100+ Things To Do Instead of Shopping

Today I’m going to share with you a list of things to do instead of shopping.

In fact, I use the same shopping alternatives every time I feel that urge to go out shopping and spend money on things I might not need.

Let’s not waste time shopping around and dive in.

1. Practice Mindfulness Instead of Going Shopping

Mindfulnes is so important to me that I have to make it number one.

Below I share with you some of my favorite rituals to help me get over buying stuff.

Consider Mindful Walking

  • Take a leisurely walk in a natural setting like a park or forest.
  • As you walk, focus on the sensation of your feet touching the ground.
  • Pay attention to the sights, sounds, and smells around you.

This guided walking meditation can be a refreshing and grounding way to connect with nature and yourself.

Mindful Journaling:

  • Set aside some time each day for journaling.
  • Write down your thoughts, feelings, and observations without judgment.
  • Reflect on your emotions and experiences, allowing yourself to process and understand them better.

Journaling for mindfulness can be a therapeutic way to practice mindfulness and self-awareness.

2. Set Financial Goals

You can use this moment to set clear financial goals instead of buying stuff.

For example, I found out that when I take time to reflect on my financial goals, I get motivated to avoid unnecessary spending.

Emergency Fund:

  • Why: An emergency fund provides a safety net for unexpected financial setbacks, reducing the need for impulsive spending during emergencies.

Debt Repayment:

  • Goal: To create a plan to pay off high-interest debts like credit card balances or personal loans.
  • Why: Reducing or eliminating debt frees up money for other financial goals and reduces the financial stress associated with debt.

Savings for Specific Purchases:

  • Goal: Set aside funds for specific purchases or experiences, such as a vacation, a new car, or a home renovation.
  • Why: This helps you avoid impulsive spending by planning and saving for the things you truly value.

Retirement Savings:

  • Goal: Contribute regularly to retirement accounts such as a 401(k) or an IRA.
  • Why: Saving for retirement ensures financial security in the future and reduces the temptation to spend excessively in the present.

3. Explore Free or Low-Cost Activities

This might include hiking, picnicking in the park, attending free community events, or exploring local museums on discount days.

Visit Local Parks and Nature Reserves:

  • You can spend time in your local parks, nature reserves, or hiking trails.
  • You can enjoy nature walks, picnics, birdwatching, or simply relaxing in a natural setting.

Library Activities:

  • Public libraries offer a wealth of free activities and resources.
  • Consider attending book clubs, author talks, or workshops.
  • Borrow books, audiobooks, and DVDs for entertainment.

Community Events:

  • Keep an eye out for community events like street fairs, festivals, and art exhibitions.

DIY and Crafting:

  • Explore your creative side with do-it-yourself (DIY) projects and crafting.
  • Use materials you already have to create art, home decor, or handmade gifts.

Online Educational Resources:

  • Take advantage of free or low-cost online courses and educational resources.
  • Platforms like Coursera, edX, and Khan Academy offer a wide range of courses on various topics, allowing you to learn new skills or deepen your knowledge.

Cook at Home Instead of Eating Out:

  • Instead of dining out or ordering takeout, experiment with cooking at home.
  • Try new recipes.

Public Transportation Adventures:

  • Use public transportation to explore your city or nearby areas affordably.
  • Plan day trips to visit landmarks, museums, or cultural attractions without the expense of fuel or parking.

Join Free Fitness Classes:

  • Many communities offer free or low-cost fitness classes in local parks or community centers.
  • Participate in yoga, aerobics, or group workouts to stay active without a gym membership.

Online Entertainment and Gaming:

  • Enjoy free or low-cost entertainment options like streaming movies, TV shows, or playing video games online.
  • Some platforms even offer free trial periods for premium content.

4. Engage in Hobbies to Replace Shopping

Whether it’s painting, gardening, playing a musical instrument, or cooking, hobbies can provide a sense of fulfillment without the need for shopping.


  • Capture the beauty of the world around you through photography.


  • Cultivate a garden, whether it’s a small balcony garden or a backyard oasis.

Musical Instruments:

  • Learn to play a musical instrument like the guitar, piano, or violin.

Writing and Journaling:

  • Start a journal to record your thoughts, experiences, and reflections.

Outdoor Activities:

  • Embrace outdoor hobbies like hiking, cycling, or rock climbing.

5. Volunteer as a shopping alternative

Volunteer your time and skills for a cause you care about. It’s a rewarding way to give back to your community and engage in meaningful activities.

Community Cleanup:

  • You can participate in local clean-up initiatives to help maintain the cleanliness and beauty of your neighborhood.

Mentoring or Tutoring:

  • Volunteer your time to mentor or tutor students in subjects you excel in.
  • Many schools and organizations welcome volunteers to provide academic support and guidance to young learners.

Animal Shelter:

  • If you are a friend to animals, you can volunteer at an animal shelter or rescue organization.
  • You can help care for and socialize with animals, assist with adoption events, or even foster animals in need of temporary homes.

Food Banks and Homeless Shelters:

  • Volunteer at food banks or homeless shelters to help distribute food, serve meals or assist with donation drives.

Environmental Conservation:

  • Get involved in environmental conservation efforts by volunteering with organizations that focus on protecting natural habitats, cleaning up waterways, or planting trees to combat deforestation.
  • Join environmental organizations or local groups that organize cleanup projects in parks, beaches, or natural reserves.

These activities help preserve the environment for future generations.

Elderly Care:

  • Offer your time to provide companionship and assistance to elderly individuals in nursing homes or through community programs.
  • Activities may include reading, playing games, or simply engaging in conversation.

Hospital Volunteering:

  • Hospitals often welcome volunteers to assist with tasks like delivering flowers to patients.
  • You can provide information at reception desks, or even spend time with patients in need of company.

Humanitarian Aid Organizations:

  • Volunteer with humanitarian aid organizations that respond to disasters or provide relief to communities in need.

This can involve disaster response, medical assistance, or building projects in underserved areas.

6. Minimalism things to do instead of shopping

Minimalism things to do instead of shopping infographic

Declutter Your Living Space:

  • Begin by decluttering your home.
  • Go through your possessions and identify items you no longer need or use.

Donate or sell them, and aim to create a more streamlined and organized living environment.

Mindful Consumption:

  • Adopt a more mindful approach to consumption.
  • Before making a purchase, ask yourself if the item is truly necessary or if it adds value to your life.
  • Avoid impulse buying and focus on quality over quantity.

Digital Declutter:

  • Extend minimalism to your digital life.
  • Delete or organize digital files, emails, and apps that no longer serve a purpose.
  • Reduce screen time and unsubscribe from unnecessary online subscriptions.

Prioritize Experiences over Possessions:

  • Shift your focus from acquiring possessions to creating memorable experiences.
  • Invest in travel, adventures, and activities that enrich your life and create lasting memories.

Mindful Time Management:

  • Apply minimalism to your schedule.
  • Prioritize tasks and commitments that align with your values and goals, and eliminate or delegate those that don’t.

Practice Gratitude:

  • Cultivate gratitude by regularly reflecting on the things you appreciate in life.

This mindfulness practice can help you find contentment in what you have rather than constantly seeking more.

Practice Digital Detox:

  • Take regular breaks from screens and technology to recharge and reconnect with the physical world.
  • Engage in activities that don’t involve digital devices, like reading a physical book or going for a nature walk.

7. Learn New Skills

Coding and Programming:

  • Learn programming languages like Python, JavaScript, or HTML/CSS.

Coding skills are in high demand and can open up career opportunities in web development, software engineering, and more.

Language Learning:

  • Study a new language or improve your proficiency in a foreign language.

Digital Marketing:

  • Acquire digital marketing skills such as search engine optimization (SEO), content marketing, social media management, and email marketing.

This is exactly how I started learning about SEO by joining an online course on blogging.

Graphic Design:

  • Explore graphic design software like Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator. Learning graphic design can be useful for creating promotional materials, personal branding, or even pursuing a career in design.

Music Production:

  • Delve into music production and create your own music tracks or podcasts.

Gardening and Horticulture:

  • Develop your green thumb by learning gardening and horticultural skills.

DIY Home Improvement:

  • Gain skills in DIY home improvement and maintenance.
  • Learn how to make minor repairs, install fixtures, or even tackle larger home renovation projects.

First Aid and CPR:

  • Enroll in a first aid and CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation) course.

These skills can be life-saving in emergencies and are valuable for personal safety and assisting others.

8. Connect Socially instead of online shopping

Join Clubs and Interest Groups:

  • Participate in clubs or interest groups related to your hobbies or passions.


  • Attend professional networking events or conferences related to your career or interests.

Networking can help you expand your social and professional circles.

Cultural and Arts Events:

  • Attend cultural and arts events like theater performances, art exhibitions, or music festivals.

Fitness and Sports Groups:

  • Join fitness classes, sports teams, or recreational leagues.

Religious or Spiritual Communities:

  • If you’re religious or spiritual, participate in activities and events at your place of worship.

9. Seek Professional Help

Mental Health Concerns:

  • If you’re experiencing symptoms of a mental health condition such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), it’s crucial to seek the assistance of a mental health professional, such as a therapist, psychiatrist, or counselor.

Addiction and Substance Abuse:

  • Individuals struggling with addiction or substance abuse should seek help from addiction specialists or rehabilitation programs.

Financial Counseling:

  • If you’re facing financial difficulties, such as overwhelming debt, budgeting challenges, or issues related to compulsive spending, consult with a financial counselor or advisor.

Relationship and Marriage Counseling:

  • When facing difficulties in a relationship or marriage, seeking the guidance of a couples therapist or marriage counselor can help address communication issues, conflicts, and relationship challenges.

Career and Life Coaching:

  • Career and life coaches can provide guidance and support in achieving professional and personal goals.

10. Plan Ahead

Financial Planning:

  • Create a comprehensive financial plan that includes budgeting, saving, and investing.
  • Set financial goals and prioritize saving for major expenses, emergencies, and retirement.

Meal Planning:

  • Plan your meals in advance by creating weekly or monthly menus.

Travel Planning:

  • When going on a trip, plan your itinerary, book accommodations, and arrange transportation in advance.

Career and Education Goals:

  • Develop a career or education plan that outlines your goals, steps to achieve them, and a timeline for progress.

Home Improvement Projects:

  • Before starting a home improvement project, create a detailed plan that includes the scope of work, budget, and timeline.

Holiday and Gift Shopping:

  • Plan your holiday and gift shopping well in advance.
  • Create a list of recipients, set a budget, and start shopping early to take advantage of sales and avoid last-minute stress.

Retirement Planning:

  • Begin retirement planning early by estimating your retirement expenses, saving consistently, and exploring retirement account options like a 401(k) or IRA.

Time Management:

  • Plan your daily and weekly schedule in advance, allocating time for work, family, personal activities, and relaxation.

Effective time management can help you stay organized and reduce stress.

11. Practice Delayed Gratification Instead of Spending Money

Savings and Investment:

  • Instead of spending your entire paycheck, allocate a portion to savings or investments for your future financial goals.
  • Delaying the use of this money allows it to grow over time, providing greater financial security in the long run.

Weight Loss and Fitness:

  • When pursuing fitness or weight loss goals, understand that results may not be immediate.
  • Stay committed to your exercise routine and healthy eating habits, knowing that the benefits will become more noticeable over time.

Education and Skill Development:

  • Invest in your education and skill development for long-term career growth.

Debt Reduction:

  • If you have debts, focus on paying off high-interest debts first, even if it means making sacrifices in the short term.


  • Saving for a down payment on a home is a classic example of delayed gratification.

Retirement Planning:

  • Save for retirement early and regularly, even if retirement seems distant.

Healthy Eating Habits:

  • Opt for healthier food choices even when unhealthy options are readily available.
  • Over time, healthier eating habits can lead to improved health and well-being.

Emergency Fund:

  • Build an emergency fund to cover unexpected expenses. Prioritize saving for emergencies, even if it means postponing non-essential purchases.

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