So this is why I want to buy a lot of bar soap?

When we were in Cape May over Labor Day I realized I'd forgotten to pack soap. There is a nearby CVS but we'd also come across a vegan soap and toiletries shop in our "Cape May + vegan" googling and I jumped at the chance to support such a shop even if the soap was more expensive -- and also I love buying stuff like that. It's a little #treatyoself but also totally useful and adult. I bought soap! We all need soap.

And maybe this is why?  I ran into a post on Apartment Therapy that recaps a study. The study states that when we feel a loss of control (stress), we are more likely to buy an increased amount of utilitarian products. 

To quote a quote from the Apartment Therapy link --

The study's authors explained the results, writing, "Consumers who experience a loss of control are more likely to buy products that are more functional in nature, such as screwdrivers and dish detergent, because these are typically associated with problem solving, which may enhance people's sense of control."

And I get this. I get a feeling of sufficiency, preparedness and yeah, control when buying utilitarian items. It's not boring, it's smart! I am known to buy trinkets as well --  I have a whole Sonny Angel collection so I mean come on -- and soap and soy milk are good sound buys that prepare me for the future. Sonny Angels make me happy (cute kewpies with animal heads!) but now I'm running out of places to put them. I get a little jolt of kawaii cute woo! that happens but I definitely don't feel more in control or more prepared in my life by buying tiny dolls. When I buy tiny dolls I just feel frivolous even though I enjoy them. (And I have some plastic guilt about them.) Bags are probably a similar middle ground. Useful, needed, but I already have plenty and they don't wear down the way soap does. 

I thought it was an interesting study and, honestly, maybe something I would push myself to do more than buying dolls or bags in the future. I feel like it's a win-win if something gives me a positive boost and is something I'd use anyway. 


  1. Makes sense to me! I definitely feel like I'm on top of life after stocking up on groceries or drugstore staples.

    1. Totally. Maybe I can just redirect all my spending on soap and standard personal care or household products.

    2. You'll never run out of soy milk or contact solution again!

      I've been trying to redirect some of my shopping-energy toward finishing up old projects or going to the library. Finishing up projects sucks, obviously, but going to the library DOES scratch a shopping itch for me--- I can 'treat myself' to anything in the whole library!

      I noticed recently that I use both good and bad moods as excuses to shop and/or eat sugar. Bad day? I deserve a reward! Good day? This calls for a treat! Trying to rein that in a bit.


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