Happy St Paddy’s Day everyone! Right now, shops around the world are celebrating Saint Patrick and his shamrocks as hordes of drunken revellers flock online to spend money whilst under the influence.
Today at Savoo we have seen a dramatic increase in use of voucher codes, with the number of people Shopping Whilst Intoxicated (SWI) hitting the roof. It seems that online shopping is the ultimate way to pass the time after a few beverages; after all, there are no shop assistants around to judge you as you bid on that Slendertone kit from eBay.
But whilst Shopping Whilst Intoxicated makes for a very funny story for the pub, it is not so great for your bank balance. So what can you do to prevent yourself ‘sipping and clicking’ this St Paddy’s Day?
Hide your credit card
Credit cards are enough of a temptation when sober, but when drunk they bring a whole new meaning to the word dangerous. Fancy a spontaneous trip to Amsterdam at the weekend but don’t get paid for another 3 weeks? Put it on the credit card! Spotted a Mulberry handbag on eBay for a bargain at £300 but already at your overdraft limit? Never mind, that’s what credit cards are there for!
Sadly the only solution to this issue is to put the card somewhere very, very difficult to get to. If you are going to a bar, withdraw only the cash you need and leave the credit card at home. If you don’t trust yourself to resist the temptation when you get in drunk with a carton of cheesy chips, stick your card in the freezer.
Line your stomach
Ever been to the supermarket when you are really, really hungry and ended up buying absolutely nothing you went in for? Well, Shopping under the Influence (SUI) is very similar: you need to line your stomach first in order to make sensible purchasing decisions. Eating a meal before you start drinking actually slows the amount of alcohol absorbed into your stomach, so you are less likely to get drunk and end up with a houseful of crap after an online shopping binge.
Plus, a big bowl of pasta, a hearty lasagne or even a glass of milk might also stop you buying that dodgy kebab at 3am made of unidentifiable ‘meat’.
Safety in numbers
Employing a friend who is less intoxicated to police your shopping habits on the night is an excellent preventative tactic. Their role might involve physically restraining you from entering the 24 Tesco and buying a Westlife Greatest Hits CD because you HAVE TO HAVE IT- or simply preventing you from taking out a year’s subscription to Match.com. Safety in numbers, that’s what I say.
(Of course, this won’t work if your mates are of the ‘banter’ variety that actually encourages SWI… If this is the case you might be in even more trouble).
Get rid of all your phone apps
We’ve searched the app store high and low, and whilst we can find plenty of drunk-dialling prevention apps we can’t see one for drunk shopping anywhere. For instance, DrunkBlocker prevents you from messaging or dialling anyone inappropriate, and in order to deactivate the app you have to pass a sobriety test. Brilliant! But where is the app to stop you buying One Direction CDs on Amazon?
Well, until technology geeks invent such a thing, I advise that you delete all of your shopping apps prior to a night on the tiles. That includes Amazon, eBay and most importantly ASOS. It might not stop you opening Safari and buying online, but an extra barrier between you and checkout can only be a good thing.
Have a returns rule
If there’s one rule you should remember when Shopping under the Influence it is to restrict your spending to shops with a returns policy. I have a friend who had one too many cocktails at lunchtime and bought a dress for over £200 in an overpriced boutique shop, only to find the next day that they only offer exchanges or credit notes. Oops.
Make positive purchases
My most successful drunken purchase was signing myself up to the Bath Half Marathon one night after a bottle of wine. I completely regretted it the next day, but with £30 down the drain I figured I may as well give it a shot. That impulse buy started my love affair with running, which is still going on three years later. So if you do find yourself with an urge to splash the cash on Paddy’s Day, channel it into something worthwhile- a gym membership, entry into a charity run or a set of dumbbells to give you the guns you’ve always wanted (even if they do end up just gathering dust in the corner!).
What’s the worst thing you’ve bought whilst shopping under the influence?