Thursday, August 25, 2011

My No-Buy Experiment: 8 Months Down, 4 Sad, Sad Months to Go

It's August and I'm still not buying stuff. You're impressed, right? My bank account must be spilling over from the excess!

Not exactly. I was never a big spender to begin with, so it's not like I'm diving into vaults full of gold coins now, a la Scrooge McDuck.

The biggest impact my No-Buy Experiment has had on my life is this - I now know the power of retail therapy.

Photo / Creative Commons / nettsu
Society trains us well to be consumers, but retail therapy goes deeper than that. No amount of treating yourself with massages or gourmet meals or trips to Yogurtland can compare to the healing power of buying something for yourself. Taking a trip to a store and finding a gift that's just for you. It's giving and receiving all in one!

Before this year, my retail therapy usually involved strolling the aisles of the 99 Cent Only Store - because there's nothing more uplifting and exciting than finding a deal!

After a particularly heinous day last week, I stumbled into the 99 Cent Only store by my house to get a taste of my former favorite way to cheer up. For the uninitiated, the 99 Cent Only Store is not just another dollar store. It is a mecca of treasures and delights that is unparalleled by any other store on this planet. (Except maybe Wegmans.)

Here's what I tossed into my basket on this trip -

It's back-to-school season, so school supplies were front and center. I spotted some excellent hipster notebooks, including this retro music design:

Then I saw these chenille dusters that are identical to the ones my mom bought last Christmas at TJ Maxx for $3.99 each. Great for dusting your home or car - and washable!

Candles that smell like sugar were always a picker upper:

As well as pretty pretty stickers:

With some uplifting sentiments I could have used that day:

I walked around collecting treasures for about twenty beautiful minutes, then put everything back and walked out with a bag of cauliflower instead. And the hole in my heart remained intact.

Fine, I'll say it. I miss shopping.


  1. So what is the cure for masochism?

  2. Retail therapy - HA! I totally know what you mean. Buying something introduces a variable into your life that you have to adjust to, even minimally. And when the source of daily frustration is monotony, that new thing can be very rewarding. Ah, consumerism.

  3. Well said, Junkfoodguy! I miss new things... :(