The Art of the Impulse Purchase

Drinken van kokosmelk / Drinking coconut milk

A friend of mine is offering eleven drink boxes of coconut water to anyone who might like them.  (If you live in the Kansas City area, look her up.)  “Most ridiculous impulse buy I’ve made to date,” she proclaims.

It’s a pretty great one, I think.  Just say the words coconut water out loud (or imagine doing it, if you’re reading this on the bus or something).  It sounds luxurious, cool, relaxing, refreshing.  Lovely.

Unless you don’t like coconut.  Then it probably just sounds gross.

That’s the thing about impulse buys.  They can be wonderful, or . . . something you try to get rid of on the Internet.

J’s post got me thinking about my own impulse purchases and trying to decide: what is my most ridiculous impulse buy?

Katy's Hat Shop, Grainger Market

Sometimes, my impulse purchases are actually wholesome (you may remember my impulse Brussels sprouts a few months ago).

Sometimes, they involve in-store coupons (Bel Vita breakfast biscuits, which turned out to be kind of a hit in the Cumings house, although Zoe now demands “real cookies” instead of what I’ve billed as “breakfast cookies” most of the time).

And sometimes, they are handmade pottery.

It’s true.  When I lived in Milwaukee, there was a wonderful little pottery store.  I loved browsing and chatting with the owner, and I would sometimes buy gifts there.

One day, I saw it.  A simple, beautiful cream serving bowl.  I had to have it, so I bought it.

My roommate Katie was horrified.  Not by the bowl–it is really very pretty–but by the price: sixty dollars.

In the years right after LVC, sixty dollars was a substantial amount of money.  (Honestly, it’s not peanuts this year, either.)  But at a time when we had only recently realized we could spend more than a dollar on pasta sauce, spending sixty dollars on a lovely but slightly wobbly serving bowl was just bananas.

Nine years later, I still have the bowl.  I almost never use it–it’s been superseded by also lovely but also sturdier wedding presents–but I just can’t seem to part with it.  (Pro Tip: There’s a fine line between being sentimental and being a pack rat.  Probably.)

We are having a garage sale next weekend, so there’s a chance my Impulse Bowl might find its way out of the basement as someone else’s impulse buy.

And if that does happen, it will cost a lot less than sixty dollars.

What’s your most ridiculous, or most wonderful, or most embarrassing impulse buy?

Not a woman to be trifled with

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219 Comments

Filed under Marvelous Miscellany

219 responses to “The Art of the Impulse Purchase

  1. My impulse buy(s) are always art–how can you put a price on something beautiful, creative, unique…something that speaks to your very soul? After I read what you wrote, I looked at my walls, so many things–impulse, purchased from the artist, straight from the heart.

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  2. I once bought the most beautiful purse made of ruby red satin roses. It’s the perfect color, amazingly textured, absolutely adorable…and tiny. As in, itty-bitty. Wee. Petite.

    I’m a 6-foot tall, big-boned woman.

    The teensy purse is laughable on my monstruous wrist.

    😉

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  3. My impulse buys are mostly earrings… I buy them and they sleep in the shelf..

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    • Jewelry is tricky! You have to remember to wear it. And then, not take it off somewhere in your house and lose it for days or weeks or months or forever. Or is that just me?

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      • I think that’s every women who loves and buys lots of earrings. At this moment I have two beautiful black earrings without a mate. Oh well, I bought two more…

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      • Well, I don’t have pierced ears, so my thing is usually bracelets. I love the idea of them, but in reality, they just seem to get in the way. I support your love of earrings, though–and hey, if you lose one, they take up even less room, right?

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  4. Loved your post. To answer your question, it was a little toy called a “vinylmation” that is sold in Disney parks. I just bought one, but it’s in a blind box, so you don’t know what you’re getting. That turned out to be irresistably addictive, and now I have over 100. I guess it’s the gift that keeps on giving- the impulse buy that makes you keep impulsively buying. 😛

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  5. Lol!! my impulse buys are usually really high and sexy shoes with underwear or lingerie!! lol, and every time i regret it, but i still enjoy it!! 😀

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  6. My impulse buys are usually food deals — especially if it’s a gluten-free item that we use a ton of in the house. 🙂

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  7. You’re FP again! You must have the magic touch – is this 3 times now??

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  8. I loved the post 🙂
    My impulse buys are usually books or tech gadgets or a ticket for a concert. 2000 km away from my home 🙂 That was the best impulse buy I ever made, the trip was awesome!

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  9. i have to say that at least 85% of all purchases i make are on impulse. i don’t believe in grocery lists so i buy whatever is on sale, looks delish or might feed the feelings i am having at that moment. when i go to cosmetic type stores it is rarely because i need something, or even if i do, i leave with a plethora of new products i may never use. i even buy books on impulse. if i have my credit card and something is shiny, it’s coming home with me.

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    • Oh, my. This is why I Must make grocery lists. Even with the list I usually come home with one or two impulse buys because they were on sale, looked delish, or were just shiny enough to tempt me.

      I am right now contemplating a nighttime grocery run. After reading all these comments, that might be a terrible idea.

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  10. An excellent post & wonderful fotos. really love it !

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  11. Great post!
    Very, very sadly…any Living Social or Groupon deal for any kind of boot camp, gym membership, or exercise classes. And the important part of this, is that I still never go. Seriously, I blogged about it a few weeks ago titled “working out : eating bacon” http://illbeoutinaminute.com/2012/04/18/working-out-eating-bacon/
    That and shoes, and black shirts…

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    • Ha! I am doing surprisingly well going to Snap Fitness since we joined a few months ago. Still not as much as I should, but more than I secretly expected to.

      I was just thinking I need to refresh my black shirts. Maybe this is a sign?

      Thanks, and thanks for stopping!

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  12. Books or clothing usually. I tell the sales clerk that I’ve fallen in love with it and now it’s going home with me. Congrats on Freshly Pressed.

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  13. I have a really hard time justifying buying anything for myself so it all feels like an impulse buy to me. If I think about it too long, I talk myself out of it. My most recent impulse buy was an iphone 4. Though I really miss my android because it was incredibly open, I can’t help but love the iphone. It’s just so pretty. Great post 🙂

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    • I feel that way too now that I’m married and have a child. Although really it’s having the child–we have less money to spend, and it turns out I mostly want to spend it on her anyway.

      Someday, I would love to get a smartphone. Any old one.

      Thanks for stopping!

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  14. Once I bought 5 scarfs from a treasure box in a Kansas vintage shop. I think I used two of them while I was there, then they rotted in my closet. Only when friends would pull it out would I say, “it’s a vintage scarf from Kansas.”—bah! As if I even wore them.

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    • Ha! I totally get the vintage scarf impulse. It’s so hard to remember to wear them! The most used scarves in our house (besides winter scarves, of course), are the ones in Zoe’s dress up bin. And even those could stand to get out more!

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  15. fireandair

    Concert tickets, routinely — mostly classical music, so they ain’t cheap. But man, do they sound gooooooood

    Um, okay, there was the left-handed viola-scale pochette … which I do adore and am glad I got, but it was a whopper of a purchase, and a wee bit impulsey. Damned thing cost more than my actual viola!

    BTW, I love that picture of the hat shop. Just looking at it, I know what the area smells and sounds like. Very cool. 🙂

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    • Oh, that is a very good impulse! My favorite thing about working as a sales rep for the Milwaukee Symphony, lo these many years ago, was the free concert tickets. I heard some amazing concerts and learned a lot.

      I had a great time finding the pictures for this post. What does the hat shop area smell and sound like? I want to know, too!

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  16. Love your blog! My recent impulse purchase was a golden goose( with a golden egg), I kid you not, I was looking for some whimsical gold animal decorations for my recently redecorated bathroom. The goose is full size and sits(swims?) on a blue towel. Needless to say, impulse buying is a specialty of mine.

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    • Absolutely! You are good at it. I would love to get a look at that goose and its egg. I also love that the theme of your bathroom calls for whimsical gold animal decorations. What a fun house yours must be!

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  17. A glorious roaring 20s style hat. I’ve worn it once in real life, almost every night in my dreams…

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  18. A machete, A hand carved tea set, and a “Hawaiian” shirt all in 30 minutes in the Dominican Republic. (I know, I shame tourists everywhere, but I still have and proudly display/wear them all!)

    I win! 😉

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  19. My impulse buys almost always get returned. Except for the lovelies that I’ve picked up at craft or art fairs. Congrats on FP!

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    • Well, that way you get the fun of buying it without the pain of paying for it, right?

      I still have a wonderful metal merman that I bought more than ten years ago at an art fair. He has a home on my bathroom wall wherever I live, and I love him.

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  20. Loving your post! When I impluse shop it is usually buying something full price instead of looking for a bargain or using a coupon. Congrats on being FP!

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  21. 80 pounds of kitty litter. I’m going to use it eventually but for now I can’t even lift the box.

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  22. CLC

    My most ridiculous impulse buy was a coat. It was 2 sizes too big for me but it was designer and it was in the sale (if you call £90 in the sale). A year on; I’ve worn it twice and it looks awful on. Oh the regrets.

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  23. I’m pretty sure all my shopping adventures that include clothing would be considered impulse buys by most people. However, I am an excellent bargain shopper, therefore, I usually don’t spend TOO much money on things, but I do have some pricey items in my wardrobe.
    I’m not entirely sure if this will count, however, about 3 or 4 years ago, I had to go evening shoe shopping for my uncle’s wedding, and while I did not buy them, my mom spent I think….$98 on my shoes. That was definitely a splurge, and maybe a little impulsive.

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    • Bargain shopping is the best!

      Of course, the best bargain is when your mom does the splurging for you. I am 32 years old and I still let that happen from time to time . . .

      Thanks for stopping!

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  24. My impulse buys are mostly Groupon deals I get in my email inbox. How can you go wrong for $10 worth of $20 food…or $30 wine tasting…or $25.00 for a month’s membership for a bootcamp workout class…at 5:00AM each day (which I did purchase & realized that I was crazy for even thinking I would wake up at that ungodly hour! So luckily I was able to get a refund.)

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    • Ha! That is lucky! I have so far managed to avoid Groupon and Living Social, maybe because I don’t live in a city? I can see what a slippery slope it would be.

      Thanks for stopping!

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  25. ana

    Impulse buy is matterialism as a religion… it’s loss of the faith in something meaningful…

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    • There is definitely that danger. I think it’s okay to enjoy shopping, and to enjoy material things–delicious food, beautiful clothes or shoes or art, great books–but when you put your trust in those things, it always leaves you wanting more.

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  26. Maggie – I only remember the wonderful impulse purchases … like the gorgeous celadon green raku jar, red converse sneakers as well as the red patent leather pointy-toed shoes, a delicious mango and more …. much more. Thanks for sharing – Susan

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  27. lijiujiu

    Yes, my impulse buys are usually some beautiful dress, I love dress, although I didn’t wear after purchased them.

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  28. I was in Vegas and decided these beautiful thong shoes with I swear, doorknob looking heels on them were perfect and unique. So unique in fact that Vegas is the only place I could ever wear them and not be laughed at. I guess what is bought in Vegas stays in Vegas. Great post.

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  29. Great read! My most ridiculous impulse purchase to date would have to be the 90 ish dollars I spent on a vintage ‘watch’ wall clock. I had this crazy idea of wearing it as a belt (Lady Gaga was at her peak around that time), it has sat in my cupboard ever since and I cringe every time I think about it. Oh, and also my car – I bought it because it was ‘different’ and it turned out to be a lemon, no surprises there.

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  30. Old books are my downfall, I just can’t resist an 1800’s first edition! And recently, I narrowly escaped purchasing a beautifully hand carved, by a local artisan, wooden replica of a Fokker Dr.I! LOL

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    • Old books can be beautiful! Definitely a good impulse. I had to google the Fokker Dr. 1. I bet it was beautiful, too, but I say books are better. Thanks for stopping!

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  31. I have to habit of buying weird things for impulse buying. And I don’t think I really noticed till you made it a subject. I bought a sword for $300. It’s a robin hood sword. I love it. It’s still in the closet. I bought alien salt and pepper shakers from Roswell. They are also in the closet. I bought a Vincent VanGogh doll. I felt sorry for him. It felt like they were mocking his life. I couldn’t leave him behind. I forgot how much he was. And a giant green gorilla eraser. Oh, and a carved wooden sling shot in shape of a deer. And a bioshock figurine with a mask… but how could i not buy the figurine?? I love that video game! yup sad to say. 28 year old female, right here. It’s quite horrible. The other day I bought a Dr.Who poster.. I should probably stop confessing now.

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    • Wow! If someone else hadn’t said “a house”, you would definitely be in the running for Winner. (Don’t worry, there’s not actually a prize.) That’s a great list! Does the VanGogh doll have a detachable ear? If so, that would be a little mocking, wouldn’t it? I’m glad he has a nice home now. And I love Dr. Who! So, your confession falls on sympathetic ears. Thanks for stopping!

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  32. We bought a cheap pair of 3 ft. high wine goblets with siggley stems. Eventually..um got rid of them for a relative who’s getting married next year.

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    • Ha! You must have had some classy evenings with those goblets. Are you giving them as a wedding gift, or using them at the reception, or . . . I love picturing a bride and groom drinking champagne out of these bad boys with their arms intertwined.

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  33. Brilliant heels – extra silly because the only opportunities I really have to wear them are weddings and the occasional ridiculous art school party. Also because, even when I try to just wear them for a night on the town, my boyfriend tends to look at them and shrug and say, “I like your quirkier shoes better,” meaning “your cute crazy-colored tennis shoes.” Hard to complain about a guy who prefers I not wear heels (and he’s way taller than me, so it’s not about that). Also, discounted Patagonia clothing. Serious fetish for Patagonia and their lifetime guarantee…

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  34. We are trying to declutter so that helps me not impulse buy (at least not as much). I did buy out all the Seventh Generation black garbage bags I found on sale for 99cents a box. I will never have to buy them again. Eventually we shouldn’t even need garbage bags because we will be composting and recycling most of our waste. I felt such a high and realized that shopping doesn that to people. It’s addictive.

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    • Love it! I would love to compost. (Okay, what I would love is for someone else to compost my stuff for me. Close, and yet . . . ).

      Shopping really is addictive! We are on a tight budget, but garage sale season really brings out the shopper in me. I did manage to put back two sets of pajamas at a sale tonight, because I bought so many the last few weeks that really, that’s enough in this size. But I love a deal . . .

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      • Maggie – I totally understand. I used to follow the “if one is great then 10 would be greater..” theory. Setting limits is soooo important. I have two sets of pjs and a few cotton slip dresses that I sleep in. That’s my limit. I picked brightly colored pjs so that I won’t be tempted to wear them under a jacket to drive my son to school.

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      • It’s true! These are actually pajamas for Zoe, and I do like having a lot since she’s little and only wears them one night before washing. But: I already have a lot. So, time to stop buying them! Until I just have to have some new ones for Christmas Eve . . .

        I love your bright pajama strategy! Do you have to get out of the car when you drop him off? Because that is my main motivation for putting on actual clothes when I drop off my daughter.

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      • Yup, my oldest is in Kindergarten so we aren’t at the stop and drop part yet. I love Christmas Eve pj’s. This year we bought our boys matching ones so they’d match in photos 🙂

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      • Oh, cute! Zoe had red footie pajamas this year with a gingerbread man on the top. So far she has some fleecy Dora Christmas ones for next year, but it’d be nice to find something a little more classic . . .

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  35. My favorite, yet sillyest impulse buy was a pair of royal blue, suede, 4inch tall heals. I love those shoes. And how often do I wear them, twice a year…maybe. But they’re just so pretty! :p

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    • They sound very pretty and fun! And if you can actually walk in 4 inch heels, and have somewhere to wear them once or twice a year . . . why the heck not?

      I had a pair of fabulous red heels in college that I wore for “hot dates” with my platonic friend Josh. Ah, college. But I kept those shoes until last year’s garage sale . . .

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  36. givemeyourjob

    I have this issue with impulse buys that usually start with the thought “If I lost 10 pounds, I am sure that these pants will suddenly fit…”

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    • Hey, that’s how I keep pants in my bottom drawer! And it may be how I came home with a twenty dollar Target dress–I had my child in the dressing room with me, threatening to open the unlockable door at any moment, so my memory is pretty hazy.

      Thanks for stopping!

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  37. Yellow shoes, pink shoes, purple/green/orange shoes, insanely high heels…. Need I say more?

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    • Love it! I am finally getting rid of (almost) all the shoes that no longer fit since I had a baby and my feet grew half a size . . . nearly three years ago. That’s a lot of shoes to lose. Sniff, sniff.

      Thanks for stopping!

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  38. A size 20 Cashmere coat. I’m a size 8, so the option of taking it in is off the cards. It was at a vintage fair and I think it was calling to me; stunning deep teal with a brown mink collar. Now, I just need to put on some weight or meet someone who is size 20 who loves Vintage (girls with curves have all the luck in Vintage).

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  39. My dog was an impulse purchase that I temporarily regretted (thanks to behavioral issues), lol! Oh, and beauty products. In the moment…I am so easily brainwashed by marketing labels then drop $100 before I talk myself out of it.

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  40. Would you believe a house? We were just driving around on a Sunday and saw the Open House sign in an area we knew was way out of our budget. As soon as we walked in and saw the beautiful back yard through the patio windows I lost all common sense. It was a good impulse, though. Many years later we still love it!

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  41. Pingback: Shameless Self-Promotion | Never Done It That Way Before

  42. I’m drowning in books – I can’t resist a good looking cover. Love the images you used to illustrate this post. I’d buy a book with any one of them as a cover.

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    • Thank you! I love hunting for good images on Flickr (the Commons features public use images, which is where I got the ones for this post). I will totally keep that in mind when I publish my first book . . .

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  43. Kat

    I often say I should go to Shopaholics Anonymous. I buy anything impulsively! Money burns a hole in my pocket and in my bank account. Credit cards? Forget it. Beauty products are definitely an impulse buy for me. And flip-flops. And I have to stay away from Etsy and eBay. It’s a black hole.

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    • Oh my gosh, eBay. I spent way too much time on there when my daughter was a baby. Black hole is right. Now I mostly stick to garage sales, and occasionally Target or resale stores if necessary. So much cheaper, and instant gratification, too!

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  44. A pair of bright red jeans! In fact, they are so wonderful, they embarrass my daughters every time i wear them; and I read they were “in fashion” a whole year after I bought them 🙂 So much more liberating than my normal blue, grey and black palette.

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    • Hilarious! I vaguely remember reading something about that being “in”. I did not take the plunge.

      I will say that one of the most romantic things my husband has ever done for me is make me a cute little purse out of his pair of terrible green jeans . . .

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  45. jenntenhaaf

    Oh my lord, I recently purchased a 35$ tube of facial wash. I was practically bullied into it by my sister. That stuff better make me look like Christy Turlington because I literally cry everytime I walk past the aisle filled with $10 stuff at Meijer every time I’m there.

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    • Oh my word. I have just been thinking that next time, I could probably by Actual Cetaphil instead of the generic stuff, since the giant bottle lasts for ages. So . . . I hope your $35 facial wash lasts for ages, too, and works the magic your sister says it does!

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  46. I bought some $18 tea once. I’m so ashamed! But the saleslady misled me and didn’t tell me the price until after swiping my card. I should’ve created a stink

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    • Oh, dear! Was it tea in a tea shop? Because I thought it would be nice to buy some tea for a friend at our local tea shop, but when I saw the prices I realized, I am not that nice. And $18 of tea doesn’t look like much, does it? I hope it was at least Really Excellent Tea!

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  47. Too funny. I actually bought brussel sprouts for the first time yesterday and served them for dinner last night. Got the initial WTH are these from my hubby, but then he liked them and 2 of 3 kids liked them. Not too bad, I suppose.

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    • YAY! I LOVE brussels sprouts. They are one of my very favorite vegetables, and I buy them whenever they’re available (which in my small town is not often enough). Did you roast them? That is my favorite way to cook them, but I also like to sautee them with butter and lemon juice.

      Okay. I have a lot to say about those guys. Glad you tried them and liked them!

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      • This time I sauted them in olive oil and just added salt and pepper. They were pretty good, but next time I’ll try the butter and lemon juice. Anything to get the kids to eat their greens, right!

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      • Absolutely! I melt a little butter in the skillet, add the sprouts (which are halved or quartered), and when they start to get brown add just a little water. When they’re mostly cooked I add some lemon juice, salt, and pepper.

        For roasting, I halve or quarter them, put them on a cookie sheet with tin foil and oil, and roast at 450 for ten minutes. Take out and toss them around, then roast for another five or more minutes. They will cook a little more as they sit on the sheet out of the oven. I add salt while they’re doing that. It is SO GOOD.

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  48. I was just thinking that if money were no object I would stop drinking tap water and just drink coconut water the rest of my life! too bad that I am in NY and not in Kansas. Great post!!

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    • Ha! That would be luxurious. Although my friend’s husband says that this particular coconut water tasted like licking sunscreen. So I wouldn’t be too disappointed . . .

      Thanks, and thanks for stopping!

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  49. I once bought a Fedora hat for the express purpose of learning and accurately recreating the “Smooth Criminal” dance. That was $9.99 (before tax) well spent. To this day, I’ve never worn it in public because it’s not terribly flattering, though I will pull it out every once in a while should I have a passing fancy to groove in the style of the late King of Pop.

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    • LOVE it. Was this for a talent show, or a dare, or just your own wacky fun? I’m glad you have it on hand, just in case.

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      • All it was for was for whacky fun! I had a passing fancy to lean a dance featuring that hat, and I made it so. Here’s hoping I someday have an occasion to wear it that doesn’t involve the “Smooth Criminal” dance… like solving a mystery or going to a “Mad Men” themed party.

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      • Definitely you should solve a mystery. Now that you have a fedora, it’s really the next logical step.

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  50. Lotto Results

    Brilliant post and photos. Congratulations on being freshly pressed.

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  51. Great post with great pics! I loved the ladies sipping from coconuts and I can so relate to your friend. . . I have 3 of 4 individual-serve coconut Milk boxes in my fridge!
    My latest impulse purchase was a $9.99 blue plastic ring with pave sparkly “diamonds”! Had to have it! I actually put it down and then picked it up again. It will go with my blue and white oxford work shirt…. right?

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    • Thank you! Courtenay Bluebird turned me on to the wonders of the Commons on Flickr–there are some amazing photos over there!

      There is just Something About Coconut Milk, I think. It sounds so refreshing and exotic, and if you can drink it out of an actual coconut, so much the better.

      I love sparkly rings! I have a very pretty one I almost never where, because in fact I am not much of a jewelry wearer. I think the ring will go smashingly with you work shirt. Totally practical.

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  52. Great post! My impulse buys are usually related to Gear Acquisition Syndrome, or G.A.S. as we guitarists like to call it. But they are useful as I employ them in posting my favorite guitar licks/solos and songs as therapy following a couple of severe strokes. Congrats on your freshly pressed.

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  53. Six-inch Jessica Simpson platform heels. Beautiful indeed but I couldn’t even make it across the house to go out the door. Still they parked in my closet for two years just so I could admire their beauty and perhaps give them another try. Not so. Finally relinquished and blessed someone else with them.

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    • Oh, yes. I had a pair of heels like that. (Okay, they were not six inches high.) The day I had to stop halfway to the car in a crowded parking garage and wait for my roommates to drive around and get me was the last day I wore those shoes. Unless it was the New Year’s Eve I wore them and had to keep taking them off even as the floor got stickier and stickier . . . yeah. Either way, I was a slow learner in that area. It’s nice to let someone have them who can actually walk in them!

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  54. Always expensive cheese! But I always forget crackers…

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    • Oh, who needs crackers when the cheese is really good? I’m sure there’s an Expensive Cheese Diet that would tell you the same.

      If I ever live in a place where there is expensive cheese (I mean really good expensive cheese, not just overpriced brie), I will definitely be impulsively buying it. And I’ll be honest: I never forget the crackers.

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  55. oh gosh. we Must have been tired. it was an Alexander McQueen skirt (think bondage club, not Corporate America style which is what we Needed)

    sigh.

    wore it once.

    too many double-takes from co-workers.

    yup.

    straight to the Housing Works donation pile 😉

    your blog is sweet and kind and friendly. glad we stopped by….

    _tgx

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    • Oh my! At least you got to wear it once and make co-workers wonder, right? And if you can pull off an Alexander McQueen skirt like that, or even think that you might be able to, more power to you!

      Thanks so much for stopping! Come back soon!

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  56. an expensive sweater that was more money than I usually spend on coats–but it was a “worth it” splurge,

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  57. I was at an army surplus store in the city and I was amazed at all the cool stuff there. But then I saw this amazing NATO gas mask and I had to buy it… Now it’s on my book shelf collecting dust. I seriously imagined all of the times I’d wear it but none of those imaginary moments have happened yet.

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    • Oh, wow. I am trying to imagine your imaginings and coming up empty! At our garage sale today one of the few things I managed to sell was a set of “Chinese weapons” my brother-in-law brought back from China years ago. I did not want to ask what the friendly man who bought them had in mind . . .

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      • xD… Well I saw it in a bunch of movies and I play some paintball and airsoft too which I can use a mask like that. Also.. I wanted to show it off to all my friends. But all of those feelings fade away quick.

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      • Ha! I guess that make sense. Although, this makes me even more positive that I do not want to take my youth group paint balling this summer. Sorry, kids. A little too hardcore. I hope your friends were impressed!

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  58. I’m usually pretty tight-fisted and frugal, because I don’t really have the means to get away with impulse buys too often. It turns out, though, like you and your friend, I recently made an impulse buy on wholesome food. I bought up the produce aisle at the grocery store: broccoli, cauliflower, mangos, pineapple, pears, swiss chard, portobello mushrooms, if it was a fruit or vegetable I bought it! I even got some coconut water 🙂 I bought all those fruits and veggies for my planned juicing reboot – and ended tossing 50% of it because it spoiled 😦

    Like

    • Oh, no! I hate spoiled food–a waste of food, obviously, and money. That happens in our house more than I would like to admit, so lately I have the opposite problem, where I buy too few vegetables and have none to make by the end of the week. All your buys sound delicious! Portobello mushrooms. Mmmmm . . . .

      Like

  59. Congratulations for being selected on Freshly Pressed.

    Like

  60. Inspiring post. My best impulse buys are those, which give my wife temporary satisfaction and freeze her impulse buy drive (obviosuly of a much bigger scale) .. 🙂 Not sure I can call these impulse but it’s just as sudden – quick detection and reaction needed for the survival of our shared finances ..

    Like

  61. I’m terrible with make-up. If someone in a department store sits me down and does my make-up, I’ll just buy the lot without any thought as to how much it costs!!

    Like

  62. Little trinket things that silently plead to go home with me offering imperceptible promises of fulfillment manage to undo my resolve to not my unnecessary stuff. Yet, those earrings I never wear, that paperweight, and the many cards and stickers purchased and unused do bring up a smile because they remind me of the people and places where they were purchased. I don’t think coconut milk would do that for me. Although hooray for wobbly bowls.
    Happy Pages,
    CricketMuse

    Like

    • Well, there you have it!

      No, coconut milk is not in the same genre of impulse buy as earrings and paperweights and cards and wobbly bowls. But if it had been something the family liked, at least it would have been a nice treat.

      Thanks for stopping!

      Like

  63. Oh, you’ve hit a chord! Well written! Thank you, Renee

    Like

  64. I hardly have an impulse purchases. I am fond of electronics & I know about it well ahead of time so the purchase is usually long awaited & planned. My wife does impulse purchases & I hardly qualify that as an art 🙂

    Like

  65. My whoile house is full of impulse buys, every nook and cranny, every cupboard, drawer, box, cubbyhole has at least one lurking there! One of the best ones that sticks out in my mind is balloons with lights in them that are decorated to look like alien faces. Bought for the kids but never have seen the light of day (there was an ad in a magazine for them and they were deemed lame…)

    Like

    • Wow! I cannot quite picture these alien light balloons, but they sound kind of cool! Too bad the kids deemed them lame. Kids will do that, of course . . .

      Like

  66. I always do ipulse shopping when I feel frustrated the worse thing once nearly bought was an antik golf club. It was so pretty but I really didn’t need it

    Like

  67. These beautiful sushi plates. But I never made sushi 😉

    Like

    • Ha! I am tempted by sushi plates from time to time. But I know that I will never make it. Instead we have a sushi board book, which is delightful (and much less work)!

      Like

  68. Great post! Always purses for me – it is an illess really! And sometimes lip balms. My house is overflowing with both, but can you ever really have too many of either…?

    Like

  69. After i got another new macbook, i was so paranoid about messing it up that i ended up accidentally buying 4 cases for it. The one that i really wanted was not made for my model so i had to sell that one which left me at 3. I think it maybe was a good thing because i trashed them all and broke out the corners. I finally had to actually buy a new one last month.. I finally ended up with the one i wanted from the start. full circle i suppose. “)

    Like

  70. Glad to know I am not the only one who suffers from impulse buying! Shoes, random housewares (curse you and your addictive home goods Anthropologie!) and gifts are my utter weaknesses!

    Like

  71. Notebooks that I never use.
    Yarn that I’ll end up giving away.
    Stickers that are pretty but are too ‘valuable’ to ‘waste’ on things.
    Stuffed animals.
    Fabric.
    Clothes.
    Yeah, I could go on and on.

    Like

  72. I once bought one of those make-up sets they sell at stalls and stress you out by saying there’s only one left and it’s an amazing deal and it comes with ten different eye shadows :O. I have never used even one of the eye shadows. I’m such a sucker 😦

    Like

  73. Nice topic….sumthng tat all of us faces….fr sunthg tat v are crazy for,,,,,for me…its books , books and more books…

    Like

    • I do love books, but in the past few years I have gotten very good at using the library instead of the bookstore for all my impulse “buying”. Much more cost effective!

      Like

  74. Reblogged this on KafeMandela and commented:
    Someone’s Treasure Trove!

    Like

  75. This spring I bought myself a diamond ring… as in one that could be an engagement ring. It’s absolutely gorgeous and I do plan on wearing it, but it also is absolutely expensive and, being a Peace Corps Volunteer, it was not a very wise decision (because now I can’t get the new photography equipment I need, and I might not have gas or food money when I’m home). When I came home with it my dad first said, “No turquoise?” (I love turquoise and I was in Santa Fe) and then he commented that it’s not like me to make impulse buys… and it’s not. This was the first and will be the last.

    Sure makes for a funny story later down the road when I can afford food and gas (remember that one time I bought that beautiful ring but couldn’t afford to drive home? Oh… yea…)

    🙂

    Like

    • It’s a great story! I bet it was empowering to buy yourself a diamond ring, even if it didn’t make the best financial sense. I hope you can still feed yourself and get around when you come home!

      Like

  76. Fashioneek

    That’s funny, because I was just drinking coconut water as I was reading the beginning of your post 🙂

    Like

  77. Fortunately, I impulse buy chocolate bars, and I am putting on weight. Not good.

    Like

  78. I think my biggest impulse item was a diamond ring. I got it and then I noticed it hadn’t made any difference in my life. It looked beautiful for a while but it taught me a lesson. Often what I want is not what I need, and so when I shop I pick up six or seven items, and then look through them and pick two or three. I also give away two pieces of clothing for items I do buy. Nice to share and the house and life doesn’t get too cluttered!

    Like

    • Wow! You are the second impulse diamond shopper! And you are right–most impulse purchases–most purchases, period–don’t give us what we really need.

      It is definitely good to give away two things every time you buy one thing. We did a bunch of cleaning out the basement for our garage sale this weekend, and will box up what didn’t sell to donate various places. It’s good to have the space and to pass on the stuff!

      Like

  79. Hmmm, my most recent impulse buy was an electric guitar w/accessories & guitar lessons ($415 in total). Thursday I was talking with a friend about it; Friday I purchased it all. I buy a lot on impulse. Let’s see if I can actually stick with this one lol.

    Last October I impulsively bought a skateboard. I’ve never skated in my life. And I’m thirty. Tried it 3 times, & its been in the trunk of my car ever since. At least I can say I tried it =)

    Like

    • Wow, those are some ambitious impulse buys! Good for you for trying skateboarding. I am pretty sure I would fall down immediately and feel very old and lame. Maybe you’ll drive by a skate park one day and be inspired . . .

      Like

  80. Alyssa

    I like coconut water; I think it’s a healthy drink. By the way, I love reading this post. Congrats on making it to freshly pressed. 🙂

    ——————–
    colorado springs divorce lawyers

    Like

  81. I was walking down the street in a dodgy part of Guadalajara and someone handed me a coupon for a piercing. I took them up on it and got my nose pierced then and there.

    Like

  82. amazing pictures, felt like travelling back in time

    Like

  83. These pics are really nice…

    Like

  84. I always think about it for so long before i purchase something ! expecially the expensive stuff. Sometimes i wish I could set my mind right away!

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  85. When I was learning how to make sushi I had the impulse of buying suhi books. Well that was utill I realized that I had around 40 of them. I ended up giving out most of them.

    Like

  86. I had to scroll down through almost 200 comments to leave mine, to tell you how wonderful your blog post is. I just stumbled on it through fresh pressed. Hey congratulations. What a fun and universal topic. I love your photography. Blessings to you. And I am glad I scrolled way down here to say well done, congrats, and I hope to be back. Look forward to going back and reading some of your previous posts. God bless.

    Like

    • Well, what a lovely comment! Thank you so much. I can only take credit for choosing the photos (Flickr’s public use photos, the Commons, are a wonder), not taking them. (Of course, the photos of my daughter on other posts are all mine!) Thank you for stopping!

      Like

  87. Great idea for a blog. with me it’s usually books. Whenever I start researching a new topic I buy far too many, but then hang on to them as I never know when I will need them. Probably never, but you never know. The other type of impulse buying is at festivals. I have bought so much junk there – the worst was a backless dress covered in hands. aaargh! it was so horrible. But everyone else was wearing them. The insanity of music festivals.

    Like

    • Ha! This one made me laugh because, while I have never been so unfortunate as to buy a backless dress covered in hands, I know just what you mean about “the insanity of music festivals”. Hive mind at its silliest, I think.

      Like

  88. vtrippel

    $95 genuine handmade Swedish clogs that I have worn perhaps 3 times. I was broke when I bought them too! That’s usually when I do the weirdest impulse buys, strangely enough.

    Like

    • That seems to be a trend–being broke and buying something startlingly extravagant. Do you enjoy looking at what I assume are very lovely clogs? I say wear them around the house–especially if they’re wooden and make a delightful click clack / clop clip sound as you walk around!

      Like

  89. www.LynxCarHire.com

    My art of the impulse purchase is to ALWAYS keep the receipt, then I can take the stuff back when I decide I don’t want it no more (usually a few days after the initial impulse buy).

    Like

  90. I was on a business trip to Phoenix, and on the way home I saw this beautiful vase in an airport store. It was made locally, and they don’t ship outside of Arizona. I had to have it. So I too spent more than $60 on a handmade pottery vase … only then to have to hold it on my lap on two plane rides home. It was a pain in the butt to get home, but to this day it is one of my favorite possessions 🙂

    Like

    • I love it! This makes me want to put my beloved bowl (it did not go in the garage sale, of course) on display. Maybe when my little one isn’t quite so little . . .

      I’m glad your $60 flying companion continues to give you joy!

      Like

  91. Thank god I’m a student and I can’t afford almost everything, but I’ve always had impulse purchases, even when I was a child I often spent all my pocket money and then asked myself “why I bought it?!”
    Thank you for sharing,
    Artphalt (http://artphalt.wordpress.com)

    Like

    • Having no money does help keep those impulses in check, doesn’t it? I hate it when impulse purchases leave me wondering why I bought them, but sometimes (like the set of popsicle molds I bought last week), they are totally worth it!

      Like

  92. Popsicle molds are ALWAYS worth it! Have a nice day,
    Artphalt (http://artphalt.wordpress.com)

    Like

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