But, what about those visits that are more spontaneous? When a friend drags you to her favorite outlet or an afternoon stroll ends in a new neighborhood boutique, you'll find a master wish list might save you from yourself.
"I keep a shopping list on my smartphone," says Lauren Lyons Cole, a certified financial planner. A few times a year, she goes through cupboards and closets from attic to garage and notes what she needs. "I'm only allowed to buy the stuff that's on my list."
Although a small notepad and pen would do the job, a smartphone means access to apps such as Google Shopper, which not only can store your master list, but also can scan barcodes for price comparisons, reviews and more.
Think of a master list as the ever-present instructions for scavenger hunting items you most covet to be found at the very best price.