She Hath Done What She Could in the Home

Monday, October 22, 2012

A Consumer's Consumer!

You know the saying "He's a man's man!" meaning, he is really manly.....well, I'm a consumer's consumer, meaning I'm really good at consuming!  I've been thinking lately (yes, crazy I know, I do think sometimes about things deeper than what's on sale at Target!) and I think a blog break is in order.  

I love posting on my blog and I love reading other fashion blogs. Shopping is my hobby and nothing is more fun to me than putting together trendy outfits on the cheap.  Reading blogs however, has made me consume more.  I see something cute someone has, and it's dirt cheap at H&M or Old Navy and I want one.  After all, it's a knock-off Jcrew sweater for $20, can't beat that. Then after a while I look at my closet and say, something has to go - I have no space.  I think you can see where this is headed!  Yes, there are many great things out there, yes, there are many great deals, yes, there are many fall "must-haves", but "must" I have them all?  Um, NO.  Thus the blog break.

I really can't take reading many more "Haul" posts, or "look what I got" posts on blogs.  Who am I to say what other people can buy - of course, each person is at liberty to spend their hard earned money on what they choose, but really, just how many pieces of clothing does a person need?  Can we take a hard, honest look at ourselves? At what point are we buying more of the exact same thing we already have, just in another color or pattern?  It makes me wonder, why do we as women, who love fashion, want to keep buying, buying, buying?  Why can't we be satisfied with what we already own, remixing, instead of always having a feeling of being unsatisfied, and chasing after the "latest" thing.  Jcrew and Anthro are really good at keeping us "in the want" for something new as their catalogs come out every month.  It used to be last season's items were out of style, now last month's items are out!

What would be different, if every time I wanted to buy something unnecessary for myself, I bought something NEEDED for someone else.  Wow. Need vs. want - a hard subject. What if every time I wanted to browse the net for some retail therapy, I picked up my Bible and read, or committed some verses to memory, or made better use of my time.  Sometimes it's hard to take an honest look at ourselves.

I think it's great that women want to look nice each day.  I just think it can be accomplished without making weekly purchases. Do you get a zillion emails each morning from retailers, telling you about their sales? I think LOFT has one every day!  Today Anthro has extra 25% off the sale!  It's exhausting.  I'm tired of being made merchandise of.....having someone else tell me what I need, every single second of the day, in emails, on Facebook, on blogs, on the sidebar of my email, the sidebar of Amazon, the sidebar of Yahoo news......

Before you make your next purchase, consider some of these thoughts on consumerism....

“Are these things really better than the things I already have? Or am I just trained to be dissatisfied with what I have now?”
― Chuck Palahniuk, Lullaby  

“To live fully, we must learn to use things and love people, and not love things and use people.”
― John Powell 

“We seldom consider how much of our lives we must render in return for some object we barely want, seldom need, buy only because it was put before us..― Ferenc Máté,

You can never get enough of what you don't need to make you happy.  ~Eric Hoffer

You have succeeded in life when all you really want is only what you really need.  ~Vernon Howard

Has anyone else ever felt this way?



  1. Well of course you are right and yes, I have way too many clothes and have piles now in the corner cause I can't put them all away. That being said, I do enjoy reading your blog and am inspired by your outfits so I hope you come back soon!

  2. Yes!!! I'm trying to slow down myself. And staying offline is the easiest way to do it! I'm with ya, woman!

  3. Or, you could show us how you remix!!!! :)
    I know, I know... it's just more productive to take some time away from it all, but you will be missed. I've actually just challenged myself to not do anymore clothes shopping until Christmas {it sounds an awful lot like my Unpretentious Teacher challenge}, but mainly because it has kept me from doing something bigger with my time. So, I totally understand!

  4. I know that I have plenty of clothing already, so I do limit myself. But most of what I buy comes from thrift stores in the first place, so it's not like I'm hot on trends! I try to recreate what I see on the blogs with what I already own, and if there is one trend I really think I'll enjoy and use a lot, then I will pursue purchasing it. For example, that charcoal and white striped blazer. I agree, though, that it is better if we can learn to be content with what we already have. And, as Jesus said, if your eye causes you to sin, it's better to cut it out. In this case, however, I would leave the eye in place, and just not put stuff in front of your eye that tempts you to sin. ;)

  5. I'm sorry to see you go! but I do know what you mean about getting overwhelmed with all the blogs out there. I think if I read less, I'd probably spend less too, because half the time I see things that I might never have thought about buying in the first place. Maybe I need to take a break from just reading blogs :P Anyways, I wish you the best! Maybe I'll run into you sometime :)

  6. yes, i have felt this way, but just put myself on a shopping ban
    i have done a 30 day ban and a 100 day ban
    both were great times that made me shop my closet and appreciate what i had in my closet

  7. Brett, this is great- did you just start the ban? Maybe I can do it with you!

  8. I wish I would run into you - how fun would that be?

  9. Melissa- that's what gets me - I spend so little on the stuff, that I justify it! Great job on knowing what you have already and limiting yourself.

  10. I Loved, loved when you did that ban - I was soooo into it! That is a great idea. Maybe I can just focus on other things!

  11. So true- I remember when we had out 3 week road trip, I got so far removed from shopping, when I went back to it everything looked the same and I could have cared less about shopping!

  12. Yes, oh my gosh, yes. I have always had a shopping addiction. I shop when I'm happy, I shop when I'm sad. I shop when I'm angry, when I'm bored, when I'm hungry. Several years ago I did a 40 day fast (there was a book, but I can't remember the name) and I chose shopping as my thing to fast from. Holy cow, it was hard. Really, really hard. But so worth it, to really put God first and have Him teach me that as fulfilling and fun as shopping is, it doesn't compare with Him.
    We have been in a pretty tight place financially for the last year and I simply haven't been able to spend money on many of the things I love on other blogs. We also are living at least 45 minutes away from anything but a Walmart and Cato. It has been a major lesson in learning to be content with what I have. I have had a lot of fun using Pinterest and Go Chic or Go Home to put together outfits I love with what I already own. I wouldn't have even jumped on the colored jean trend except that I desperately needed new jeans as all my old ones were way too big. ;)
    I will miss you and hope you come back. ;) I enjoy your style and it has been such an encouragement to see another minister's wife blogging! I will be praying for you!

  13. Thanks Katie! I keep giving away piles of stuff I find I don't wear, so maybe eventually it will even out!

  14. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this! Clearly we're rowing a very similar boat here. While I'm sad to hear that you're taking a break from blogging, if it's what you think you need to get things back on track I support you 100%. I hope this little break will help you find a renewed perspective, and I'm hoping to find a new one, too.

    Best of luck, and hope you'll be back later!

  15. Alison @ Get Your Pretty OnOctober 27, 2012 at 7:08 AM

    Oh, wow Peggy. I can so relate to this. I did a six month self-imposed no shopping break a few years back. It felt really depriving at first but I came to love it. I had to truly get creative with what I already had. And I haven't been as much of a consumer since then.

    Now I do a quarterly closet cleanse, donating or selling things that I no longer want. Then I can do a true assessment of what I really need. Those "needs" are kept on a list for seasonal shopping and I try to stick to them. Unless, of course, I run into a deal that nobody could refuse. :)

    So happy to have found your blog, my fellow Target addict!


  16. Hey, girl, I will be starting a shopping ban on Friday if you want to join me! ;)

  17. Hi Peggy, I late to the conversation, but so thankful I checked out your blog today - I'm an anthro addict and it just started overwhelming me in the past few months now that I know exactly what minute to check out the new markdowns and find it hard to resist those super good deals. I believe I have a shopping addiction and am convicted that it is sinful but so easily legitimize it. It is hurting our marriage and taking time away from me nurturing my little girl and I know there are so many other productive things that God has called me to do with my time but nothing seems to be as exciting as shopping:(. I appreciate the above comments and your advice about going on a shopping strike. I keep telling myself this is the last purchase and then give it again. Just like any addiction. So I picked up a few tips from above -
    1. Read the Bible and pray - I'm a Christian and believe God is the source of all our strength and self-control and I need so much more self-control!!!
    2. stop even getting on the internet - hard to do when you have an iphone so any ideas?
    3. Shop your closet - which can be fun
    4. Exercise - this is what my husband tells me to do
    Any other ideas Peggy or anyone else who successfully did a shopping ban.
    I'd like to try 30 days but black friday deals are pretty amazing, sorry!
    Looking for any advice. I'd like to not do therapy or antidepressants at the time.

  18. Great idea to keep the list for seasonal needs! I am always cleaning out my closet and giving things away at church - but then I fill it back up again! haha. I think a lot of it has been a process of figuring out what I like and look best in the last few years, now I pretty much know and will try to stick with it!

  19. Hey Laney! Oh I remember the days of the being a slave to the Anthro markdown schedule back when I first found Anthro a few years ago. They really have that marketing down! I'm happy you are a Christian - I agree, filling our minds with the Word will be most helpful. Meditating on His Word and learning what God wants for our lives helps so much! And praying! What's impossible with man, is possible with God! Luke 18:27

  20. Thanks so much Peggy, I was so waiting for your response! I can stop surfing the internet now. Thanks for empathizing with me - "slave" is an accurate word. It's so hard to share this with others since this struggle is seems so silly compared with the real serious issues other people are dealing with - like why can't I just stop already! Thanks for caring enough to respond. I'd love to be part of a shopper's anonymous support (blog)group. I thank God that you are bold about your faith and share this on your blog. Please keep us updated on how your shopping or blogging ban is going.