Thursday, December 22

My Rules of Shopping

Christmas shopping. I have mixed feelings. On one hand, I want a simple Christmas with family that doesn't relay on a ton of new sweaters and thermal coffee mugs wrapped up under the tree. But on the other hand, I want to take part in the whole excitement of mall decor and buying children's toys. I am not one of those people who will start a fist fight over the last parking space but I don;t care how devoted to homesteading you are, everyone enjoys a little bit of Christmas shopping adrenaline.

So, although my family will be getting plenty of thoughtful, hand made gifts this season, I am also buying. And just because it is Christmas does not mean that my general shopping rules can take a holiday. I have found that these rules really do make a positive difference on the budget and on my conscience.

My Rules of Shopping (for non-food items) - When I see something I might want to buy, I ask myself the following questions:
What is the price?
Where is it made?
What is it made of?
Is it durable?
Is it a useful item of quality that will be used frequently?
Can it be recycled?
How much packaging is there?
Can the packaging be recycled?
Is it worth the money and the effort it took to get it to this store?

I know that seems like a lot to process while browsing the housewares department, but it goes pretty fast when you know what you are looking for. I have avoided many an impulse purchase this way and I have also avoided purchasing cheaply made, over priced junk that I didn't really need in the first place.

Try them out and let me know how they work for you. Do you have rules to add to the list? Any that you think might not need to be there?

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