1. Institute a strict no-buying-anything-from-the-impulse-purchase-section rule
2. Take a break from online shopping. Block any retail websites you’re always perusing (make a loved one set a password, or it won’t work), or set an attainable goal for an amount of time you’ll resist ordering anything new (household & grooming essentials and groceries excluded).
3. Cancel or hit pause any and all auto-refill, subscription services. Allow yourself to work through the stash you’ve accumulated, and to pay attention to the current rate at which you’re depleting supplies.
4. Make a list of what you intend to buy before you enter any store. Before you check out, take a moment to verify that your list matches the contents of your cart. Remove anything not on the original list.
5. Before entering a one-stop-shop (like Target) set a timer on your phone. Give yourself what you estimate to be a reasonable amount of time, but not any more than that. Obey the timer. Get the eff outa there.
6. Try a cash only experiment for a week. Get out as much cash as you think you’ll need, and then leave your credit cards at home. See how that impacts your purchasing extraneous items.
7. Instead of leaving children to ogle every item in sight that they desperately want, or, potentially worse, giving them a screen to stare at, give them jobs while at the store. Put the milk in the cart. Pick us out a bunch of carrots. Etc. Also, keep saying no when they ask if they can have all the things you don’t want them to have.
8. Take a break from trying out unfamiliar brands and products. Stick with what you know works for you and your family.
9. Use a basket instead of a cart.
10. Use your hands instead of a basket.
11. Don’t buy clothing for your particular child that you know he or she won’t wear. Just let it go.
12. Take an inventory of what you already have before you embark on any purchasing expedition, be it grocery or fashion.