Only Get What You Need

Have you ever found yourself at the grocery store when they are running the 10/$10 sale, throwing things in the cart without rhyme or reason?

Or at a clothing store that is running a buy one get one 50% off promotion, looking around to find something worth getting for 50% off though you only came in for one thing?

I have and these types of “sale” events can be a real challenge when you are trying to live on a budget and not bring in unnecessary clutter. In fact, I put myself in a challenging situation just this past weekend and I’d say I half-passed the test.

My BFF was in town visiting me for the weekend. I love her to death, but we usually end up shopping when we are together, which is something I do not need to be doing right now.

Saturday afternoon we decided we’d go “out” for the evening for dinner and a couple of drinks with friends. In true girl style, she was all like:

She also wanted to look for some new shoes for work. So, our first stop was the shoe store in my hometown, where they were having a BOGO 50% off sale. I was very successful in this store. I played along and tried on a pair or two, but was hardly tempted to get anything and walked out empty-handed.

Our next stop was the one and only clothing store in town. Unfortunately for me and my budget, I LOVE the clothes from that store.

While in the clothing store, I decided to look for one pair of jeans since I have occasionally (disclosure: maybe twice a year) found myself short by a pair and scrambling to do laundry quickly to have another pair clean (I own only 3 pair total).

After 2 hours, I walked out with a pair of jeans, a pair of workout pants (I’d thought about getting another pair for a while), but also a shirt and a headband, both of which I absolutely do not need. I tried to justify these last two things by saying that the shirt was on sale and the headband was cute, cute, cute. But do I really need them? No!

Now, I will be making a return trip to the store to return at least the top and headband. While I thought I could use the workout pants and jeans, I’ve since decided that I need the workout pants more, even though I went in the store originally for jeans.

What did I learn through this little weekend shopping trip?

Both living on a budget and de-cluttering your life take big mindset changes. You must asses where you are at, what you are doing/have been doing wrong, and where you want to be in the future. Then, you have to continually work to achieve the results you want. You didn’t get in debt and cluttered up overnight and you can’t get rid of them overnight either. Bottom line for both goals: only get what you need.

Have you tempted yourself lately?

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About Kayla

Kayla is a mid-20s single girl living in the Midwest, USA. She is focused on paying off her consumer and student loans, while simplifying her life and closet. You can join her on her journey at ShoeaholicNoMore or follow her on Twitter.


  1. This is a good point! It’s important to look at everything we buy and make sure it’s really something we need and not just a want masquerading as a need — they can be very convincing sometimes 🙂

    • Yes, wants can really be tricky sometimes. Advertisers and sales also try to make us think we “need” something, when in reality it’s just another want in disguise. 🙂

  2. Thank you for this post! For the past couple days, I’ve had two windows open on my computer – items in my shopping cart, ready and waiting for me to checkout. Should I or shouldn’t I???? After reading your message tonight, I promptly closed both windows without any regrets. I kept asking myself… Could I really justify buying another bottle of perfume? Yes, it’s on sale and is a great price. And, yes, my bottle is running low, BUT how many other bottles do I have that I could be using instead? And, that cookbook that’s on sale… Do I really need it? No, but it sounds like there’s a lot of really good low-carb recipes in it. BUT, how many low-carb (or other) recipes have you pinned (for FREE) lately and not tried? And, how many cookbooks do I already have that haven’t been opened since I bought them? In the end, the desire to get out of debt once and for all won out. Thank you for the encouragement and reminder. 🙂

    • I’m glad to have helped you overcome the want of shopping this time. I hope you (and I) can keep this advice in mind the next time we are tempted by shopping for things we don’t actually need. It will happen again, temptation is around every corner. Great job this time!

  3. My wife has a friend like that. I groan every time she tells me she’s going to the mall with her lol.

    • I know what you mean. It’s not that I don’t love my BFF, I totally do, but I sometimes try to space out our visits a little bit because I know I spend more when I’m around her.

  4. My temptation lately has been writing posts… for my other site (Unique Gifter). I’m working on round up posts for Christmas and I wanted to buy ALL the books on Amazon! It’s awful (and awesome). I keep telling myself no because I have at least a dozen unread books at home already, but there are so many amazing books out there in the world.

    • I know what you mean about books. I avoid Amazon and physical book stores as much as possible. I have about 10 boxes of books and a whole bookshelf of books that are all un-read. I only have 3 boxes of books that I’ve actually read that I still own (and I still need to get rid of some of those too). Books are a weakness of mine and I know where I got it, my parents have TONS of books too.

  5. The bacon guy is definitely me! Good for you for returning the items you don’t “need”.

  6. I just stay out of the stores. Works for me. ha ha It’s been so long that I’m actually curious how I will feel and respond the next time I go. I have no urge to go, so I’ll wait until the next time I have to go. My temptation is when I go to Costco and see some of the clothes in pretty colours.

  7. I just went to a bag sale…all you can fit in a grocery bag for $20. I had to go back 3 times to get enough stuff to fill it up. Does it count if you’re actually getting more stuff for free? Lol. I got stuff for friends and family after a certain point, but it wasn’t very minimalistic. But by adding more to the bag, I was spending less per item. Justifications.

    • That sounds like a pretty good deal. Minimalistic? No, but if you got a lot of gifts and things for others then that doesn’t sound so bad.


  1. […] with. Indeed, her colleagues were suitably impressed. To pay back the loan, however, she had to cut right back on her shopping, which she found very difficult to do. Soon, the debt collectors came knocking on her […]

  2. […] more online than in store. How many times have you gone into a store for one specific thing and walked out with half a dozen other items? It’s easy to fall prey to temptation when stuff is literally in front of your face. Shopping […]

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