Put One Back!

Posted by Jill Chivers in Shopping Strategies

So many of us have bought, and bought, and bought, because our braking mechanism wasn’t working correctly.

We didn’t know we’d passed Go.  We didn’t know we’d reached our enough point.  We didn’t know when to stop.

We kept buying, filling up our baskets with more stuff than we needed, or would ever wear and use.

And like the over-eater who realises they have gorged themselves, it’s only later when we were bloated and feeling something in between uncomfortable and in pain did we realise we’d overdone it (and for more on the connection between over-eating and over-shopping, click here).

Nope - it isn't!

Nope – it isn’t!

We need to interrupt the unconscious buying cycle before we get to that point of being bloated by gorging on too much stuff.   And one shopping strategy you can start to use is the “put one back” strategy.

It’s amazingly simple and yet potentially profound in its ability to change your shopping behaviour.


Before you head to the cash register, look at your basket or the items in your hands, and consider putting one back.



Doing this really tests your “do I need this?” muscles.  It gives you pause.

It gives you a moment to ask yourself any number of these helpful questions:

  • Do I need this?
  • Am I sure?  Why do I need this?  What wardrobe gap is it bridging?
  • What will I wear this with?  Can I name at least 3 other items already in my closet (not in this store) this item will go with?
  • Can I comfortably afford this (with money I already have – not credit)?
  • What would happen if I don’t buy this?
  • Is something other than a legitimate wardrobe need at play here?

Too many of us buy without thought and it keeps us trapped.  Trapped in the buy-buy-buy cycle that leaves us depleted on so many levels.

Anything that interrupts the unconscious buying cycle has got to be helpful.

Here’s my challenge to you next time you’re out shopping: Put One Back!

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