Day 157 Alternatives to shopping

While blog hopping I ran across a list which I have put a link to below which gives a list of 100 things that are free to enjoy and make life happier. It got me thinking that there were a lot of items on that list that were great alternative to shopping. Things that cost nothing or next to nothing but are a lot more social, healthy, educational, uplifting. rewarding… need I go on.

Here are some of the things I could and do take advantage of on a regular basis

  • Go for a walk
  • Go to the beach
  • Spending time with friends
  • Sitting back and enjoying the view. (Anywhere even people watching can be fun)
  • Having a cup of tea on my patio and listening to the birds singing
  • Doing a favour for a friend
  • Go to the library and borrow a book sit and read there for a while
  • Write a blog about something you are passionate about (trust me that can take up plenty of time)
  • Read other peoples blogs they can be very informative and uplifting
  • Enjoy a hobby (join of group to enjoy this with)
  • Visit some art galleries
  • Go to a museum (look closely at things the time will fly)
  • Do some decluttering (I had to throw that one in)

The list could just go on and on and there is no time for shopping with all this stuff to do and the pleasurable memories linger longer than any joy of acquiring another item that I will soon tire of and waste money on.

Here is the link that I promised at the start of my post.

100+ free things to make life happier


The box of baseball cards I am so happy to have found a home for on Freecycle

IMG_1428I would just like to say at this point that although Pack Wars can be a fun activity collector cards are really just a form of gambling. Any activity where you outlay money for an item with a value unknown in the hope that it will be worth more than what you paid for it is gambling.

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About Colleen Madsen

Colleen is the founder of 365 Less Things and lives in Newcastle, Australia.


  1. Colleen I suppose this sounds strange, but I’ve never enjoyed shopping. There are so many other wonderful things to do; free things at that. I do have to shop for food, but go with a list so I can get in and out quickly. The only shopping where I might linger is the farmer’s market.

    • You certainly would have a head start on the decluttering process then Betty Jo. If nothing new is coming into the house once you are done getting rid of what you don’t want your house should stay in a state of joy with less .

  2. Just wondering why I feel so guilty about buying another boots for winter. My daughter needed a boot for winter but instead of just getting her one, I also bought myself another one online. I feel very guilty about it. I still have another one that will probably last me for another good winter year. But why? Why the guilt? I told my DH about it and he just laugh at me, I’m trying to be good about not buying anything that I don’t need. When I bought my boots online I felt like I have to have it because I’ve been looking for this boots for years. Not a bad deal too since it is 40% retail price, o.k. really am I just trying to justify my buying guilt. HELP! Why do I have this guilt feeling? Maybe because I’ve been declaring my home of clutter for awhile now, and this purchased will not help me have less things. Honestly, I got rid of allot of my shoes about 9 believe it or not.

    • Hi Angelina,
      sometimes it is very hard to turn down a bargain especially when it is something you had been wanting to buy for a while. The reason you feel guilty is because you didn’t really need it yet. Guilt can be a good thing we can use that bad feeling to make us think twice the next time we see something we want.

      I have used that feeling in the past when I have been shopping or just to stop me from going shopping in the first place. I feel that I need to live up to the image I paint of myself in this blog and luckily I find it quite easy to do so but that is because I am constantly reminding myself of the way I should behave in the posts I write. Now I do the opposite of quilt after the fact, I find I have to justify every little thing I buy before I buy it.

      Don’t feel so bad about the shoes! As you said you are probably going to need a new pair in a year anyway and bettet to pay 40% off than full price then. Just remember how quilty this one little indulgence made you feel and use that as your guide the next time you are tempted to buy something you don’t need. Remember there is a learning curve involved in this lifestyle and you can’t expect to get it right everytime. If you make it too hard for yourself you will give up trying, so be kind to yourself.


  1. […] banning yourself from all other shopping except the essentials for at least three weeks. Read my Alternatives to Shopping post for ideas on how to keep yourself out of the shops. Hopefully after three weeks you will have […]

  2. […] My second suggestion is to stay away from the shops for the same reason as above. There are so many other things you can be doing other than shopping for entertainment. There is a list of alternatives to shopping back on Day 157. […]