I’m a girl, which I think genetically means that I like to shop (someone back me up with the scientific evidence). But I’m also cheap frugal. Normally, I get my retail therapy by shopping with coupons – its a fun hobby of mine that has also allowed me to divide my grocery and household budget by two.  But I also LOVE shopping for home decor (think vases, lamps and other pretty stuff) and kitchen gadgets (mortar and pestles, colorful knives, cake stands).  Normally when I need this kind of retail therapy I hit up TJ Maxx, Ross or Target clearance, but even at discounted prices you are spending real money (no coupons!) and it adds up.

Jason and I instituted a rule that if we are out shopping and really like something, we have to decide right then and there where it would go in our home. This has helped us to think through whether its really needed “this would go beautifully above the loveseat” and has prevented the impulse “but I really liked it and it was on sale” type of purchases. 

But, shhh, its not that fun!

My mom also taught me that if I really love something at one of those stores, I have to snag it that day because it will be gone tomorrow. (Thanks Mom!)

So this rule has been modified a bit: Buy it if you really love it – all stores have a return policy. If you haven’t found the perfect spot for it or used it within 30 days you probably aren’t going to, so leave the tag on and save your receipt. If the vases on the bookshelf make you smile everyday for a month, then you know it was a good purchase, if not, return it and wait for something you do love to come along.

Another fun way to appease my itch to shop is snapping pics with the iPhone of things I love but don’t really have a place for. Think of it as a digital shopping adventure that helps you figure out your decorating taste so that when you do need something you know what you’re looking for. I file them away in a folder on my desktop for easy perusing. You can also come up with some great inexpensive DIY ideas this way too!

Here are some photos from my last window shopping adventure to TJ Maxx:

Colorful Candle Holders $1.99 ea

Graphic Leaf Print Lamp $29.99

Cupcake Batter Pen $5.99

I already knew this, but now you know that I like a modern aesthetic, bright colors, and have an obsession with large graphic flower and leaf prints. The candle holders would look awesome as a dining table centerpiece (they hold votive or tall candles). The lamp I would rather have two of. I’m a fan of symmetry and would love to have them on bedside night tables or end tables next to a comfy couch. The cupcake batter pen I took a picture of just because it gave me an idea. I have tons of squeeze bottles from my baking and chocolate making (you can get them @ the craft store for $1 with a 40% off coupon). I just cut a larger hole in one tip and use it for mess-free cupcake distributing and even pancake dispensing. The Amazon description for this product says if you don’t use all the batter, put the cap on and leave in the fridge until the next day! Why didn’t I think of that?

What are some ways you reign in your need to shop?