I talked about the pitfalls of clearance and sales already, but I wanted to spend a bit of time talking about shopping with kids. Or spouses. Or siblings. Or whomever you shop with that might add impulse items to your cart.
It is easy to start to accumulate lots of unnecessary "treasures" especially when shopping at stores that have toys, movies, clothes, and groceries.
When I write my grocery list, I plan on a few extra food items. It's inevitable for my family to find something extra on sale, or to spot a treat that looks too tasty to pass up. So I leave a little wiggle room in my budget for that sort of thing.
Before we enter the store, I mentally decide what my plan is for the trip. Is it a no-toy trip? (My kiddos aren't allowed anymore new toys until Christmas, so that's an easy one now!). Is it a no-clothes trip? No movies?
If at all possible, I try to avoid those areas of the store. If I don't see it, it's much easier for me to pass up and not add that extra thing to my cart!
Unfortunately, my kiddos know where the toy sections are, so they can see through that trick.
This is where the courage of my convictions comes in. Sometimes it is as simple as saying, "we're not going to get any toys today, so we don't need to go down that aisle." Sometimes, it's not that simple. This is where it's helpful to have already decided; no letting the kids sway you! Tantrums can be embarrassing, but if you've ever been to Target, you know that you aren't the only parent with a kid having a meltdown. It happens. As my mom says, "Sometimes you are entertained, sometimes you are the entertainment."
While I try not to have food be a reward, the reality is that sometimes the budget only allows for a consumable treat, and not a toy treat (which is great for minimalism!), and sometimes I just tell me kiddos that.
Anytime I enter a store, I have to fight the impulse to add to my possessions, so I know that the struggle is real! But take heart, you can do it with a plan and some conviction!