Even frugal people can go overboard without intention. Then you wind up spending extra money on things that you don’t need. I used to be guilty of this all of the time, and I still have to be careful about it. By thinking ahead and using a few minutes to take inventory, you can save yourself some money and some hassle.
Last weekend, my family and I made a stop at one of the huge children’s outgrown sales in the area. This sale is always packed with tons of clothing, shoes, toys and equipment of all kinds. The sale can be somewhat frantic at certain times of the day.
In that kind of environment, it is easy to get caught up in the grab, grab, grab mentality. But that is another post.
Before we went to the sale, I went through the closets and attic bins to see exactly what my kids needed in terms of clothing: which sizes and how many of each type, such as jeans or long-sleeved dresses. This way, I can target the pieces that we need. There is no point in buying several tops, if we already have them at home.
Taking inventory is great to do for many things around the house, and a regular inventory will prevent overspending. Have you ever come home from the store with a jar of peanut butter only to find that there were already three others in the back of the pantry? Hopefully you can use them all up before they hit the expiration dates.
Kitchen gadgets and supplies can be another area where taking inventory is a good idea. I found that we had several vegetable peelers and way too many Ziploc bags for one household.
When taking inventory, I suggest that you start with one small area at a time. You may find a pressing need to do it, such as that outgrown sale, or you may be able to incorporate it into your regular routine.