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Shopping

-If shopping is one of the things you really enjoy, you don’t have to give it up to evade affluenza. “Shop around” are the watchwords of the thrifty, so your love of shopping will be an asset.

-Print up this “before you buy” checklist, and refer to it often.

-Biggest shopping trap - “it was on sale.” If it wasn’t something you identified as a need, you didn’t SAVE money, you SPENT money. Learn this mantra: “It’s not a bargain if I don’t need it.”

-Host Wanda Urbanska (“Escape from Affluenza”) has a favorite trick for purging her urge to splurge: go on a treasure hunt in your own house! Whether it’s a vase or a blouse you think you need, look and see if you can find something you forgot you even had.

-If you’ve decided you really need to buy an item over a certain price (you set it, perhaps anything over $15), promise yourself to check two local thrift stores first to see if you can find it there.

-Mail-order shopping is a great way to save time, fuel and money. But avoid the companies that make up the cost of glossy catalogs by charging twice as much. About 94% of these catalogs go unused into the waste stream: don’t be one of the 6% who pay more to make this practice profitable! Most “cheapskate” books (see Resources) list their favorite mail-order sources for all kinds of products.

-The average American family of four spends an estimated 10% of its annual income on clothing. Using principles you already know (only buying what you need, buying secondhand items that are as good as new, for instance), you can easily cut your clothing expenditures in half. Make a list of ideas for doing this, and try it.

-Men who must wear suits to work can simplify and save by buying suits with two pairs of pants (the pants wear out years before the jackets). Retailers hear this all the time from frugal gents, and will gladly oblige you, but you’ll probably have to ask.

-Try going in with a neighbor, friend or relative on tools and equipment (paint sprayer, ladder, fruit picker, canning equipment) that will seldom be used. Garage sales are great places for tools. Tools can be bought secondhand and resold for the same price when you’re done with the job. Cheaper than renting!

-Celebrate holidays, but cut your spending in half or more. Ignore the calendar and declare “one week later” holidays. Save 50-75% off many seasonal foods, gifts and decorations. If you go out to celebrate (Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day), going even one day later than the hordes will ensure better food and service. Be sure to celebrate Buy Nothing Day, the day after Thanksgiving. www.adbusters.org



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