Impulse Buys or Planned Purchases


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When I went to Marshall’s last weekend for my new dishes

Storefront of Marshalls

…I saw all kinds of fun, discounted food products.  Like dried fruit and specialty granola.Shelves of discounted food products

But I realized I can make my own homemade Vegan GF Granola for pennies per serving in 20 minutes.  So I passed on the store bought.

Vegan GF Granola spread out on parchment lined pan


I also saw a great price on agave, until I remembered that ordering agave on is actually cheaper than the discounted price at Marshall’s.  Use code AVE630 at checkout to save $5 on your iHerb order.  For anyone who needs protein powder, supplements, stevia, hemp seeds, chia seeds, specialty flours, and more, iHerb is the hookup.  I’ve posted about it recently.

Close up of Agave Nectar bottles

Oh and I love coffee!  This was exciting to me to see all this coffee at reduced prices.

Various coffees on shelf

Various Kahlua Coffees on shelf

The exotic flavors looked great but I remembered that I had just bought Cocoa Coffee from TJ’s.   I have plenty of coffee on hand.

Coffee A Cocoa Medium Dark Roast

I can prove that I am well-stocked in the coffee department with a Coffee Review post, where I reviewed enough coffee to keep a narcoleptic awake.


Moving on to these funny mugs that I saw, but I don’t need any more dishes.

Two coffee mugs with various sayings

I kept reminding myself that I was there to buy a few cute items for blog photography purposes, maybe some everyday plates, but not re-outfit my whole kitchen.  I have kitchen cupboards in which I can “shop” from if I need to, rather than buying more.

Shelves of various cook and bakewareIt was hard to pass up aisle after aisle but as I said the other day, I can exercise willpower and restraint like a “switch” and I kept the switch in the off position.  Mostly.

Here’s what I did buy when the switch was ‘on’.

From my last post on giggles and contagious laughter, it was fun hearing your stories of busting out with laughter for no special reason.

Breakfast/Snack/Dessert: Vegan GF Banana Nut Muffins

Overhead of Vegan GF Banana Nut Muffin in tin
Hand holding portion of Vegan GF Banana Nut Muffin
And if you absolutely need some chocolate in your life, try a Raw Vegan Brownie
Raw Vegan Brownie


1. Best thing you’ve ate or done so far this weekend?

I made something dessert-ish that rocked my socks off.  To be blogged about, soon.

2. Do you impulse buy? Or do you plan your purchases carefully?  Or, a mix of both depending on the item/situation?

I am a researcher on some items.

My DSLR camera, researched it tons.

My Macbook computer, researched it tons.

Makeup/Hair/Health & Beauty Products: Impulse buy with what looks fun, but also buy based on need.

Clothes: Impulse buys are less and less.  I gravitate toward wearing the same things over and over in my closet, and know myself well enough to know what I will end up getting use out of and what I won’t reach for.  I would rather buy what I know I will actually wear than just random things that look cute in the moment.

Food: I try not to impulse buy anymore even though I just posted about all the foods I’ve tried because of the blogosphere and trying anything once.   With impulse buys on food, I wind up with food that’s either over-priced, perhaps not very healthy (if we’re talking pre-packaged or pre-made food), or is something that I won’t use/desire in the long term.

When I first started reading blogs, I went through a trying everything I saw phase, but now, I am much more selective before I plunk down cash for something that I see on blogs.  I make sure that I feel I will really enjoy the product or if it’s an ingredient, that I will actually make the recipe I am buying said ingredient for.

How are you with Impulse Buys vs. Planning your Purchases? In related matters, don’t forget to check my recent Willpower & Restraint post.

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Welcome to AverieCooks! Here you’ll find fast and easy recipes that taste amazing and are geared for real life. Nothing fussy or complicated, just awesome tasting dishes everyone loves!

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  1. Rocked your socks off?! Can’t wait for that post.

    Best thing I made: Black & White chocolate cake.
    I’m pretty much a planned purchase person – and well researched too.
    The items I do buy impulsively are usually on sale, and something I know that we either need or use a lot. Then I will stock up while the getting is good.

  2. I have definitely learned my lesson in the past and now research big ticket items as much as possible, but I am a HUGE impulse shopper for piddly stuff. Alex is too, so we’re dangerous at the store together! :)

  3. I always buy on impulse. Maybe because i love shopping so much and i spend half a day in the stores when i do it. I usually go thinking i need to buy 1-2 small things, then i leave with 20-30.
    There are some offers you just can’t pass by. Or maybe it’s a disease i have. But i like the first option better :)

  4. I have a huuuuge problem with impulse buying! Lately I’ve been buying way too much food stuff that I know I don’t need.

  5. Coffee… hmmmm….. i live vicariously through you. XO

    I had vegan french toast this weekend. Major treat. Major food hangover after. But, Major fun!

  6. I tend to research big purchases like furniture and cars, but at discount shops I impulse buy. I tell myself if I don’t buy it now someone else will and it will be gone, so I must take it home. … Then I get buyer’s remorse and end up returning half of what I buy.

  7. The best thing I did this weekend? Probably take the time to sit down and watch a cheesy chick flick and completely relax for a full hour and half :-)

    I plan my purchases for the most part, but the grocery store is such a dangerous place b/c I’ll start to wonder around and end up making a few impulse purchases haha, WHOOPSY :-p

  8. Truthfully buying food at Marshells kind of freaks me out, I always wonder how old it is and what it went through before hitting their shelves. A co-worker bought me a gift set of mixed teas from Marshalls for my bday and they were awful, flavorless and stale. My mother-in-law sometimes buys food from dollar stores which totally freaks me out. :-P

    Rats, I forgot to look for that coffee on my last TJ’s trip – next time. :-)

    1. Had a movie and dinner date with hubby.
    2. Yes, but rarely and usually at Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s. And maybe an occasional online deal. I tend to be an over planner for larger purchases, researching it tons and considering lots of options. You can imagine how long the car buying process is for me. :-P

    1. I totally agree/wonder, too, about the food and shelf life issues going on. Very good info about the tea. I saw some really beat up and old larabars there that were 70 cents each but not worth it b/c who knows how long they had been there! Penny wise pound foolish comes to mind!

  9. When I was out to dinner at a Korean restaurant last night, I followed an impulse and got the octopus & veggies. It wasn’t as tasty as squid, but it sure was interesting to try!

  10. At a store like Marshall’s its almost impossible NOT to impulse buy, for me anyways! Thanks for the info on, first time I’ve read about it and I’m always excited about good deals!!

  11. My impulse buys are ALWAYS food-related, but whenever I am buying something that will put more than a microscopic dent on my bank account, I do TONS of online research! I’m talking reading every single user review, comparing features, you get the idea:)

    Slash why does my Marshalls not have good food like that?! Ours only has dairy-laden chocolate and candy and not-so-healthy food:( Double slash your dishes that you got are GORGEOUS, love!

  12. I think I literally go to Marshalls whenever I’m bored just to look around – yesterday I bought a small bag of the dry roasted edamame, and the dried apple chips – SO GOOD :)

    1. thanks for FF me on Friday on Twitter. I am still such a twitter dunce that I dont even know how to reply to those things. But I saw it :) If i just retweet it to acknowledge it, I dont know if that’s ‘cool’ or lame or what. I know, i am not hip to the twitter stuff!

  13. I am proud of you, its hard in any store, let alone a store like Marshalls where good deals are around every corner, to exercise restraint. I bet it felt so good going home w/o any feelings of guilt though. I just got a new car and so to save up for the down payment for the past 2 months I have not bought anything ‘fun’ such as clothes, makeup, jewelry or trips to the spa and I thought I couldn’t do it but I have and the longer I go the easier it is. Life is so much more fun without credit card debt and stuff we won’t use sitting around our homes.

  14. ughhhh marshmellows is SUCH an impulse buy place! i usually get to the line with like 4 things and the lines are always so long that i evaluate what i really need and end up buying one thing which is usually one of their ‘gourmet’ coffees or a new bowl haha. i’m glad you checked yourself and reealized your granola is 10,000 tastier then the other ones! enjoy your sunday girl!

  15. I am sort of bad on impulse buys at places like Marshalls/TJ Maxx. I used to be terrible at WFs but have gotten so much better and stopped all the waste. Every once in a while though, it’s fun to treat yourself to an impulse buy ;-)

  16. I’ll admit, I definitely have IBS (impulse buyer syndrome, not irritable bowel syndrome). If I see something cute I purchase it without a second thought. It’s bad.

    That being said, more expensive products (like my camera, expensive shoes, bags, etc) I invest a lot of time and energy and researching in to to ensure that I LOVE IT. I suppose that compensates for my inability to retrain myself from buying 443948309 $2.00 plates at TJs, right?

  17. I totally want that mug!!! I’m going to my Marshalls to see if they have it! Hope they do! I love love big ol mugs for little dainty ones here!

  18. ahhhh! I just left marshalls yesterday with the same thing. Well I actually got the granola and a new purse. random, but awesome deal!!

  19. On weekends J Crew opens their online “factory” outlet. I had $300 worth of stuff in my basket last night, so I took two items out and let the rest sit overnight to think about it. Now I think I only REALLY want 2 of the 4 items, so I’ll be spending under $100 instead of $200 +. I try to always “think about stuff” and then come back a little later to see if I really really want/need it!!

  20. My boyfriend is a “researcher” too :-) I love that…he was even reading about pillows the other night! He sunsequently came back from the store with new pillows that he explained every single detail about on arival at my flat :-) He is also a photographer so drop me a message if you ever need any tips sweetie! (p.s he clearly has had no influence over my blog photos!!!!)

  21. 1. I made some soup with broccoli stems, butternut squash, carrots and fresh ginger. So simple and so so good. Squash is like candy to me. Also, I made more than what I needed so I have some for tomorrow! Yay for leftovers!

    2. I usually plan my purchases, and to the point that I pretty much talk myself out of buying them because they don’t meet my standards. I guess that’s a good thing though =)
    My weak spot is probably cookware or bakeware… or food. That picture is definitely bringing out the shopaholic in me.

    1. i think someone couldnt even be a food blog reader if that pic didnt bring out the shopaholic in them :)

  22. I’m a little bit of both, too! Big ticket things I research like it’s my job, and hem and haw before finally going through with a purchase. Food-wise, I’m not even going to pretend like I don’t have a flour obsession – but I am a lot better about not impulse buying than I used to be! I especially like this point: “When I first started reading blogs, I went through a trying everything I saw phase, but now, I am much more selective” YES – me too! That and, half the time when I pick up some expensive packaged product or nut butter, I think to myself “nah, I can make this.” and plunk it back down. I’ve narrowed down my “danger zone” to the flour aisle. I am unstoppable there :P
    Can’t wait to see the dessert that rocked your socks off!! It’ll probably do the same to mine :P Best thing I ate this weekend – either those hermits, or the honey-mustard tofu & sweet potatoes!!

    1. knowing your palate, yes, you will like it. Lots. Tomorrow i am posting it :)

      Flour/danger zone….there are worse things. you’re doing good.

  23. I ALWAYS enjoy reading your posts. You are so thoughtful and wise, I really love your pictures of the merch in Marshall’s. Thanks for sharing as always Averie!!!

  24. Oh gosh going to Marshall’s and the like are so dangerous for me in terms of foodie items… I always cave lol.
    I would NOT have been able to stand that granola! ;) I just always want to try a bit of everything… Oh well!

  25. Oooh, guess what! I can get those dorset cereals at the shop across the road! (Here in Australia, that is.) Sure, I can’t get anything else you’ve shown, but I’m excited anyway :P

  26. I am an impulse buyer but I am getting better and better at putting things away and just getting out of the store! Tonight I went to Williams-Sonoma with the intention of buying nothing and suddenly I had a basket of pancake mix, syrup, jam, spatulas, avocado cutter/thing, a thing that makes your water carbonated!!! Wow. Then I thought about things, put them all back except one of the spatulas and the avocado thing. I almost spent $200 and instead spent $20. This happens all the time.

    I had some amazing guac at dinner today — HUGE chunks of avocado and it was amazing. I think I ate 2 avocado’s worth!

    1. congrats on talking yourself out of $200 and putting all that stuff back. I remember your craigslist-a-thon…you dont need to be doing that again any time soon :)

  27. Hmmm..well, shopping for me is tricky. I tend to pick things up and walk around with them while continuing to shop and 99% of the time I put the stuff back. I call it pre-buyer’s remorse ;) But I definitely have my impulse moments..they are just few and far between!

  28. I’m like you. I impulse buy makeup, clothes and such. Certain things like my laptop and camera I researched it like it’s my job.