Shopping versus Provisioning

Have you ever taken the time to examine your shopping habits?  Since shopping habits have such a powerful effect on our expenses, I’ve made a study of marketing and sales techniques.  No, this isn’t going to be a post chiding you on frugality, it’s a post about two differing mindsets that can have a profound influence on your buying habits.  It’s the concept of shopping and the concept of provisioning.


When you think of shopping, what comes to mind?  Browsing around amongst piles of goods?  Selecting items that best reflect your taste and style?  Maybe a harried trip through the grocery store with no list but the need to find something to eat tonight?

Shopping seems to be about choice and comparisons.  Shall I buy this or that?  There’s a lot of deciding to do.  The work of shopping seem to stand in strong contrast to the idea of…


When you buy provisions, what are you doing?  In your my minds eye, do you see someone with a list, perhaps buying the supplies needed to run their household in a very business-like manner?  Is it as if they had an inventory that they need to fill and they are going about the most effecient and inexpensive method of filling that inventory?

Compare and Contrast

Both shopping and provisioning involve purchasing what you want or need for yourself, but wouldn’t you agree that they involve two opposing approaches?  The first: lacksidasical and emotional, the second: intentional and premeditated.  My question for you: when does it make sense to shop, and when does it make sense to provision?

Before I sign off, let me make myself perfectly clear.  I’m not knocking shopping or deifying provisioning, what I am proposing is that we be mindful of when we are shopping and when we are provisioning.

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