Going on a Shopping Diet


It is probably hard to believe but we have plenty of clothes in our respective closets. And we really enjoy shopping and having new stuff. But, for different reasons, we have both decided to go on shopping diets.

Jeanne says: My current commitment is a clothing shopping ban for one solid month. It is only March 3 and my fingers are already itching to hit “buy now”. But enough is enough. I can only wear one outfit at a time. I don’t want to become a victim of every “30% off sale” and therefore I need to start down the path to “recovery”. While clothes are fun and I love to get a UPS box as much as the next person, they cannot make me truly happy.

Kate says: I’ve actually been scaling back drastically since before the holidays. Due to a combination of pretty ambitious financial goals (so much saving to do, so little time!) and the aforementioned bursting closet full of clothes, it seemed like the right time. I haven’t put an entire ban in place, but I have limited myself to one “purchase” a month. In January, that purchase was a Golden Tote Mystery Tote, last month I bought a pair of knock-off Uggs (I know, I know, but my commutes are really cold!), and this month my purchase will be to finally take a bunch of items to be altered. This forces me to make that one purchase really count, thereby cutting down on retail therapy-type purchases.

We’re both focusing our attention on “shopping our closets” for the near term. Here are some other “shopping diet” tips:

  • Organize your clothing by color and by item in your closet, bureau, and shelves. This is good for two reasons: organizing will keep your mind off your diet and give you new ideas about how to combine the clothes you already have.
  • Go ahead and keep a wish list of the clothing items you WANT to buy. This is also good for two reasons: First, as the weeks go by, test whether you still really want the items you have listed. More than likely, you’ll lose interest or another item will catch your eye. If you DO still want it and it is still around, it’ll probably be on sale and you can pounce.
  • Do something more interesting than shopping — either online or in stores. Read a book (or many books), take a hike, go to a museum, call a friend (preferably some one in “recovery” like you!) You can still browse occasionally but break the habit of shopping as a main recreational activity.

Have you tried a “shopping diet”? How did you survive?!

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1 Comment on Going on a Shopping Diet

  1. Madeline // Style Me Thrifty
    March 4, 2015 at 10:27 am (4 years ago)

    Love this! I haven’t been on a total shopping diet but have certainly been shopping “in moderation” lately 🙂 I like the tip of keeping a wish list. This forces you to prioritize your purchases. Can’t wait to hear how the diets go!


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