33 Things to Do Other Than Shopping

Shopping used to be a thing to do for me, like horseback riding or going to the movies. But once you decide to be a minimalist, that activity has to be one of the first things to go. What to do instead? Fear not, I have made a list of things that are infinitely more rewarding than searching for a parking spot at the mall:

  1. Read a book. Maybe even try an intimidating one.
  2. Agree with a loved one not to give each other gifts this holiday season.
  3. Go for a run or walk. With a friend, a dog, a camera, or just yourself.Flowers Bridge_Fotor
  4. If you decide to run: sign up for a race and start your training.
  5. Listen to amazing podcasts like Happier, Limetown, The Misandry Hour, The Slow Home Podcast, just to name a few favorites.
  6. Have coffee with a friend. Frugality bonus points for doing it at one of your homes.
  7. Your mind has been busy with something lately. Let it out. If all else fails, write about why you don’t want to go shopping. Or why you want to, even though you don’t want to want to.
  8. Declutter your phone. When is the last time you used all those apps?
  9. Clean a dirty corner of your home and feel truly satisfied after.
  10. Do yoga. Ask YouTube how, it knows everything.
  11. The same goes for bodyweight exercises.
  12. Clear off your desk and revel in the feeling of accomplishment.
  13. Proceed to do the same thing with your desktop.
  14. And your bookmarks. Finally read the things that looked interesting two months ago and immediately stop if they turn out not to be.
  15. Call your grandmother. Or mother/father/uncle/old friend you’ve been meaning to talk to for weeks.
  16. Finetune your capsule wardrobe.
  17. Make out with your favorite person.
  18. Knit intricate socks. Or basic socks if you’re a beginner. Ask elderly family members/acquaintances for yarn and needles, if you don’t have your own. They tend to have a huge stash they can no longer use due to uncooperative hands and/or eyes.
  19. Research something you’ve long been curious about: Does being in the cold actually cause colds? What happens to your trash after you put it in the recycling bin? Why does it rain so much/little where you live?
  20. Review your budget. Has lifestyle inflation crept in?
  21. Write a blog post.
  22. Try a new recipe. Bonus points if it’s something you didn’t think you could actually make yourself. Looking at you, pumpkin pie.
  23. Declutter your junk drawer.
  24. Make a list of sorts.
  25. Tackle something on your to do list. Bonus points for something dreaded. Revel in accomplishment as you tick it off.
  26. Rewatch a movie you love. Or an episode of Gilmore Girls.
  27. If you have a pet, do the things pet owners do. Clean its home, wash its fur, walk it? (Clearly I’ve never owned a pet.)
  28. Reorganize your bookshelf. While indulging in that, ask yourself if you are truly going to reread those friends. If not, introduce them to others.
  29. Unfriend people on Facebook. You know whom: High School friends whose birthdays you ignore despite notifications, people you are unproductively envious of, old crushes you shouldn’t be stalking, because sanity.
  30. Collect seasonal artifacts to keep for a few days/weeks and then discard: flowers, berries, chestnuts, red leaves, snow flakes (maybe settle for keeping those no longer than a few seconds).
  31. Unsubscribe from emails that want you to go shopping and spend money. The key to dealing with temptation is eliminating it.
  32. Organize a clothes swap. Leave with fewer clothes than you came with. No, don’t leave naked. I mean the clothes in your bag. Find my guide for getting rid of clothes here.
  33. Make a list of things that, should you ever go shopping again, you will not buy. Be specific: the colors, necklines, arm and skirt lengths that you are ready to admit never really worked for you. The gadgets whose function you can’t even guess. The home décor that looks great in the store but will only collect dust and disrupt the minimalist aesthetics of your home.

What do you do instead of shopping?

23 thoughts on “33 Things to Do Other Than Shopping

  1. Gosh… i consider shopping to be torture, so it’s sorta not an issue for me. I hate pretty much everything about it. I hate getting there in a car, I hate having to make all those decisions, I hate having to look at myself in a mirror (for clothes shopping), and mostly I hate having to part with my hard earned money! But here’s something you could try… let yourself shop as much as you want – but you just can’t drive to get there! So if you walk, or take your bike, or take the bus/public transportation, you can shop as much as you like. I’d bet that if most people took that approach they’d instantly cut their shopping down to a fraction of what it was before! Seriously, I like to walk to the grocery store and it’s amazing how different your decision making process is when you know that you’re gonna have to heft home anything that you buy! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. What a fabulous list! I avoid shopping, but it’s mostly because I don’t enjoy it. On the other hand these are some awesome suggestions for when you’re bored too. I do quite a few of them, but there are definitely some that caught my eye.


  3. YES! I’m trying to crochet Christmas presents entirely out of yarn in my current (HUGE) stash. So far, I’ve made my mom a shawl and a headband (with that last scrap of the shawl yarn 😉 ), am working on a hat and scarf set for her boyfriend and have been working on an afghan for my boyfriend during my lunch breaks for a few months now. I plan to make my brother some slippers. The afghan in particular is keeping me out of stores (and fast food restaurants — HELLO) so I’m definitely saving quite a bit of money that way. 🙂


  4. I like EcoCatLady hate shopping too, but it helps to do the stuff on the list. You are so right between, yoga, learning to use a camera, taking care of and walking my dogs, reading, working on the blog, going to watch cheap/free theater and poetry it really leaves very little room to do so many else that I sometimes have to schedule time with myself for a movie or an alone date…thanks for this post


  5. I absolutely love this list, and can say I participate/follow through/engage in the following! Actually – for a bit of time I was wondering if you were writing out a list of my normal weekly activities, saying “no way!” as I went along. 🙂 One thing I like to do is to pick a simple task & learn how to do it whether through Youtube (as mentioned), or someone who knows how. Recently, my fiancé & I decided to purchase a French press coffee maker vs. replacing our 3+ old Kuerig that was fizzling out. Neither one of us knew how to make French press coffee! But we learned, and now it’s a wonderful routine we’ve been able to incorporate in our day.


  6. You have so many good ones on your list, I couldn’t pick a favorite! I think I’ll bookmark this post to refer back to it. I took the facebook one to heart and deleted it completely. I don’t miss that time suck or the temptation! I also deleted all apps from my phone… ALL of them. And I’m trying to convince my husband to let me get RID of our junk drawer so that it never needs to be decluttered. He hasn’t bitten yet…

    Great list!


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