Friday, September 3, 2010

I hate shopping

I know "hate" is a strong word but its true. I truly do hate shopping anymore. Years ago I loved going shopping. The thrill of finding a good deal, the oh so cool bag you would get to put your new purchase in, the ridicules loud music and even the smell of each shop.  I felt like I was "in" if you know what I mean. As I stated many times before, I was raised by a single mother. Money was tight always and I always have wants never met. I remember begging my mother to buy me spandex shorts because all the cool kids had them and I wanted to be oh so cool. Thank you mom for not buying those things. Whats cooler than super tight spandex....especially on boys lol.

Memories of standing in line with my sister come flooding in. We would each have some shampoo with coupons just so we could get our shampoo cheaper. Hated it then but loving it now. It was only when we were buying toilet paper that we would really complain. Standing there hoping that no one from school would see us. I was thinking I would die if anyone saw me buying toilet paper. Yes mom, I would literally die ......of embarrassment that is.

Forward 20 years or so....DONT DO THE MATH! I have yet to send my kids in line with coupons but I have done the coupon thing and lost. For 2 yrs I lived in a small town with only 2 store options so I had to get creative.  I printed the coupons, walked to the store, and came home with free stuff. There was just a few problems. First of all it was not healthy food. Crackers filled with sodium and HFCS in just about everything.  Walking to the store saved me gas so I was clear on that problem. I have read so many blogs talking about hitting up stores left and right. Are they factoring in the gas cost with their savings? And then there is the plastic issue. Each box of food has a inner plastic bag. Almost every product  has plastic touching it, wrapped in it, or even single wrappings wrapped up in one package. And don't get me started on these companies who make the products. Most are in another state way far from myself.  How is that helping my state?   I put a stop to all these issues and never looked back.

I now go through a mental checklist when I shop. If it doesn't meet 90% of my list then I don't buy it. Plain and simple.

1. I look for little or no packaging.
2. Is this a local company?
3.  Is this a healthy/organic option?
4. Can I make this myself?
5.  Do we really need this item?
6. Can I make do without it or get it 2nd hand?
7. It it recyclable?

Just the other day I went shopping for a backpack, jeans and 2 pairs of shoe's. Not a huge list but these were the things that my girls needed for school. Since we did not buy any new clothing for my 2 oldest girls, we wanted to get them something they really needed for school. Her backpack was still in good order but just a bit past her age group. We will store that backpack for my twins. This will save me money later. Finally found "the bag" she wanted. Paid for it and walked out plastic bag free. One thing I was shocked to find was crazy high prices on these bags. One was $65! Unless they are rock climbing to school, I found no need to pay that price. Thats 2 weeks worth of meals for us. Bullshit if you ask me.
Just sayin...

Next was to find 2 pairs of shoe's for the twins. I ended up going to Fred Meyers so I could check their clearance section. Ive been looking in second hand stores but have yet to find anything worth bringing home. I never find them when we need them, always when they don't really need them. Ugg. After 30 minutes of searching we found a pair for each of them. Light up $9.99 Carters shoe's for one and a pair of plain Jane $12.49 Adidas for the other.  Regular price together would of cost me $55. I bought one size too big so they could grow into them and again this will save me money later. Both pairs of shoe's came in cardboard boxes with paper inside the shoe's. Only plastic involved was to hold the paper tag on the shoe's themselves. Oh wait...i'm pretty sure the shoe's are not all leather. Crap. Well at least I tried.

I found myself being distracted but all the plastic crap in each store. It seems as if these stores carry only plastic. Plastic kitchen ware, plastic clothing, plastic shoe's, plastic school supplies, plastic plastic plastic. It really did make me sad and sick at the same time. I try not to say anything in front of my girls because I think they are getting tired of hearing about it. So for now I try to teach and not preach. My 12 yr old rolls her eyes at me every once in a while to hint at me to stop. I do have to give them credit at times though. They do look for plastic free alternatives most the time which makes mommy smile.

So yes, I hate shopping. I hate that anywhere I look in a store I see plastic. I hate that I have to research before I step foot into a store just to find something not plastic. I hate that I have to go out of my way to avoid it in my home. Well not true. I like getting rid of it. I love when I can get all the plastic out. Its like i'm winning the plastic war against the plastic monsters(companies). Know what I mean?


Michelle said...

I completely hear all that you are saying. I used to enjoy shopping, but now I just feel overwhelmed. By prices, plastic, uselessness, spending my money, etc. I try to enjoy it or at least make the most of it when I have to do it. I have to say that shopping online for some items works well for me because I do not find as overwhelming (at least once I find the companies with the most eco-friendly packaging).

Even then, I cannot win because I worry about the actual shipping. Is it OK that everything is shipped efficiently and would have to be shipped to the store, then I would have to drive there and back? Who knows...

Surviving and thriving on pennies said...

I agree with you about online shopping. Until you think about the footprint of it. Ugg. You can never win.
I usually will only buy online if I get free shipping. Somehow it makes me feel better....i dunno.

it just all sucks. I would love to live like a hermit in my own world. Own a cow, chickens, have a garden, no power, etc. I can dream....

Starving Student Survivor said...

We live in a small town with only two small grocery stores. They don't accept coupons printed from the internet, and we don't buy the newspaper. So, if I wanted to coupon, it would mean driving at least 20 minutes to a humongous national chain store so I could save 20 cents on Hamburger Helper. It's just not worth it.