Woman Shopping - C. Phaisalakani

Over Or Under: What’s Your Shopping Style?

Are you an under-buyer or an over-buyer? Here’s what you can to do about it if you are.

Woman Shopping - C. Phaisalakani


BUY RIGHT | After squeezing the last bit of paste from the only tube of toothpaste in our house last week, I rushed out and bought a replacement at Shoppers Drug Mart. The next day I was cruising through WalMart, a store I seldom visit, when I noticed my toothpaste brand was regularly priced at $1.25 a tube cheaper than at Shoppers. That’s a considerable savings, so I made a mental note to return in the future and stock up. I didn’t buy any that day because I already had some at home.

Gretchen Rubin, The New York Times bestselling author of The Happiness Project, coined a term for people like me. She calls us under-buyers, and she knows one when she sees one because she’s an under-buyer too.

In an article that appeared in The Huffington Post last year, Rubin used the words under-buyer and over-buyer to describe two distinct groups of shoppers. Under-buyers, says Rubin, procrastinate about buying extras of anything, even essential items they use routinely. Over-buyers are into surplus, often spending “too much time and money buying things they don’t really need.”

How To Shop Right

To avoid buying too little too or too much, Rubin recommends buying “needful things.” For her this means asking “Do I need this?” and if so, buying it without thinking, “I’ll pick this up another time.” For over-buyers, Rubin’s resolution to “Buy Needful Things” is also useful because it reminds them to ask, “Do I really need this? Right now? Or do I just think I might need it?” —Ruth Rainey

Read more about under-buying and over-buying (and take a QUIZ on the subject) on Gretchen Rubin’s blog www. happiness-project.com

Photo: Casey Phaisalakani

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