I decided to stop shopping this month, and it's been a very useful exercise! I've got a list of the things I want to purchase, and it's actually quite minimal. If those were the only things I would have bought, I would be in fine shape on a month-to-month basis.
However I've learned all too well that the $28-dollar face lotion turns into $100+ spent at the register whenever I go into Bliss or Sephora, and the $7 hand lotion becomes three-for-$20. Clearly those marketers know their business!
Here's the money I haven't spent - the specific list of things I would have otherwise purchased (so far!):
Replacement subscription for Entertainment Weekly: $20 for a year (or $35 for two years)
Subscription to Cook's Illustrated: $26.95
Knitting pattern: $5
Yarn for said pattern: I will have a credit for about $25 at the store, so probably "only" $15
CD from the concert I went to this weekend: $14.99
Empty jars for food storage: $12-24 (because I'd probably crack and buy extras)
Facial moisturizer: $28
Hand lotion: $7, maybe? I don't know what this costs, really - it's been a while!
All that adds up to about $156. However when I run the numbers for the money I've spent this month, I have spent $623 less than I did on average in July-Sept. If I only look at September, I spent $854 less this month! Granted I still have to buy tires, gas, and possibly a grocery item or two, and I am going out for dinner on Thursday, so the savings won't be quite so extreme, but that is VERY interesting.
After I factor in what I intend to spend this month (tires/grocery/dinner out), this indicates that Stopping Shopping has saved me at least $350-550, which would have just been frittered away while picking up items that I specifically want. That's impressive (and horrifying, and embarrassing). Those savings are worth repeating. I think I'm going to purchase the items that I really want from the above list, and do this again in November.
I've felt a little mindful, but not too deprived. I think I spent a bit more than I would ordinarily at the grocery store, but my restaurant spending decreased, so they balance each other fairly well. All in all, this is worth doing again. I think I can, I think I can!