Give Yourself A Break This Summer: Buy Two Of Everything

This post is part of our Summer Shortcuts series. Meagan and I are taking turns all summer long sharing little “cheats” and ways we give ourselves a break during the summer months. Enjoy! -Sarah

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Are you an over-buyer or an under-buyer? (If you’re not sure, I think Gretchen Rubin’s quiz is fun and totally insightful.)

I am definitely an under-buyer. I don’t usually stock up on things “just in case” or because they’re on sale, or because they “might come in handy one day.” I often wait until we are pretty low on staples like coffee or toilet paper to buy more, and I don’t think I’ve ever once purchased a birthday gift more than a couple of weeks in advance.

(By the way, Gretchen notes that there are pros and cons to both sides of this interesting character trait, and neither is all-good or all-bad.)

Despite my aversion to waste and relatively frugal lifestyle, though, I’ve started to realize that there are some things worth buying in bulk. Or at least in pairs.

Take sunscreen, for example. I am partial to an obnoxiously expensive brand (we use SO much here in Arizona and two of my three kids have super sensitive skin), and it kills me a little inside to buy more than one tube at a time. But the convenience of having one in my purse and one in our swim bag at all times makes it worth it. And, of course, if we use it all up before it expires, it’s not wasteful at all.

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With wonky schedules, family travel, and all that summertime brings with it, I rely on the two-of-everything rule even more. If it means less frantic searching, fewer trips up and down stairs, or one more day in between loads of laundry, I say it’s worth the up-front cost to outfit your home and life with back-ups of the things you use most. 

Here are a few things I’ve started buying two (or more) of, and I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments as well!

  • Sunscreen, chap stick, bug spray, etc. 
  • Toothbrushes and toothpaste (we keep them in both upstairs and downstairs bathrooms to make brushing fast and easy)
  • Favorite cups or water bottles (let’s END the fighting over the favorite plastic cup, shall we?)
  • Cheap flip-flops (one pair in the trunk of the car, one that stays in the backyard, etc.)
  • Hand sanitizer/hand wipes
  • Key cleaning supplies like carpet stain remover, antibacterial wipes, and glass cleaner (keeping a stash upstairs and down makes it less annoying to clean up a quick mess no matter where I am)

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So tell me: are you an over-buyer or an under-buyer? Do you stash duplicates of your favorite products in different places? What do you buy more of to make life easier?

Don’t miss any of the Summer Shortcuts posts! Here they are:

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