This afternoon, I’m facing a decision of existential proportions. Okay, that’s a huge exaggeration, but it’s one of those decisions that feels much bigger than it obviously is.


Follow along with me for a moment. You know when you’re going about your day, not looking to solve a problem because you don’t know you have a problem? Then, someone points you to a product that could solve your problem (the one you didn’t know you had). Suddenly, you start to wonder, “Do I have a problem that I didn’t know I had, and do I need this product to solve it?”


I was pointed to the Mercado, the ultimate farmers market bag, by a friend on Facebook today. The large bag has seven interior compartments to keep fragile food safe, two interior loops to hold bottles of wine (or maybe flowers), and outside compartments to hold a wallet and keys.



I have been shopping at the farmers market for years now without this bag and doing just fine, but now that I know it exists, I want this bag! My favorite farmers market opens in just two weeks, and there’s a little voice inside my head saying, “If you order it now, it will be here for opening day.” But, it’s not big enough for everything I cart away from the market weekly (especially when corn is in season), and the price is $24.99 for one bag.


Still, it’s a really great concept, and if I was someone who made several trips to a farmers market each week, picking up a few things at a time, I’d probably order one. But, I shop at the farmers market once a week, and I’d need more than one bag to fit everything.


So I’m going to sit on the idea for a while like I do when I find a new product that I didn’t know existed and I didn’t previously feel the need to have. If after a week or so, I’m still thinking about the Mercado and considering buying it, I’ll rethink it again. By then, it won’t be an impulse.


Before I was aware of how much all of the stuff I buy impacted the environment, I was an expert impulse shopper. Now that my focus is on buying less stuff, even purchasing a product that makes shopping at the farmers market a little easier needs careful consideration.


How do you handle the urge to shop impulsively?


Also on MNN: 7 things you can make instead of buying

Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

Resisting the impulse buy
One of those you-didn't-know-you-needed-it-until-you-saw-it items has our food blogger resisting the urge to shop impulsively.