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Grandma’s Top 5 Gazingus Pins

A number of years ago, I read the book Your Money Or Your Life by Vicki Robin and Joe Dominquez.  The book is a real eye-opener about how much of our time we spend “earning a living”.  I’d recommend your reading the book if you haven’t already done so.

One of my favorite terms from the book is Gazingus Pin.  You’re probably wondering what a gazingus pin is. It’s not a new jewelry item or a sewing notion.  I’d be willing to bet that every one of you who is reading this HAS a Gazingus Pin or two.  No way, you say?

According to the authors, a gazingus pin is “any item that you just can’t pass without buying.”

Think about it for a minute …. maybe you do have a few gazingus pins lying around your house.  Maybe you’re already thinking of some things that fall into that category of unpassable items for you.   If you are, that’s wonderful because knowledge is power.  If we can expose the lure and promise of the gazingus pins in our lives, then we can be armed to stand against the temptation to buy more than we can use and afford.

Grandma’s Top Five Gazingus Pins

1.  Plastic Containers –I know, it’s crazy to be crazy for plastic containers, but I just love   ’em! I have so many of them, that I sort them by shape and size in my cupboards.

2.  Dinnerware–I do love dishes!  At one time, I had a set of dishes for every season of the year.  Finally, when the bottom of my hutch was bowing under the weight of them, I had to pare down my collection of sets of dinnerware.  When I’m shopping, sometimes I still wander through the housewares department in some stores to admire the different patterns. But I don’t buy.

3.  Office supplies–Mechanical pencils, pens, paper clips, Post-It notes, notepads, notebooks, etc.





4.  Fabric–Sewing is my business and my hobby, and like so many of us, it’s difficult to pass up more hobby supplies, even when our cupboards, shelves, and boxes are overflowing.




5.  Sewing Patterns–While fabric is a real weakness of mine when I’m shopping, patterns are even more dangerous for me.  Patterns = Possibilities, and I love to have an endless supply of possibilites!

That’s my list of Gazingus Pins.  Once I recognized my tendency to overspend on these items, I was able to curb that spending.  Sometimes I still pick up a gazingus pin here or there, especially if the price is right, but now I’m aware of what I’m doing.

Please leave a comment with your top Gazingus Pins.  Recognizing them here may help you to say no to them at the store.


65 thoughts on “Grandma’s Top 5 Gazingus Pins

  1. Oh my gosh; my husband’s top #1 is the same as yours! He is always saving containers and we hardly use them! They just take up space in our cabinets.
    One of mine would have to be pens. The second is magazines that I have never and will never read! (Why? I get them in the mail and I don’t throw them out in case someone else may need them.) I think that’s it. Oh wait, candles. Yep.
    Thanks for the list!

  2. Cookbooks! I love ’em! I have over 200. Well..closer to 300. Fortunately now I mostly bring new ones home from the library and I can take them back!

  3. Reading this post was like therapy! I’m learning to manage my desire to acquire….but let’s see:
    lip gloss
    exotic spices and cooking ingredients
    fountain pens
    stuff for our dog
    workout gear
    but I’ve gotten to the point where I can look at them and then walk away….mostly….
    Thanks for sharing. Now I know what a gazingus pin is…
    Peace and good.

  4. My comments got lost…I am working on managing my acquisition issues, so I can usually walk away from the objects of my desires.
    I love books but have learned to go to the library.
    I love music, but can satisfy that fix at the library too.
    Exotic spices and cooking ingredients
    Fountain pens
    Workout gear
    Lip gloss
    I am getting better, though. Reading this post was like therapy, and now I know what a gazingus pin in….thanks!
    Peace and good.

  5. My Gazingus Pin is also office supplies – namely pens and pencils. For whatever reason I always feel like I need to buy them when I see them, yet I have bins and bins of them in my office I just never go there first! Most of them have probably dried up from never being used, it’s such a waste of money and I’m well aware of that, yet I can not stop!

  6. i get coffee cups, books, puzzles, office supplies and socks. I also keep buying coffee pots but only because I am forever in pursuit of the perfect cup of coffee!

  7. Hi, one of my pins are foods on manager special at my local grocery store. I’m from Blogelina today group 1 and the link you offered isn’t working. I had to manually type in your address to find you. Just an FYI

  8. My #1 is office supplies and my #2 is school books & curriculum.

    I a homeschool mom and I am addicted to curriculum.

    What a cute list.

  9. What a great idea. Now I have to figure out what mine are…probably clothes for my girls. Especially if it says clearance lol

  10. My mom has the office supplies fetish. She loves all kinds of office supplies, but her #1 favorite is Sharpie markers. If a new color is out, she has to have it.

    The only thing I really obsess over is books.

  11. I tend to go for pattern books, especially about making bags.

  12. I love stationary! If I found can’t-do-without stationary, I buy! However, I always use my stationary and in a few instances I have ran out! This is the only thing I could declare my Gazingus pin!

  13. Mine would be books, books and more books! I also love to buy different types of teas.

  14. Hmm, I love office supplies so that would probably be my biggest one, especially pens. I like to collect pens, lol

  15. Oh, Office supplies would be a big one for me. Also new health & beauty items, especially little items that are in bright & shiny packages. Containers/Baskets (not food) that you would use for organizing… I have dreams in my head of how I could organize with them… then I just end up with them filled with clutter. I have gotten much better, when I encounter my Gazingus items, I scrutinize it very hard, I wander around the store, and if it is something I really want, I try to imagine why it’s different than all the others I have at home.

    Another Gazingus for me would be those clearance stickers… I have to remind myself just because it’s cheap doesn’t mean it’s for me. Especially when stores trick you by putting a clearance sticker on an item, and it’s only .87 less than it was before.

  16. Moving every 3 years because of the military you really don’t have an option to keep stuff because you are limited by weight what gets moved for you. But I would have say mine would be craft supplies for my kids.

  17. I am also a saver of containers. I think I get it from my grandmother. There is really no reason for it. I have plenty of nice Tupperware.

  18. Gazingus? Hilarious! I guess I can’t pass up a good deal on soda since my husband drinks it like water. Other than that, I’m pretty restrained.

  19. Wow, I had never real thought of this before. I don’t really shop too often to really get into a habit of buying extra stuff I don’t need… but I am more prone to buy more stuff for my girls if I see a sale or clearance sticker on it.

  20. Books. Just let me in a bookstore (or library) and come back to take me in a couple of days. Or weeks.
    Second choice? It’s not really an object — but whenever I have the money, I prefer spending it on a trip than on any kind of acquisition.

  21. I tend to collect plastic containers. Recently I gave away about 20 to my neighbor and recycled about another 20 and still had plenty left for my needs. They seem to multiply when you are not looking. I also collect yarn and fabric for projects.

  22. I read that book many years ago and it has affected my lifestyle ever since. I don’t remember the Gazingus Pins in the book, it’s interesting how we remember different things. What I remember was that I was very poor at the time and buying stocks was not something I could do, but I still followed other principles in the book. Let’s see, trying to think if I have any Gazingus Pins… I guess I could say office supplies, I really do love office supplies. I was at Costco last night and was buying batteries and there were all those pretty pen collections… I was tempted, but I held firm and left. Well, they flickered the lights signalling that the store was closing in five minutes, so that probably helped. 🙂

  23. Mine would definitely be books. I can never have enough of those. Office supplies are up there too, but the sad thing is I usually buy them, then forget about them. Oh, and coffee! I can’t resist a new flavor of coffee.

  24. Tins, totes, and anything that has paper in it. I can’t help it!

  25. Definitely office supplies! I cannot pass by an aisle of pens, post-it notes, notebooks, or folders without buying something. Especially if they are on the clearance aisle!

  26. That’s a new phrase I’m going to incorporate. I do have a weakness for books and office supplies. I’ll remember this post when I’m tempted to buy unnecessary stuff!

  27. Mine used to be books but I have given up the addiction! Now I rely on our local library and I reserve my shelf space and my money for the books I truly love (Your Money or Your Life is one of the books with a permanant place on my shelf).

  28. Hmm… I think the only thing I have to buy if I see it is anything that belongs in the kitchen that is red. Those are must haves!

  29. Sleep masks. Silky, patterned, irresitable eye masks that help you get to sleep especially on planes. I mean, I travel sure, but not THAT much. Someone cut of my internet connection now!

  30. This is great a great tip for reducing spending! Gazingus pins for me are shoes, books, and seasonal place mats.

  31. For me, I think it would be books and scrapbooking supplies. I’ve pretty much curbed my book habit by going to the library every week, but I still love me some pretty scrapbooking paper! Have tons of it that I intend to use one day 😉

  32. Honestly, clearance items have to be my weakness. Sometimes I see items I would never otherwise consider buying, but since they’re on clearance… Especially clearance clothes, though I have recently been into modifying clothes, so I don’t think that’s ever a waste to buy. 🙂

  33. Great list. Let me see, a few of mine are great shoes (I’m picky, so I don’t find a lot of these), clothes that fit me well and sale items at Gap.

  34. Fun post! Mine are old frames, scrapbook paper and jars!!

  35. Oh, how I wish my plastic containers looked as organized as that!

    My top three would be: 1) Office supplies 2) Educational/learning toys 3) Books.

  36. Fun post! Mine would probably be crafting supplies for my girls.

  37. Mine would be any crafting supply. My craft room is full and I still need more. Ha!

    Thanks so much for sharing!


  38. I have a large collection of yarn, and yet when I want to start a project the allure of brand new yarn at the store calls to me. I should either get rid of my stash or start using it. I guess that would be my Gazingus Pins. Yarn. Although most of my stash has been bought at clearance, or picked up from Goodwill or Savers.

  39. I just realized how darn frugal I’ve become. 🙂 I can’t think of anything to list! Wohoo! In the past though, it would have been craft supplies or books.

  40. I have few things that I save (glass jars under my kitchen sink). Strange obsession…but I do it. Jelly jars, pickle jars, salsa jars. CRAZY! LOL!

    Around My Family Table

  41. What a fun thing! We talked it over and came up with cookies, chocolate, books, cookbooks, book marks, tea bags, and dog toys!

  42. my g. pin is hair accessories. for my girls.

    it used to be candles. now its scentsy bars. LOL

  43. Candles. STop the madness! Love ’em. Have too many of ’em.

  44. Cookbooks and clearance items. My dad calls them “bargains if you never use them.”

  45. I’ve never heard the word before – I guess in my case it would be pens and notebooks. I just love them, even when I don’t really know what to use them for. 🙂

  46. Produce that I know is a good deal.
    Toothpaste that is almost free.
    Jeans in my size (which are the style I like) at that second hand store.

    I tend to notice what it is that is hard for me to pass on, mainly because I too cheap usually. =)

  47. I, too, really like office supplies…especially fun ones! A Gazingus pin for me are books! And thanks for adding to my list of a particular Gazingus pin to look for 😉 I think your post was helpful, as well as fun!

  48. Antique Kitchenware and Beauty Products I have lots and lots of both. I never heard of Gazingus Pins I love it!

  49. Hmm, I honestly can’t think of any that I have. I am not a big shopper, I’m super frugal (read: cheap lol), stick to a budget and am a minimalist. I like to throw things away, donate things, get rid of as much as I can. I can’t stand clutter and try to not have anything in my house that I don’t love or can’t use. I sound really boring, don’t I? If money were no object and I had tons of spave I would probably say books would be my number one temptation. Gel pens and dry erase markers are plentiful, but as homeschoolers we use them all the time.

  50. In the past, mine would have been books or office supplies, but it’s amazing what having no money will do for your buying habits. LOL

  51. In the past I would have said it was anything that was a great deal. But I got into a LOT of trouble with my finances and now, I can honestly say there isn’t anything I can’t walk away from.

  52. I don’t think I have anything I can’t resist, but temptations are always office supplies, books, and music.

  53. This is a good thing to think about. I know, almost immediately that my top 2 gazingus pins are: baskets (especially bigger baskets without handles) and other organizational bins, etc. I love have a pretty, organized space!

  54. I have a hard time passing up books. And if they’re on sale, be still my heart!

  55. Almost anything to do with cross-stitch. Or clothing items, including shoes and handbags. I’ve gotten better since I have friends who will call me out on my impulsive purchases for those items (in a nice, loving tone, of course!) Those are my gazingus pins.

  56. I love that word – Gazingus. I, too, love dishes. If I had any where to store them and could afford them, I would own dozens of sets. I also have a fetish for office supplies, especially brand new notepads and beautiful pens. I have some fabric because I’ve sewed on and off for years, but my biggest gazingus would be yarn. Since I began knitting six years ago I’ve fallen in love with beautiful, natural fiber yarn. But since money is always tight I can’t afford to be extravagant. And that is A Good Thing.

  57. OH I LOVE THIS! It’s sooo true! Mine would be office supplies…I just can’t get enough!

  58. Notions for scrapbooking are my weakness.

  59. Suppliments! I know that they are so good for our family!


  60. What a fun post!! I am a nut for office supplies and one of my favorite gifts as a child was when my aunt took a coat box (you know those really big and long clothing boxes) and FILLED it with every kind of pen, paper, sticky, notepad… I was in heaven!!

  61. Haha, I had never heard that term before but I have to say, I have many gazingus pins! #1) a good deal 2) accessories 3) things for making hair accessories 4) stickers 5) Etsy stuff 6) shoes 7) bras…I think there’s nothing that’s not a gazingus pin to me, I’m in trouble!

  62. I would have to say stuff with lighthouses on it. Love collecting them.

  63. […] by Vicky Robin and Joe Dominquez in their book, Your Money or Your Life.  Last March, I wrote another post about gazingus pins which has become my most popular post EVER.  I think most of us can relate to having a few […]

  64. […] love to buy new patterns.  In fact, patterns are one of my gazingus pins.  The trouble with my pattern buying habit is that I don’t really like to try new patterns […]

  65. […] 1.  Most popular post:  Grandma’s Top 5 Gazingus Pins […]

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