for fruit flies no matter what I do, and I've tried everything to get rid of them except a wasp catcher, which I've heard is very affective. The dish rack I have no excuse for besides the fact that anything that expands to fit multiple sizes fascinates my feeble brain and makes me want it. All this shopping after the sock purchase was legitimized by the fact that our electric tea kettle broke, so I was also searching for a kettle. Never found just the right one, so that's still on the list.
Clearly, just because I am practicing voluntary simplicity, frugality, and mindful consumption, doesn't mean that I automatically stop wanting things. I don't allow myself opportunities for buying often, not because I always go crazy and purchase more than I need, but because I think it's easier to pick up a small item here or there until you realize you have 27 tea light holders. It's the same premise as with the studies on grocery shopping, in that the more often you go, the more you buy and consequently spend. I tend to get all my needs and wants out of the way a few times a year and avoid stores the rest of the time.
Items I had a hard time ignoring, but did:
- A ceramic counter top compost container. What made me hesitate? Made in China. I thought of this recent post.
- Another tote bag. I have a problem with bags.
- Le Crueset Ramekins. Enough said.
- More glass storage containers.
- Gorgeous bamboo cutting board.
- Painted ceramic mug with silicone lid.
If you're tring to go minimalist, or live a simplified lifestyle, what are your shopping patterns like?