January Sales Survival Guide

BE PREPARED – Because shopping is such a healthy habit (both physically and mentally!), it would be extremely silly to lock yourself up with the wi-fi turned off. So, how do I keep myself from splurging on the sales especially after I’ve just decluttered our home?

  • First of all, I keep in mind that I’m possibly still paying too much:

*Retailers sometimes happen to increase prices with 30% before adding the 30% reduction stickers.

*Is it still more expensive than what I’d normally pay at the local recycle shop and extremely cheap shops like Action and Zeeman (read all about it in my earlier article on decoration)? I then realize that most of what I see (cheap or expensive) is imported from China, Bangladesh… at ludicrously low prices. What kind of profit margin is there on a €33 towel? A Maisons du Monde label will not keep it from ending up a stiff and scratchy towel when I hang it outside to dry. Of course, the shopping environment is more pleasant than the cold corridors at your average discount shop.

Difficult to resist, but too expensive. A picture will have to do.

It’s so nice to be at Maisons du Monde…

  • Very helpful is checking how much I’ve spent in total and comparing it to that €30 I haven’t spent on a lovely duvet cover I really really want but absolutely don’t need. Are an unnecessary T-shirt and a dress worth one duvet cover? Are 15 pairs of tights worth half a duvet cover? (No doubt about it: they are!)

Is the sales item at stake worth it if I don’t / won’t / shouldn’t / maybe someday will spend €30 on this beautiful duvet cover?

And an extra 50% off on each pair. Worth it!

  • Rejoice! I have learned from previous experiences. Many clothes have ended up in big IKEA bags for the poor and needy. A good cause indeed, but not necessarily what I have in mind when I’m shopping. In January, I am only allowed to buy clothes that resemble a piece I love wearing.

I’d already bought a pair of these cuties during the last sales. Obviously, in spite of very careful efforts to keep them whole, tights tend to have a very short life expectancy.

  • Last but not least, I take pictures! During this first sales week I shot everything that I figured would bring joy to my life. That’s Marie Kondo again: does it make me happy? Afterwards, I decided which would be the lucky item that would quench my thirst for colour coding (remember the book case?). In the end I went for the green glass candle holder with the cute leaves and the huge tea mug.

Being a huge fan of sipping tea all day long, I just had to have this pastel mug. It’s huge!

Our big black dog considers my current rug as a sturdy playmate… So if it doesn’t fit the washer, it’s a no go!

I’ve already managed to buy at least five times as many pillows as chairs to dress them with, the same sort of goes for lamps, and my wooden desk is nowhere near disintegrating yet (I’m afraid it’s the type that will last a lifetime).

The other thing I bought was this candle holder I believed would look quite special once lit. And it does! Pictures will follow in a future post on our green & brown lounge.

If these tips and tricks don’t do the job you may try the following, which I got from an ADHD self-improvement website. I must warn you: some are too drastic to even imagine yourself doing.

Put a stop to impulse shopping

  • Shop with cash only—leave your checkbook and credit cards at home. Great idea!
  • Cut up all but one credit card. How many can one have?
  • When you shop, make a list of what you need and stick to it. What’s the point of going then?
  • Use a calculator to keep a running total when shopping (hint: there’s one on your cell phone).
  • Stay away from places where you’re likely to spend too much money, throw away catalogs as they arrive, and block emails from retailers. How about IKEA?

Feel free to share your shopping experiences and ideas below!