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Buy Less | Sustainable Living with HarassedMom
We have been conditioned to believe we need more and more. But the truth is we don’t need more. In fact when we buy less, we need less!

Buy Less

“Too many people spend money they haven’t earned, to buy things they don’t want, to impress people they don’t like.” -Will Rogers, 1879.

The spending season is upon us! With Black Friday, Christmas and the summer holidays a few months away, everyone’s focus will soon turn to buying stuff! Stuff you probably don’t even need! It can be tough to not get caught up in this buying frenzy. We have been conditioned to believe we need more and more. But the truth is we don’t need more. In fact when we buy less, we need less!

Many of us already have too much stuff! Pause and think about your cupboards and drawers at the moment, changes are there are a few that are filled with items you haven’t used in years! There is probably a pile of stuff somewhere in your house right now that is gathering dust because noone knows what its all for.

Buying less doesn’t mean you never buy nice things. It simple means you choose those nice things carefully so that you get joy from them. A cupboard full of gorgeous clothes is stunning if you wear them all. A cupboard full of gorgeous clothes you never wear is clutter. A kitchen with the latest gadgets is useful if they are used regularly rather than sitting on a shelf gathering dust, making you feel guilty every time you look at them.

I have always hated buying clothes. A few years ago I started buying clothes with intention. I found sustainable brands I love and buy every piece of clothing with intention. I look forward to buying new things. I wear every single item of clothing in my cupboard regularly.

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Buy Less | Sustainable Living with HarassedMom

You can buy less and still have everything you need!

Buy with intention.

Shopping should be done with intention. Instead of mindlessly walking into a store without a real plan, set the intention. Make a list of items you need rather than just saying “we need food”. Focus on the items on your list and those items only. Avoid falling prey to the sale stickers claiming you will save $$$ on items you don’t need. If you don’t need 5 boxes of cookies, you are not saving anything!

Stay away from shopping malls.

This one is very easy for me to do, I don’t enjoy shopping malls at all. Malls are designed to get you spend money. Everything from the layout to the displays to the posters has been designed to get you to buy more! Malls are also home to fast fashion brands and larger retails who don’t have a focus on sustainability. It is easy to give in to temptation in that environment so staying away from it completely makes it much easier.

Don’t impulse buy.

I have half filled shopping carts everywhere. I browse clothes, groceries, homeware and more and favourite them or add them to my cart. Very often I forget about half the stuff but if I go back to check on them a few days/weeks later then I get those items. Creating a wish list is a great way to keep track of those items you really want.

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Do you need it?

I am having this internal debate about getting an air-fryer. Tiktok is telling me I need one. My friends are mentioning it more and more. I have priced them and seriously considered it but do I need it? I don’t. Yeah it might be nice but I don’t have space for a big appliance in my kitchen and we are managing just fine without out. The answer won’t always be no. We desperately need new couches but are holding out for the right ones, when we find them we will buy them without hesitation.

When you consider if you need it, ask yourself if you don’t maybe have something that will work. The new, brighter, shinier thing will look better but is it worth it if you can use something you already have and save that money towards something else.

Is it worth the hours you have to work?

This one really gets you thinking. Think about that thing you want to buy in terms of how many hours you have to work to get it.

If you earn R100 and hour and the new dress costs R800 – you will have to work 8 hours for that dress – is it still worth it. When you look at it like this it makes you want to buy less every time. 

Buying less is a lot harder than buying more. It is easy to walk into Checkers and full your cart! Hitting check out on your Takealot order is super simply.

Saying no and buying only what you need is a lot harder and takes a lot more intention and restraint.

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12 Responses

  1. This is amazing, thank you so much…I am trying my best to minimize buying stuff that I often don’t really need! I often end up buying stuff that I never use!!!

  2. I’m definitely more conscious of spending more to the run up to Christmas. However, we love to plan and look into other ways to save money throughout the year so it doesn’t become excessive and wasteful.

  3. Great info! I am stingy with my money, I prefer to save instead of buy random stuff all the time. It is also crazy how much people are willing to spend on name brands to show off those items.

  4. There’s an old saying my mom used to say and that’s you can’t miss what you never had. I think in a world where everyone has to have everything, where this incessant to boast exists, it’s hard not to get swept up in trends, but as we see that can lead to doubt and clutter. It’s so much more rewarding to live within your means and save. I’ve really learned to have minimalist approach and I think it’s one of the most financially important lessons you can adopt. It has a great impact on small businesses and the environment as well when you shop smart. Great read and tips!

  5. Such an important reminder in today’s consumer-driven world! ????️???? This quote by Will Rogers couldn’t be more relevant. It’s easy to get caught up in the ‘buying frenzy,’ but this blog post offers a valuable perspective on mindful consumption. We all have that ‘stuff’ gathering dust, and it’s time to rethink our relationship with material possessions. Quality over quantity and finding joy in what we have – that’s the key! ????????

  6. This is so very true. We live in a world of excess….. my daughter always says ‘If it works why replace it?’ and that is so very true! People have been conditioned by these greedy corporations to buy more all of the time…..

  7. So true why to buy more if we can manage with things we have. I liked the post it’s a great reminder for everyone

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