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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Frugal in France: No Shopping

Now that I am in France, I realize how much time one can spend shopping in the USA. I'm not just talking about shopping in stores. Or even about my therapeutic thrift store jaunts (which I must cut down on).

First of all, there are no thrift stores here that I can see. Second of all, since going into stores here can be a bit pressure-filled, I confine myself to window shopping--if I am walking anyway. I love the French law that mandates prices in the windows.

In the US, I can't escape. Today I received an email announcing 20% off at Big Lots. OHHHH noooooo. I also received an email from Garnet Hill about their summer clearance. And Nordstrom sent me an email about their upcoming Anniversary Sale. It is so tempting to click on the email and see the offerings. i have been deleting though. And taking myself off of most email lists.

It has been head clearing to get away from all the shopping. I was going to end this triumphantly by reporting that I had bought nothing in my month here that was not consumable. I am sad to say that I stepped into Monoprix while Mr FS was negotiating the Bank of France.

Still, I've had almost a stuff-free month here.

How do you get away from shopping?


une femme said...

Monoprix can be *anyone's* undoing.

I've been shopping way too much lately, so no advice to offer.

FB @ said...

I do the same thing you do -- I travel instead ;)

a) It makes me not want to bring back anything in my suitcase that I don't absolutely love

b) I only have a set budget in cash I don't want to waste

c) I sometimes find better stuff in Canada or even in NYC where I am planning on going next

Duchesse said...

There are lots of thrift stores (friperies) in France, just not in your view. They are often part of open-air markets, and are also in storefronts on side streets in towns. They are independents, not organizations like Sally Ann.

(Churches tend to distribute used goods privately, within the congregation.)

However, b/c the French are not as obsessed with having a million outfits, they wear their things much harder, and what ends up in friperies or les puces (flea markets) is much more worn, as a rule.

That being said, there are some very high end secondhand stores (like Didier Luot in Paris). You will not find bargains, but they offer exquisite things.

I found writing down every single purchase and reviewing the "stars" and "dogs" at the end of the year to be extremely insightful. Was buying too many duplicates and sale things I didn't really want. Whether high end or thrift, consuming is consuming.

Shelley said...

Initially, I wanted a down payment on a house more than I wanted anything else (a new dress, take away pizza on Friday night, even a coke at lunch). Then when I made it a rule to wear everything I already own, I wasn't at all bored, so I didn't need to shop for clothes much at all. Eventually, I was out of the habit and I find I don't much enjoy it anymore. I'm guessing you still enjoy the thrill of a purchase. My latest rule is that I can't buy something on a whim; I have to have already identified that need before I saw some gizmo in a store. And I'm sure you know not to grocery shop when you are hungry...

The Gold Digger said...

I found a thrift store near the Eiffel Tower. Or a fancy consignment store. Even the consign prices were higher than I was willing to pay, but the clothes, shoes and purses were really, really nice.