Weakness in numbers: the case for shopping alone(Read article summary)
Shopping alone is convenient, casual and saves money, Hamm writes.
When Iâ€™m buying groceries, I shop alone. When Iâ€™m buying household items, I shop alone. When Iâ€™m buying gifts, I shop alone. The only time youâ€™ll find me in a store with others is when circumstances practically force it on me.
Itâ€™s not that Iâ€™m anti-social â€“ I quite like spending time with people.
Itâ€™s simply thatÂ shopping with others costs me money.Â Itâ€™s an expensive proposition, one Iâ€™d rather not engage in.
I think I can best explain this idea by talking about my experiences grocery shopping with my children.Â
When Iâ€™m with them, theyâ€™re constantly talking to me about something. The oldest two walk alongside me and, as young children often do, they get distracted. They wander off down the aisle when Iâ€™m comparing items.
In an effort to watch them and also make my purchase, I split my attention and I often end up buying items that arenâ€™t the best bargain on the shelf.
Later on, weâ€™ll walk by the Pepperidge Farm goldfish, which is an item that I wouldnâ€™t usually buy. However, those goldfish are like manna from heaven for my children, so they plead the case of buying those goldfish. Quite likely, a bag or two ends up in the cart.
At the checkout aisle, Iâ€™m watching what my children are doing, so I donâ€™t notice that one of my items gets rung up twice. I might catch it on the receipt later, but thereâ€™s a good chance that my lack of attention costs me once again.
Similar things happen when Iâ€™m just shopping with friends. Iâ€™ll engage in conversation with them and miss out on the little details. Theyâ€™ll subtly (or not so subtly) encourage me to buy something I wouldnâ€™t otherwise buy.
The end result? More money spent.
I prefer to shop by myself. Itâ€™s convenient, itâ€™s casual, and it saves me money. It often saves me time as well.
Iâ€™ll save my socializing and parenting for better situations.
This post is part of a yearlong series called â€ś365 Ways to Live Cheap (Revisited),â€ť in which Iâ€™m revisiting the entries from my book â€ś365 Ways to Live Cheap,â€ť which is availableÂ at AmazonÂ and at bookstores everywhere.Â