How to shop consciously on sale: guide on how to save money, time and planet

The end-of-season sale is a great time to think about how to shop more mindfully – here the best tips.

Your first thought might be that mindfulness and consciousness don’t go together in the same sentence with seasonal sale shopping. They usually don’t. But even though sale craziness and flashy signs are still around (and probably bigger and better), there are ways to avoid temptations and be thoughtful for a second.

What is conscious shopping?

Conscious shopping means buying more mindfully – buying less, smarter and better. It’s not about resisting the urge (especially when shopping on sale), but making better choices and being aware of your decisions.

Mindful shopping is buying less, smarter and better.

In order to be a mindful shopper, you might want to change your old shopping habits (impulse buying being one of them) and think of ways to support businesses that focus on ethical and ecological practices instead.

How to shop mindfully on sale?

There are a couple of tips that might be useful when buying consciously. 

Want to shop more responsibly? Here’s how to start.

Do your research

First things first – plan your shopping, make research. As time-consuming as it may sound, create a wishlist with everything you would like to buy on sale. And stick to it. Even if some of your desired items are sold out, don’t try to replace them with cheaper alternatives you actually don’t want. 

Buy only what you need

Impulsive buying that ends up as regret is one of the main problems many face when shopping on sale. Instead, think twice before you buy.

What I prefer to do when unsure if I like or need a certain item is to save it in on the wishlist and sleep on it. If I still feel strongly about this the following morning, it might be worth buying, but if the initial shopping rush and excitement are gone and you are still having second thoughts, you should skip it. 

Buy only what you can afford

This might be self-explanatory, but it’s still worth mentioning. Excessive sale shopping isn’t worth your budget and can have serious long-term consequences and effects on your lifestyle. Set yourself a realistic budget and keep track of your spending.


One in, one out

The budget might not be your problem, but space is? Don’t hoard items you don’t wear or use for the sake of a sale or good deal.

Instead, apply one in, one out rule which will help you keep track, not only of your closet but your financial situation too. In order to buy something new, sell, recycled, gift or donate something you already have but don’t use. 

Buy from sustainable brands

If you want to shop consciously on sale, it’s a good idea to check for sustainable and ethical labels that put fair trade, ethics and quality before profits. 

Think beyond high street and research independent or eco-friendly brands you like but maybe can’t afford.

Don’t know where to start? Here are the best sustainable fashion, denim, loungewear and yoga/activewear brands. 

Invest in high-quality pieces

When talking about sustainability, we should probably mention quality too.

Is it made well? Will it last more than a season? What material is used to produce it? In what conditions? If your desired garment checks all those boxes you are safe to put in the basket.

Shopping as a conscious reward 

Last but not least, enjoy it. For many, shopping is a stress reliever and it doesn’t have to be a negative thing – we all need certain things, (some more than others!). Yes, consumerism and fast fashion aren’t good for people nor the planet, but there are positives in consumption too. 

You can support small and independent businesses for example; buy from sustainable brands that choose to make less money so you can have options; buy handmade from talented artisans. Brands that pay living wages and provide decent working conditions. Brands that don’t use toxic chemicals and tons of plastic that pollute the planet and poison people.

Sometimes it might be easier to shop at large retailers and organisations but it’s more rewarding knowing you supported small brands and local communities.


Editor’s note: Feature image via Daniel von Appen/Unsplash.