Shopping Addiction: How to Escape the ‘Good Deal’ Mentality

“That’s a good deal. I’ve gotta get it!”

We’ve all used that phrase to justify a purchase. This may be a passive problem for some, but for others, it’s a straight shot to shopping addiction. Before you get tied up in the good deal mentality, check out these mental health tips from Urban Balance.

Decide What You Want before You Shop

Before you buy groceries, make a list. Plan specific meals and get the ingredients for them. Before you go clothing shopping, identify the types of clothing you’re looking for. Recognize what you have in your wardrobe and what you actually need. If you want home décor, pinpoint some of the pieces you’re interest in (clocks, shelves, mirrors, etc.). Then measure to make sure you buy the right items.

Planning is one of the best ways to avoid overspending. It keeps you focused in the store, and it narrows your options considerably. If you create a budget for yourself in addition to a list, that’s even better. Hold yourself accountable to minimize unnecessary purchases.

Ignore the ‘Compare to’ Price

Many stores use this tactic to convince you to buy an item. The tag may read $4.99 but have a ‘suggested retail’ price of $14.99. You think you’re getting something for a third of its price. What a deal! In reality, you’re spending the exact amount of money the store wanted you to spend.

The same can be said for clearance items or flash sales. You think you’re getting a discount, but the store may have inflated the price before discounting it. Give each item a value before looking at the price tag. Don’t get roped into supposedly good deals if they aren’t good deals for you. That is what matters most.

Don’t Buy Something Just Because It Seems Like a Good Price

This is another cycle you may fall into. You see something that seems too good to pass up, but you don’t actually need it. You may already have several similar items at home, or you may not have a use for it at all. Don’t think about how much you’re saving. Think about what you’re spending.

Note: It is OK to stock up on items that you use on a regular basis. For instance, if you know that your normal paper towels cost $10 per set, feel free to buy several when they’re $6 a set. Taking advantage of a good sale isn’t the problem. It’s when the sale starts taking advantage of you.

Don’t Use Shopping as a Coping Strategy

Many people use shopping as a coping mechanism for depression, anxiety, grief, low self-esteem, and other mental health issues. Shopping releases a certain amount of dopamine, which makes you temporarily feel happy. It’s the same feeling that happens when you see likes on social media or when someone smokes a cigarette.

The happy feeling is only temporary though. At the end of the shopping trip, you have to face the reality of your emotions again. Rather than putting yourself in this cycle, look for healthy coping strategies that work well for you. If you have a therapist, you can work with them to find personalized solutions.

Get Help for Shopping Addiction

If you have shopping addiction or other unhealthy coping strategies, there are treatments available for you. At Urban Balance, we provide addiction treatment through therapy. Your therapist will work with you to identify the root cause of your shopping addiction. Then you can develop tools to overcome the addiction from the source.

To get matched with a therapist near you, contact us at (888) 726-7170.


Urban Balance prioritizes the safety of our clients and staff and will provide teletherapy counseling services.