Thursday, January 25, 2018

Simple Suggestion #271... Shop like a hunter

Have you seen this sign?

I don't think that way. I love shopping with my hubby. He and I are what you might call hunter-shoppers, like the first human beings were hunter-gatherers, and we like it that way.

What I mean is that when we shop, we don't waste time or energy on wandering around window shopping and getting side-tracked by stuff that we don't need. We make a list of what's necessary, imagine the most efficient route to get to the places we need to go, and tick things off the list as we collect them.

For example, last weekend, we needed a few groceries, a replacement part for a broken blade on my food processor, two watch battery replacements, and Lee needed some new pants. I wasn't sure we could accomplish all that in the two hours we had before I needed to get home for a music rehearsal. But Lee was determined.

So we stopped at a parts place for the food processor blade (tick one) on our way to a watch repair place. While the lady there needed twenty minutes to replace our watch batteries (tick two), we crossed the parking lot to a grocery store (tick three). Then we drove a little further and found a men's wear store where Lee got his new pants (tick four). We made it home with ten extra minutes for me to grab a bite before practicing music.

What's so great about that? 

We took less than two hours to complete four errands and came home with exactly what we needed, no more and no less. Our trip was efficient, used as little fossil fuel as we could manage, didn't cost more than we'd budgeted, and incurred no extra consumption of the planet's resources than was necessary.

Shopping has become a pastime for many people in North America -- we've become a society that fills our homes to the rafters and garages to the driveways with unnecessary things, all of which will have to go somewhere else when we go. Lee and I used to be like that, but since we began to practice Voluntary Simplicity, we've changed our ways.

Shopping like a hunter means determining what's required and getting it and only it, so that we aren't adding to the earth's burden of wasted resources and have more time for doing the things that make us truly happy. We know that "They who die with the most toys add the most to the landfill" and rather than doing that, we can think of people we'd like to spend more time with, activities or recipes we've always wanted to try, books we've always wanted to read, et cetera, et cetera...

As Lee says when we are shopping, "Get in. Get out. Get on with better things."

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