Closed September 2017

Clutter Video Tip: Prevent Clutter! Avoid These 7 Shopping Traps

The local shopping center seems to take a cue from Wile E. Coyote when the holidays roll around. It feels like you are walking into an Acme trap each time you go to the store to gift shop. You want to find the best buy for everything on your shopping list, but you also need to watch your spending.  Watch this video to learn 7 of these common shopping traps. When you see one of these traps, make like the Road Runner and scram- Beep Beep!

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Hi. I’m Lorie Marrero, creator of the Clutter Diet book and on-line program, and today we’re going to talk about seven shopping traps that you should be aware of as you try to cut your clutter calories going into the holiday season.

We have Black Friday and the heavy shopping season upon us. This is my Sunday circulars from just one Sunday newspaper. This is only the circulars, not the paper. Lots of stuff going on, lots of ways that you can spend money. So let’s talk about some of these traps that are marketing ploys that might cause you to spend more than you intended.

First, the “one in every color” trap. So if you find a white sweater that you want, maybe you decide you’d like to have that in brown, too. And that’s great, but only if you really like that sweater and you really need that other color. So make sure that that makes sense for you and that you’re not just getting sucked in to being in the moment there in the store. And the next trap is related to that, and it’s the one I call “collect them all.” So whether it’s figurines or some other kind of collectible where there’s a set of something, you have this little tendency sometimes to want to collect the whole set just for the sake of having the set in its entirety. And what you want to do is focus on having only the items that you really like and you really want and not just getting them all only because they’re a set.

The third trap is the “free gift with purchase” trap. And this is what we see, ladies, at the makeup counter. So you might buy that one lipstick, and if you buy one more thing, you get the free gift, which is usually some kind of makeup bag filled with sample products. What’s funny is most of the time you didn’t need to have that second item, and you also end up not even liking the colors and the other things that are in the sample pack. Maybe all you really like is the bag, and you probably already have five or 10 of those little bags in your closet. So, think about that before you take the plunge and move forward with that free gift.

The next trap is “bigger is better.” So, this happens when you go to a warehouse store like Sam’s or Costco, and you go in there and you need one can of black beans. And all they have is a flat, a case, of black beans, and there are six or 12 cans there and you have to buy all of those to be able to get what you need. So don’t do that if it doesn’t make sense, especially if this is an item that can spoil in your pantry or your refrigerator. Think really hard and maybe it is worth that other trip to the regular grocery store to get that one can instead.

The fifth trap is the “free shipping” trap. So you are shopping on-line and you know if you just spend $50, you can get free shipping. So you end up buying that one extra item you didn’t need just because the shipping was free. So that’s not really a bargain and sometimes if you even intended to buy that item, it might not be the best price for that item and there’s a hidden cost in there for that shipping. So be careful of that one too.

Number six is the “it’s on sale” trap. So just in general, the idea that you’re going to buy something just because it’s a bargain, and that you may be sucked in to the urgency of the moment or the fear of loss, where you might not be able to get this deal again. It’s not a bargain if you never really needed the item in the first place.

And the seventh and final trap is what I call the “Krispy Kreme” trap. It’s when you’re trying to cut your clutter calories and you go to stores where you’re tempted to spend more than you need to spend. So if you are trying to lose weight, you probably don’t want to go to Krispy Kreme because you know you’re going to eat donuts there. So it’s the same thing. If you have temptations at places like shoe stores, or flea markets, or garage sales, or used book stores, places like that where you usually come out of there with more than you expected, you need to have a strategy to either not go to those places or to go in there with a list, or go with a friend. Don’t go alone, so that someone can talk you down out of some of those purchases that create clutter in your life.

If you’d like a little bit more help when you’re out there shopping, we have this Wallet Reminder Sleeve that we have available for free on our Free Tips page. You can see the link here. What you do is you print these out and you fold them up and on the front are the five questions you should ask before buying anything. You keep your favorite debit or credit card inside the sleeve and you tape it up. And this is in your wallet all the time, so when you’re at the checkout you can look at those five questions and see if you really needed to buy this item. Once again, you can get that on our Free Tips page,

See you next time, and may you always be happy and grateful for having more than enough.

You may have been searching for money saving tips for holiday shopping or how to spend less at Christmas.

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