image of binge shopping

Is Binge Shopping a Bad Habit or Smart Shopping?

Binging. It’s a peculiar habit. Some people binge drink, while others binge watch their favourite Netflix series. And then there are those who partake in binge shopping.

First, let’s start off with what binge shopping is defined as, per the uber-reliable site —

image of binge shopping

Sounds totally legit right? That’s because it is…sort of. But it’s not just the female sex. Everyone does it from time to time, including yours truly. And there’s a little more to binge shopping then what “Flava Doug” describes above. Here’s how binge shopping typically goes down…

  1. You need stuff.
  2. You put off buying said needed stuff because — well — you’re a “minimalist”…
  3. Then you need more stuff.
  4. You put off buying aforementioned more stuff because, you know, “minimalist”…
  5. You decide that today’s the day you buy all that stuff.
  6. You likely drop a lot of time and money acquiring stuff that you needed, possibly even splurging for a Snickers bar at the checkout.

I don’t feel there’s anything wrong with binge shopping when done for the right reason(s). If you’re moving into your first house or apartment — especially with a new partner — binge shopping is practically inevitable. You WILL need stuff. It’s how you go about buying that stuff that’s the kicker.

I’ve mentioned thrift shopping, curb picking, re-purposing, and apps to help sell and find used stuff as ways to limit the costs when you do need to buy stuff. But blah, blah, blah, right? Okay, I won’t go there again, and you know these options exist.

Then there are times where you don’t want OPS (Other People’s Stuff). Case in point; underwear. I only wear underwear in which I am (and will be) the only person to have farted in, thanks. You have to draw firm lines in the sand sometimes. But there are also other things, like perhaps a bed or even a couch. I mention these two because of what we had to do. We bought retail for these items. Not because we wanted to, or were even forced to. I discussed in a previous post that a comfy bed is pretty important to me and something I’ll gladly spend money on. A couch, on the other hand, isn’t as important to me but we wanted a dual-function couch. Trust me, I hunted for what I was looking for on Craigslist and Facebook. Nothing. We wanted a reclining full-length sofa that we could nap on when not reclined, and that when reclined was simply awesome when watching a movie on our scrawny monitor we brought back from Vancouver under the seat of our car. And we found our couch after a few weeks of sitting on plastic lawn chairs.

But hey, that’s the thing sometimes. Because you NEED something right away, you tend to buy it right away. When you WANT something though, that’s where you can put it. It’s important for you to know the difference between your NEEDS and WANTS. Otherwise you can fall into some serious debt.

Anyway, I thought I’d share my latest binge shop of over $1000 this week. Man, I hate putting a dollar amount out there. And when I say that amount it makes me cringe.

  1. $570 for winter tires. Had we stayed in Vancouver we’d have been able to get by with all seasons. We live in the ‘snow belt’ of Ontario though. Sure, I might have been able to find used, I just didn’t have time to search, sadly, because as they say in the north…Winter is coming here!
  2. $6 power bar/surge protector needed. Tried a few thrift shops, never found anything under $10. Odd how I found one cheaper at a retail store.
  3. $400 for two 8′ x 10′ rugs. We have hardwood throughout, so winter gets chilly on the feet. It’s either rugs or carpets up here in the great white north. Again, I searched online but asking prices were about the same as retail. Know your prices people!
  4. $60 humidifier. This one hurts as it’s something we sold when we sold all our stuff. But it actually doesn’t hurt that much now that I think about it, and here’s why. We currently live in a place with VERY hard water. In fact, in the 10 years before our move to Panama we went through 5 coffee makers. Not because we drink a lot of coffee and the coffee makers decide to commit coffee-maker-suicide rather than work for us. It’s because the water is just SO hard (that’s what she said). And yes, we have a water softener to help with the hard water. Anyway, got a new humidifier. Just couldn’t trust a used one for this area as it would likely be caked with the aforementioned hard water.
  5. $57 for sushi dinner. It’s been several months since we’ve had some good sushi, so I asked a buddy where a good place was, went there, ordered, waited (didn’t even get a green tea while I waited, WTF), got my sushi, brought it home, served it up, and was a little disappointed by the cost, size of the sashimi, and overall underwhelmingness of it all. I’d been Jones-ing for some good sushi since we moved from Vancouver and evidently Waterloo, Ontario does not fill the void. For those who don’t know, every block in Vancouver offers the following:
    1. a thrift shop
    2. a marijuana dispensary
    3. a decent sushi restaurant
  6. $4.10 cappuccino. I didn’t need one. I could have (and should have) bought just a $2 coffee. But I was getting together with someone from high school to talk “shop”. Not “Shop” as in the class you took in high school, or “shop” as in binge shopping. It was about our business plan.

So I spent well over $1000 in a 24 hour period and it sucked. Most of that $1000 was spent on stuff we actually needed for day-to-day life. And that’s the key. Binge shopping for stuff like this is sometimes inevitable…but binge shopping for shoes, video games, or stuff that’s on the ‘want’ list is completely avoidable. Oh, and sushi is a NEED, not a WANT, in case you needed or wanted to know! See, no rules when it comes to minimalism!

Now go sell all your stuff and limit the binge shopping!


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