How To Stop Impulse Buying Useless Products, According to Redditors

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Shopping At Construction Store
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Break the Cycle

Consumers can buy the most inane, useless products at the click of a button. And if you give into your compulsive side, soon enough you’ll be staring at a room filled with hundreds of dollars worth of plastic tchotchkes, disposable “smart” tech, and gag products that you don't need. But, as Redditors explain on r/SimpleLiving, even the most impulsive shoppers can break free from the work, spend, borrow cycle. Here are nine ways to avoid buying useless products, according to frugal, minimalist Redditors.

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Shop Secondhand

Since sorting through secondhand goods at a thrift store takes more time than shopping on Amazon or at Walmart, one Redditor claims that it leads to a “mindset shift.” Because the process is less fast-paced, it gives them the opportunity to think about their purchases and if they really need them.

Related: 12 Things You Should Never Buy at a Thrift Store

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Make a ‘Delayed Gratification List’

The next time you have an urge to impulse buy something, add it to your “delayed gratification list.” The idea, as one Redditor explains it, is that instead of getting a hit of dopamine for buying the item, you start to enjoy documenting the products you were able to resist. “And then if I decide I don’t really want it, I get all the excitement of decluttering without any real effort or adding to the trash,” the Redditor adds.

Photographing the plants

Download a Nature App

One Redditor says that identifying plants and animals while on a walk scratches the same itch that shopping does. Using iNaturalist, for instance, you can catalog your discoveries as you stroll — a more relaxing and less wasteful use of your time than shopping.

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Keep Track of Everything That Comes Into Your House

If you monitor everything — and we mean everything — that comes into your home, you’ll be more aware of your spending habits. A Redditor says that the process makes them “stop to think before making any purchases.”

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Think of Constructive ‘Treats’

In the words of one Redditor, you “gotta get your dopamine for somewhere.” Even still, buying an affordable exercise ball is a whole lot more useful than a self-heating coffee mug. So when you need to buy a treat, just make sure it’s constructive and meaningful.