Sid Wainer’s, Barnes & Noble, L.L. Bean, Ikea, and Trader Joe’s are my favorite places to shop. I also love going to the King Arthur Flour Baking Center for a class and some time in their store. I can spend hours in used book shops, pulling out dusty hardbacks and reading their faded inscriptions, loving words penned by strangers I’ll never meet. In the past few weeks, I’ve shopped for groceries and bought a book that my older son needed for a class. I found a pair of Land’s End pants and a winter jacket for my younger son, replacements for the ones he outgrew this winter. My husband and I picked up a few hardware necessities at Lowe’s, and I replaced the necessary toiletries at CVS. But that’s about it, because I’m taking a shopping break for Lent this year. It’s not a crazy or drastic change – I’m still buying food and I haven’t extended the shopping hiatus beyond myself. Until Easter, I’m living with what I have and living without what I don’t.
Here’s what I’ve found so far:
I don’t miss buying stuff. I’d rather have an uncluttered home than a lot of possessions.
If I don’t go into stores that do not sell necessities, I won’t be tempted to buy the little extras.
I have a better idea of what I already own, and how much of it I don’t use. Spring cleaning this year will involve sorting through clothes outgrown or rarely worn, and I’ll donate the kitchen gadgets no one uses.
I’m not one to spend a lot of money shopping, but I’m surprised how many things I buy without much thought or appreciation. When Easter comes, I’ll return to Ikea for housewares and I’ll pick up a book at Barnes & Noble every so often. But I’ll try to be mindful about whatever I buy, everyday necessities or occasional splurges – more aware of the value of things and less likely to mistake an extravagance for a necessity.