Screw Retail Therapy! I Tried These Reddit-Approved Ideas To Avoid Clicking the Buy Button

Browsing the Amazon webpage on an ipad


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man hand holding screen shot of Amazon application

Bye-Bye Buy Button

You've been guilty of it, too: online shopping as a form of entertainment. The thrill of the click can be addictive, and Amazon is especially easy to get lost in, one little item at a time. I've been known to have a problem with Amazon shopping when bored or stressed, so any ideas to distract myself from online purchases are always welcome. I headed over to Reddit, where there were tons of suggestions for how to handle my "little problem." These were my favorite ideas that I promptly tried — let's see how I did.

Related: I Stopped Shopping on Amazon and This Is What Happened

Messy wardrobe with different clothes. Fast fashion concept
Liudmila Chernetska/istockphoto


One sure way to make you realize how much stuff you already have is to try to get rid of it. So I dug into my closet and made a pile of clothes and shoes to donate. It feels pretty good to dump stuff you haven’t worn in a few years. Plus, the process stressed me out enough to make the thought of adding more to the mix completely unappealing.

Related: Decluttering Projects You Can Easily Tackle in Less Than 30 Minutes

Female hands tying sport shoes on the pavement.
Jorge Elizaquibel/istockphoto

Take a Walk

I have a large, energetic dog, so I’m already somewhat of an avid walker. However, the advice to take a walk when you feel the need to click the buy button doesn’t work so well when you have the Amazon app on your phone. As I waited for the dog to do his business, things that I might need to buy popped into my head. More dog treats? Click. Time to try a stronger sunscreen? Click. Moral is, leave your phone behind when in the great outdoors.

Related: 5 Apps That Will Actually Save You Money, According to Redditors

Book hall in library
Thi Soares/istockphoto

Order Library Books

A number of Redditors were fans of this idea, saying that getting a library book, whether in person or online, feels like shopping. I  loved one person’s suggestion: Look up e-books on Amazon, and then put them on hold through the library instead. I tried it, and found it’s a good way to scratch the online shopping itch for free. 

Another Redditor is a proponent of checking out, a free site with books, movies, music, and more. I perused it and it definitely sent me down the rabbit hole, leaving way less mental energy to shop.

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Woman shopping with coupons

Get Into Couponing

Redditors suggested coupon cutting as a way to get the thrill of shopping. As someone who already uses online coupon apps like Capital One and RetailMeNot, this just encourages more shopping for me: “There’s a coupon code for that!” 

Transplanting of vegetable seedlings into black soil in the raised beds. Growing organic plants in wooden raised beds as a hobby. The farmer's gloved hands are digging a hole in the black soil.
IRINA NAZAROVA/istockphoto

Try Gardening

Whether you’re growing one plant in a pot or building a whole garden, Redditors say gardening is a rewarding way to spend time without spending money. This is great in theory — but for me to get into gardening, I’ll have to buy plants, soil, gardening gloves, and, of course, adorable gardening clogs. Amazon to the rescue … oh wait, that defeats the purpose.

Chef's hands spraying flour over the dough
Larisa Stefanuyk/istockphoto

Bake Bread

Some Reddit commenters were all about baking bread as their new favorite hobby. They say baking bread instead of buying is a great way to beat boredom and keep your hands busy. As someone who does not enjoy their time in the kitchen, this is a no-go for me, but I can see the appeal.

Smiling young guy has pleasure to receive package with consumer goods purchased online
Djordje Djeric/istockphoto

Get Free Samples

Satisfy the urge to shop by joining free sample sites, according to Redditors. There is, of course, a Reddit group for this.

I also checked out (which stands for I Love Free Things), just one of the many sites where you can find a bunch of free sample opportunities, and I may just be sold on the idea. If you love receiving stuff in the mail, it’s worth trying out. 

Woman sitting at desk in front of laptop computer using mobile phone

Help Someone Else Shop

Redditors suggest that you can keep yourself from buying things by helping others find something they need. The Reddit group HelpMeFind is full of people looking for assistance buying or IDing objects. It's like going on a virtual treasure hunt, and it totally scratches the online shopping itch.