impulse shopping

4 Steps to Reducing Impulse Shopping

We’ve all been there. You’re productively checking your emails when you spot those eye-catching words, “ONE DAY ONLY! 25% off all tops!” Summer’s just around the corner and you probably could use a few new T’s. Before you know it, your shopping cart is full of a brand-new wardrobe and you’re a few hundred dollars in the negative. With the proliferation of advertisements and the ease of online shopping, impulse purchases have become the new norm. Here are a few things you can do to protect yourself against breaking the budget and adding often unnecessary clutter into your home.

1. Don’t Save Credit Card Information On Apps Or Online Stores.

By having your information saved automatically, it makes impulse shopping that much easier. We don’t pause to think before clicking purchase. We don’t leave room to ask ourselves intentional questions. For example,

  • “Do I need this?”
  • “Do I already own something similar to this?”
  • “What purpose does this bring to me, my family or my home?”
  • “Will I use this more than one time?”

Increasing the number of manual steps before being able to purchase an item allows your brain time to process what your fingers are mindlessly doing, often putting a stop to the impulse.

And on a safety note, keeping your personal information saved on an app or website opens you up to the dangers of online data breaches and hacker attacks!

2. Unsubscribe From Promotional Emails.

We check our emails every day. Often, we get a handful of promotional advertisements with discounts, codes, sales, etc. This triggers our brain into looking at what kind of deals are happening.


Maybe I can find something I really want or like on a big blowout sale! We create an excuse to buy something, even if it’s something small or inexpensive.

By removing the temptation of promotional emails, it helps clear our mind and gets us out of that addictive habit of a buy-just-buy mind set, all while decluttering our daily email count as well. Win-Win!

3. Take Inventory Of What You Own.

Before shopping for groceries or clothes, take inventory of what you already own. Make a list or take a photo to help remember what you have before making an online order or going to a store.

So often we end up with duplicates of items because we didn’t check beforehand to see if we already had that item hidden away in our pantry or closet.

And while you’re at it, double check expiration dates!

4. The Golden Rule!

Don’t buy something on a whim. Always allow yourself 48hrs before purchasing a new item. By waiting 48 hours, we eliminate the immediate urge to purchase for the sake of purchasing. The desire to buy something that is big, pretty, in-style, etc. will fade away over time. Delaying your purchase gives your brain time to process the necessity of the item and make a rational decision on whether it brings value to your home.

Impulse buying comes down to instant gratification; the mindset that we NEED it right now. We convince ourselves that because it’s on sale, because it makes us feel good, because it’s pretty, shiny, new, it will bring value to our lives.

It’s not having the intentionality of what we bring into our space.

Inviting so much extra clutter into our homes eventually turns into piles of things that give us stress, anxiety, regret, more to clean/wash, and more to put away. Reducing our impulse purchases not only protects our wallets, but it also guards our mind and emotions from unnecessary stressors.

Emily Grindell
Emily Grindell

Mar 18, 2024 • 3 mins read