How to Shop Like A Minimalist // Minimalism

Updated : Sep 19, 2019 in Articles

How to Shop Like A Minimalist // Minimalism


Oh yeah I definitely need that cooler
that has the blender attachment that’s solar-powered so that I can make
margaritas on the beach. Click!
Oh, wait a minute, I’m not signed in yet. Think about it… Break the Twitch Being a minimalist myself,
it’s been an interesting adventure learning how to curate
the things that I bring into my life. So I figured I would add my voice
to the conversation around how to judge what’s gonna be a good investment of your money, of your time, and generally
how you should treat shopping as a minimalist. So, the first step in terms of avoiding that
impulse, or that twitch purchase, is to disable the one-click purchase button. You have to add a little bit of space into the process of ordering something. So either a logout of Amazon, don’t save your password, turn off one-click ordering,
and make yourself go through some extra steps so you actually can decide if it’s something you need. The second most substantial thing that you can do when it comes to avoiding impulse shopping online is create a mandatory wait period. Whether it’s 24 hours or 72 hours, if you didn’t know you wanted something and then you saw it and you immediately wanted it, it might be an impulse buy. So prevent yourself from buying that thing or give yourself some extra space to think about it
if it’s really something that you need by having a mandatory wait period. And that’s something
that you just have to enforce yourself, but if you stick by the rules
it will really help you big time. The third thing you can do is don’t browse for fun. I know it can be fun to just
kinda scroll through stuff and look at accessories and look at different things online, but make sure you have a need and then go look for that thing
once you know that you have the need. So know what you want first
before you go look for it. That way you can figure out if the thing you’re buying is actually solving a problem you have, or if it’s just something you want because you want it. It’s super important to just not discover something
and buy it right away just because you think it’s cool, there may be better ways to spend your time and money and have that space in your house not be consumed by the thing that you’re just impulse buying. As far as shopping at a retail location, the most significant advice that I can give you is don’t go to the mall. Have you ever noticed the particularly loud, energized thumping music that plays
in stores at the mall? How about the super bright, sometimes flashy lighting that
occurs all over the place? What about the smell of Cinnabon on the other side of the mall
that you can smell all over the place? All of those things are designed
to overwhelm your senses and actually create decision fatigue which breaks down your ability to make good decisions about what to buy and what not to buy. And then you end up buying more stuff. Typically, the most common and frequently
purchased items are set in the back of the store so you have to weave your way through the store in order to get the thing that you came for. That’s a strategy they use to get you to see more items and hope that something catches your attention. And none of that is even mentioning the fact that the videos, the photos, the advertisements that are splayed throughout the mall and all the stores within are simply there to create insecurity about ourselves and give us this idea that
if we buy the things in that store, we’ll look like that person or we’ll feel like that person or we’ll have that kind of life. We’ll have happiness
from the things that we buy in that store. And it’s all fake. You can’t get any of that stuff by buying a pair of jeans.If you do need to go pick up some things at a store, I recommend that you write down
a shopping list in advance. Write down all the different things that you need, so that you don’t kind of lose your sights on the mission that you came to the store with. Focus on the things on the list, and if you see something that you didn’t
think you wanted before, because you didn’t know that it existed, don’t buy it.
Just stick to the list. If you tend to struggle with impulse buying, another thing that you can do
is kind of visualize the experience and plan what you’re going to do
when you see something that you might want. So you can even just close your eyes and visualize yourself walking away
from that really cute shirt or whatever it is that you think you might want
or be distracted by. Another idea is set a time limit that you can be
in the store when you go shopping. I find it really effective to set an appointment, say for 4 o’clock, and then go to the store at 3:15 so you know you have a budgeted amount of time
to get in, get the things you need,
and then get on to your next meeting. It’s an effective way to kind of put a damper on any browsing or extra shopping that you might do when you don’t really need to. In terms of a general scope
when it comes to shopping as a minimalist, I like to think about things
in terms of, “what is your vision?” What is your vision for your life? What is your vision for what you want to accomplish? If you start thinking about what exactly that vision is it’s easier to figure out
what types of things align with that vision and what does not. Is this going to get me closer to that vision, or will this purchase just get me further away? Will this create more responsibility?
Will it create more financial debt? Which direction will this purchase take me in? And through that filter,
you can really start to gain momentum in the decisions that you make
to enhance your life with something or to enhance your life by not
bringing it into your home. Finally, there are a few key questions that I like to
ask when it comes to making purchases. The first one is: where will it go? As in, “is there a place in my home
where that thing will go?” Do I know where it will be stored?
Do I know where it will sit? If it’s a decoration, what shelf will it go on?
And where will it go? And if you can visualize it in a specific place
where it looks good and where it will be useful to you,
that’s a good indicator that maybe you can buy it. The next question is: how does this new thing
serve me in a way that nothing I already have does? If you already have something
at home that does what you need it to do, do you really need that new thing? If it serves a new purpose and it allows you to do something that you couldn’t do before, then it might be a good purchase for you. The last question is: how long will this item last? Will it need replacing?
Will it need extra parts and accessories down the road? Will it cost a lot of money to maintain? Those kinds of questions are the great questions that will allow you to determine whether that item will create more freedom for you or less freedom. Alright those are my ideas
in terms of shopping like a minimalist and just some shopping tips so that you can really focus on
getting the things that matter to you and living the life that you really want. I’d be curious to know what your ideas are and if you have any rules or different things that you do to make sure
that you maintain that vision for yourself as well. If you found this video helpful, I’d love for you to subscribe to the Break the Twitch channel so you can see future videos that I make
about minimizing distractions, building good habits,
and creating opportunities to live a great life. Hope you have a great rest of your day
and I’ll see you next time.

100 Comments

  • What I do is every pay check, I set aside $50 for myself. Everything else I make goes towards debt, savings, or bills. That way, whenever I want to buy that little granola bar, or the $10 whatever, I really have to consider whether or not I want it. By the same token, if I'm saving up for something that's other than essentials, I know I can't spend my extra money for that paycheck.

  • These are all really great tips! I'm fortunate that i've always avoided going inside stores when I have no intention to buy (clothes, gadgets, etc.).

    My issue has been in groceries and supermarkets though, as I'd usually end up buying a lot of food on impulse and most end up getting forgotten in the pantry. I'm slowly building a habit of bringing a grocery list and shopping for items only listed. I've also done some Konmari-ing with the pantry and the amount of impulsively-bought food that expired on me really shocked me!

    Anyway, thank you for the great content! I've been watching many of your videos, one after another, and they have really helped me. I'm now working my way to enjoy intentional living. 😊

  • Dude, even your rants are relaxing! Your vids are so insightful and really helping me with my hobby of throwing things out. I am binge watching you in preparation for the long Presidents Day weekend! Goodbye mo stuff!!!

  • I know this sounds odd but the things I really love in my closet/ home are things I couldn't really afford at the time or were out of my budget and I had to move some things around to be able to get them (maybe not going out to eat that weekend because I know I'm going to live in that beautiful scarf for the next 2 years.) I get more hoardery when I have extra spending money and buy stuff I don't need. So now when I see a lovely dress that costs 50 dollars I ask my self "if that fifty dollars was the only money you had to your name would you buy it and happily eat rice and beans in the dark for a week until your next paycheck to own it?" It helps me forsee what is going to become an important object in my life rather than something I stuff under my bed and then donate two years later.

  • What tips would you have for an impulsive life partner? It sucks being the voice of reason for two. No we don't need a coffee table Nintendo controler…..

  • You are making this part of my life so comfortable by making this calming videos.

    Thx alot

    I will show your channel to my wife, she will love it.

  • dont know since when i just have no interest in shopping. i just buy household items and food only, the must buy items. easy life and happy relax life. TQ for smart ideas and have a good day.

  • I am into thrifting and even then I can get carried. but I do stop by asking myself "is this needed? is this gonna sit in my closet unused? how much do I like it?"

  • I usually add things to amazon wish list, let them sit there for a while before I make my decision whether to purchase it or not. Lots of those things become not needed after a short time of waiting !

  • I think also focusing on a future goal and reminding yourself of a past mistake can stop an impulse buy. Like reminding yourself you are keeping on track with your savings plan (future) and remember that top you bought and never even wore once then gave it away? (past) – This can help to evaluate and differentiate between a want and a need 🙂

  • the first thing that comes to mind is a wireless door bell. my basement suites door is upstairs and I can't hear anyone knocking lol!

  • the first thing that comes to mind is a wireless door bell. my basement suites door is upstairs and I can't hear anyone knocking lol! I need one literally

  • When I browse online and I see something I'd like to buy I make a screenshot and save it into my "Wishlist" folder. If I eventually buy it, it may be at least a few weeks after I first saw it.

  • You can also snap a picture of the item, walk away, check your phone in a week to see if you still "need" it.

  • most important thing for me while shopping is whether this piece of clothes makes me happy. like not happy in this particular moment, but generally. For instance, I needed a white t-shirt, it took me literally 3 months to find a perfect one matching with the rest of my wardrobe. Also, it might be helpful to find a sense of perfection, kind of feeling that you and the piece found each other. I know this sounds weird, but it works!

  • I've got to admit that when I buy perfumes and use them, I quite often feel like the models that advertise it. Or, if there is no model, I just feel classy and lovely. I wouldn't say it's all fake.

  • There's also a trial of something called 'Shopper Stopper'. You put in the shops you are likely to shop on impluse in eg Amazon – then set times when these shops are open and outside these times you can't get onto them. It asks you to put the reasons and inspirations to remind you why not to spend. When you try to access the shop shopper comes up and shows your reasons and blocks access.

  • There is a reason why I stop watching beauty bloggers. I have spend so much money of cosmetics. I am still watch some living style bloggers for inspiration to become better.

  • When I shop online, I usually place all my items in my cart and slowing purchase them. I usually give myself two weeks to decide if , I want to items. If I have missed a sale, I will just wait for the next sale ( usual sales are semi annual)

  • One trick i use to decide if i should buy it (this works more on clothes and stuff like that) is if its versatile. I might see a top i find really cute but i have to think about how many different ways i can wear it (could i tuck it into a skirt/ pants, wear it over a dress or under another layer?) If I can switch it up a bit and get more options from the one article than its a yes! Like recently i bough a sort of oversized and long flannel. Im able to wear it as a dress, tie it around my waist or wear it as a layer with a t-shirt underneath. I could even put a sweater over it! :^)

  • I have a habit of browsing for fun because I love fashion. Granted I'm now trying to incorporate a capsule wardrobe and donated a ton of items. I'm getting rid of things that aren't me anymore, and buying items I love while making sure to donate 1 for 1 purchase after downsizing to a point. I think it's a good process for someone who likes to dress up. I think I'll always be the type of person to browse fashion… It's always been a big part of expression I enjoy. But I am working on keeping it under a certain size. I've used a ton if techniques from several minimalism videos and it's been helping a lot.

    I really like your part about your vision and how it will affect it. Good strategy as well.

  • Where have these ideas been my whole life?! These ideas are so practical yet so full of common sense. Keep em comin'! I love this!

  • I feel like your videos are exactly what I needed to hear at this point in my life. I've been moving towards living more intentionally and your videos are a great motivation to continue what I'm doing, thank you for sharing your content!

  • I had a rule living in a small house – bring something in – somethen goes out.  Can do with a coat new one in old one out.

  • Cool ideas! I incorporated it like this: I have a text pad, in which I collect my ideas on items to buy, already. -So I can buy them in one package and don't need to go to the post office too often in case the mail man doesn't leave it infront of my door or at my neighbors. NOW on the top I put now your question. Especially the one on the vision of my life. I am curious, if it will change something. 🙂

  • Love the idea of considering whether an additional purchase will add functionality, or do you already have something serving that purpose?  Things like new decor, a new chair (there already is a chair!), new housewares, new clothing – all those roles already served by other stuff.  Great videos.

  • I really like the idea of first picturing Where the item we want is actually going to live.
    More than once I have put something back down because I could not honor the object with its own space.

  • I am new to minimalism and it is an almost constant battle against the 5000 ads that I see everyday.. I actually had an Ipad and accessories in my shopping cart this morning. $1500 that I was one click away from spending. I do not need an ipad in the least.. But Break the Twitch saved me…. I am now $1500 closer to retirement!! Thanks Anthony

  • on the note of vision – make a place for somethign before you buy it.

    I got a NEW printer and it is in middle of the floow because my TABLE was not yet set up fot it it has been two weeks and all the other christmas gifts are ON top of it….

  • Your channel is great! I know this video is a year and a half old now, so someone else has probably made this comment, but the little musical breaks between segments are much louder than the segments themselves. It's a little jarring!

  • I have found that eating a snack, carrying water with me, and wearing headphones helps a lot while shopping anywhere – I don't suddenly need a drink, I'm not starving, and I'm not overwhelmed by the music, people, and other sounds. It's still a lot of clutter for your eyes, but it's easier to process when you're shutting off or reducing input from other senses.

  • If you are clever enough, none of these tips are useful. "How to shop as a minimalist" ? Just… don't, most of the time, and when you do, don't "shop", just "buy" what you went out for. And that's all. Job's done. It's all a matter of willpower.

  • I have pretty much never had any of these problems. I survived homelessness though and that fundamentally rewired how I think about things and also the fact I cannot afford anything anyway. Shopping lists have been helpful for making me feel less guilty about spending money on necessities though.

  • A great message that I found works when you're trying to declutter or also avoid impulse buying is if you have to sit there and justify how you would use the item or you have to sit there and justify why you would buy the item, then it's not something you should buy or keep… essentially what you're doing in this case is you're asking yourself if that item or idea is actively serving a purpose in your life or if some part of your life and ability to enjoy it is truly impeded by not having the item

  • Another great tip that I find Works in terms of dealing with all the advertising in the world is when your decluttering, scrap your social media accounts and start over. The advertisements, the posts, and the recommendations that show up on your news feeds and on the side bars of your internet browser, are all a direct result of pages you've liked, comments you've left, emails you've sent, and things you've searched for on the web. Let's say you start a Facebook page. This time instead of "liking" or posting reactions to all of the things that you have an interest in or enjoy, dont "like" any facebook pages for companies like retail stores or items. Focus your social media responses and "like" button clicking on ideas not physical things.

    You can also before liking a page scroll through the page and see if they advertise or brand for another company or themselves. Many pages do this as business Partnerships to make money but it's making your ability to stay away from the advertising and impulse Behavior much harder.

  • Just found your channel and I love it! My favorite tip is to keep a running list of things you need/really want and if you find something you like, you can get it IF it is on the list. Since I'm on a tight budget, I keep an eye out for sales (I usually go to the mall about once a month just to look around and do not take my money in). For example, last time I went to the mall, a store that I know sells quality clothes was having a 60% off sale. I found a really nice blazer, a pair of jeans that fit just right (not easy to find for me), and a cute shirt. The blazer and jeans were on my list, but the shirt was not so I put it back and asked the lady at the counter to hold the remaining two items and ran to the car to get my debit card so I could buy them. It's been about a month since then and I'm loving both purchases.

  • Unfortunately I can't really do your advice maximally because I used to be a tomboy and my wardrobe is normally consists of T-shirt and jeans. I barely buy dress unless it's for Christmas and that's my Mom to decide. And I never really mind the colors or style. But lately I've been switching to a feminine style, but can't really determine what style fits my personality the best.
    So it's quite a struggle for me to not buy something that looks good in my eyes, just to realize that it doesn't fit my lifestyle or personality.
    Watching some YouTube fashion channel or pinning some of fashion style has been really helping me, though. It helps me understanding what style fits my lifestyle and how it can translate my personality.
    Everything is a trial and error for me. So the only thing that keeps me from impulsive shopping is my budget. Even that is only determined after I get to understand the consequences of buying things that I like that doesn't work for me.
    So yeah, I feel like sometimes these minimalism fashion tips doesn't work for people like me who is still struggling in finding their fashion style. But it does works in managing my closet to stay clear and focus about my goal, which is finding my own style.
    Does this make any sense? I hope I'm delivering it right.

  • Good tips, but I should think you'd have to go further than this to be a real minimalist. These are tips for anyone who wants to be just functional and to avoid wasting money.

  • Other than food, I only shop twice a year. Because I have a capsule wardrobe, I have a lot of extra space above my closet and in the guest room closet. I utilize this space by buying my everyday products in a 6 month supply and storing. I know I am going to need toothpaste, toothbrushes, shampoo/conditioner, soap, laundry detergent, makeup, toilet paper, sanitary products (for women), etc. Once per week, I order my food online and have it delivered. By NOT running to the store to get these items, I eliminate impulse purchases. In spring & fall, I asses my closet and make a list of what I need and clothes that need replacing. I order gifts online so I am not tempted by the mall displays. By the way, since I do not wish to clutter other people’s homes either, I give disposable gifts such as wine, chocolates, fruit & nut baskets, soaps & lotions, and tickets to events. For my granddaughter’s birthday (she’s eight) I took her to a Bruno Mars concert. My family loves our minimalistic lifestyles.

  • My friend always remind me of don’t buy things that is on discount, because in the end I might not utilize it because I just eager to get it because I feel the it worth the price. He always advice me to buy stuff that I really like and suit my style, don’t buy it due to trends. Imagine a girl in pretty gorgeous dress without makeup. Since I’m not that kind of person who will make up before go out, dress follow my appearance will be more suitable than a gorgeous dress.

  • For us we are just starting our minimalism journey but it is living without the excessive, without the clutter, i don't have a tiny closet (yet) as I enjoy clothes but I have become far more refrained from buying any new items and I have learnt not to be attached to clothes so have parted with a lot already and now only have items I genuinely love at the moment

  • When I go shopping I go directly to the place where I know there are the clothes that I need. The same thing when I go to buy food. At the supermarket it helps me write the list so I know what I need and I'm less influenced from the abundance in there.

  • Though I'm becoming more minimalist, I still love shopping. However, that activity is usually just window shopping anymore. Rather than staying away from malls altogether or asking myself if I really love something that I'm tempted by, I instead ask myself if I'd regret NOT buying that thing. Usually the answer is no, so then I leave it.

  • Curate's the word. I like that word. I've been a proponent of 'curating' one's life for a while now. Not just on social media, but in curating in real life. Curating just sounds well thought-out, classic, specially selected to be 'in this time and place' in my life.

  • Thanks Anthony, this was a good one! I want to go through it again and write down the steps. One-click comes off today! It would be great if you would have the tips written out for us to copy and paste! I follow a number of minimalist blogs, to me, yours is right at the top with concrete steps to take and very little repetitiveness. Thanks for your hard work. btw you look great in that blue shirt!

  • If you see a item you want write it down on paper and put it in your back pocket.

    So you don’t burden urself with having to remember it
    And you might end up forgetting about it and washing your pants destroying the list 😂

  • Great video packed with highly useful insights! I never knew that the most commonly bought items were tucked in the back of a store to ensure customers are looking at ALL the goods. Amazing! The manipulation is immense!

  • One thing I like doing with shopping lists is sorting the items according to the store layout so that I don't go back and forth and I can laser focus on the next item on the list. It always ends in the items closest to a cashier so the next logical step is head out! I give thanks to MMOs and efficient questing for this impulse.

  • To me, studying marketing in school also helped. The teacher talked about why they put certain items to certain places, where your eyes go first etc. https://traxretail.com/2017/11/22/eye-level-buy-level-importance-store-product-placement/ There's an arcticle about it. Since I know about it, I always pay attention to this fact and I buy less thing I don't need 😀 And by the way, it also helps if you only take cash with you, so you have a limit.

  • Thw mandatory wait for purchase is amazing! We have a very stubborn and active 4yr old. I have to find a quiet activity to do while she is trying to fall asleep, or she gets distracted by me and stays up for hours. All to often this is Amazon.com or my fav online fabric store (avid quilter here!). That was fine when I was working. But now that I am not, and we currently have finite resources while we get our farm up and running, when I am on Amazon, I put everything in the save for later unless it is something my husband and I have previously discussed. If there is something in the actual cart, I have my husband look it over the next day before hitting that submit button. Every few weeks, I go thru the save for later, and delete anything that I am not still interested in. The stuff I am interested in, stays until I can justify the cost. 90% of it gets deleted tho. I get to shop, but it doesnt hurt our budget, or clutter our home w impulses. We also as another commentor stated, use the save for later for gifts for family. I like to plan ahead our gifts for the year. Previously, I would purchase stuff months in advance, then have to find somewhere to store it. Now, If I come across it, I put it in save for later and when the occasion is coming up, then we purchase it. Its planned out, but again, not taking space in our home for longer than a few days until the gift is given.

  • I don't know what exactly the purpose of this video was, but I bought me a cooler with that attachment that's solar-powered so that I can make margaritas on the beach. Thanks.

  • Go to mall with empty wallet or pocket. Make sure that there's no money with you. Aside from you will feel lazy going there, you will not be able to buy anything. Just kidding 🙂

  • I find malls overwhelming now so it's somewhere I only go to a handful of times a year now. Then I know exactly where I have to go.and what isle 😂 I'm not so in to impulse buying these days. Alas I still have work to do.

  • Ive always used the "vision" technique for my clothes. Even though I have a "capsule" wardrobe, it has some great quality pieces that will last for a long time. I think its a fun way to take care of ones clothes (as a man, but ymmv).

  • Thank you for your advice. ♡ My personal advice is: leave your credit cards at home. Go on Monday to your bank and withdraw you need for a week in your purse. Then go home and leave your credit cards at a safe place there. That's all and it will help a lot to rethink about what you want to buy.

  • I'm really happy that the way Anthony explains "Break the Twitch", is fairly cohesive with many faith backgrounds. It can be married with our core values. Who does want to live a better life? Keep it up! Thanks!

  • Loving your calm composed tone videos. Very clear simple and to the point, no fuff. Well done 👍🏼. I myself started my journey to a minimal lifestyle about two years ago and I’m still not done. It’s a long process but a good one to start.

  • One thing has helped me recently.
    I get tired. Idk why. But I tire very easily at a mall. I last like 30 minutes than I’m done.

    So maybe other people should go to the mall after work so that you’ll grab what you need and be too exhausted to shop anymore😂
    (Especially helps with cloths cause I don’t want to try anything on)

    Also I make a list that every item goes thru.

    1) do I have this item already?

    2) do I have an item that does the same thing or almost the same thing? (Helps prevent duplicates of: jackets, pants, stationary, electronics, etc)

    3) where would I put it? Do I have room?

    4) do I have the money? Is there somthing that’s more important (rent, gas, food, etc.)

    5) how often would I use it? (If it’s less than 3-4 times a week than don’t buy it yet)

    An item has to pass thru 3-4 (depending on what it is). And if it doesn’t pass #1,2,4 I automatically don’t get it.

    It takes restraint and practice. Even if you use this. In the beginning some items will fall thru the cracks.

  • For me I deleted apps like eBay, Amazon, Slickdeals (oh slickdeals), letgo, offerup. Guess what? I barely have the urge to reinstall them because truth is most of us have more than we want already.

  • For me I found that adding this "thing" to an external list/wishlist (not built in the webshop) helps to cool down the impulse to buy. When I come back to my list after a while I often found that this thing that I wanted so much, at the moment, is completely useless.

  • Having suffered from the much overused term “stuffocation” for some time in the past, your list idea is much favoured in our household, together with only going shopping when necessary, off or online. Thank you for helping to break the twitch.

  • I kept thinking about this tee shirt I saw online. The graphic is of a cat holding a leg bone, with the caption “I found this humerus”. After looking at it and thinking about it for several weeks, I finally bought it. I love it! I have graphic tee shirts from 20-30 yrs ago that I still wear. So I know I’ll be wearing this one for quite a while.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *