Step 4: Adopt a minimalist mindset and buy only what you need.
If that is a little too extreme for you focus on living an un-cluttered life style. This is not easy for me and is something on which I need to continuously focus. I love to shop as much as the next shop-a-holic, but when I stop to think about the environment (and my pleasantly full home), I can usually skip the purchase. It also helps to ask myself, “Do I really need this product? If so, where am I going to put it?”
Another idea to help in this area is giving items to others. Once we are done using the children’s items we already have, we swap or donate them. My friends and I swap clothes, toys and books. By reusing items, swapping helps to save the environment and to lessen some of our expenses. Anything we don’t swap, gets donated. I have found a charity that I like to support. They even come and pick up your items!
When dealing with food, meal planning helps me to only purchase what is needed. The menus get planned for the week and the food items to make the weeks worth of meals are added to my shopping list. I also keep a “Target list”, which helps me to buy only what is on the list in that lovely store.
What are some tricks you use to only buy what you need?