Finding Something For You in a Mess of Items for Them

We’ve all been there. You’re new at healthful shopping and need to find the perfect substitute for your favorite calorie-laden cookie. You’re a double-digit woman in a store that caters to size two girls. You’re used to squeaky-clean romances, but staring down a book selection of R-rated bodice-rippers. You want to make a useful and enjoyable purchase, but how do you find something for you, when the store seems focused only on them? Here are a few tips and tricks for various types of shopping trips.

Food: Know Your Quantitative and Qualitative Data
With food, “quantitative data” means numbers–calories, fat content, sodium content, and so on. “Qualitative data” often comes down to the question of, does this taste good? Today’s health-conscious society would have you believe you can’t have both, but you can. For example, let’s say you enjoy sweets, but want to lose weight. Your first instinct might be to purchase a version of your favorite treat that you know won’t taste good, because “it’s only 100 calories.” But what if the brand you really want is 150 calories a serving? That’s fine–go ahead and purchase it. Your choice can now do double duty, tasting great and allowing you to exercise self-discipline, say, by only indulging twice a week instead of the usual four.

Clothing: Love Yourself and Your Clothes
If you are a size eight, and everything around you is a size four, you are not fat and your body is not “wrong.” You are simply shopping in a section or store that’s bad for your body and self-esteem. Ditch the expectation that you must be a size two to look good. Then, evaluate your style. Do you like ruffles, or do you prefer tailored suits? Do sparkles make you smile or cringe? Can you pull off a full skirt or do you need an A-line? Knowing answers to questions like these can be a big help. Also, remember that you can fall in love with a piece of clothing that doesn’t have everything you want. If you love ruffles and sparkles, go for something that has one or the other. If you love conservative lines and dark colors, don’t be afraid of an embellishment or two.

Books: Do Your Homework
With books, you can do homework before you shop. Find authors who write about topics you like or with whose characters you can identify. Many websites offer suggestions to readers–if you like Author A, you might try Author Q. Also, don’t be afraid to shop in certain bookstore sections. You’re not pigeonholing yourself; you’re acknowledging a preference.

Technology: Stay Simple
One big problem shoppers have when seeking a new gadget is allowing themselves to be overwhelmed at all of a machine’s features. Ask for a basic model, and hold your ground. Or, if you’re comfortable with a complex model, politely but firmly dissuade associates from trying to show you all the features while you’re in the store.

Shopping is meant to be fun and informative. Yet, it can be a daunting task. With tips like these, you can more easily find purchases that suit your needs and tastes, and avoid buying for buying’s sake.

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