My shopping m.o.: enter Retail Establishment X with stealth. I am a stealth shopper. If it is a familiar venue (Target, Gap, Banana R., Old Navy, any of my favorite thrift and/or consignment stops), I surf it, seeing what highlights gleam among the goods.
Sometimes I pick something up immediately and carry it around for the duration of the visit. Yesterday: green linen skirt with frayed hem; grey men's teeshirt; beaded flipflops; baby-blue espadrilles.
This is the only time that I ever use the math that I so assiduously "learned" when I was in high school--it's like in A Beautiful Mind, when all that math scrolls by, or like in The Matrix--calculating how much money I have in hand, what I can afford, whether really, really wanting something overrules the "what I can afford" consideration.
I pick up and put down various items. Sometimes, an object's loveliness declines while it's in my arms; sometimes it swells. In the end, ninety percent of the time, I put most or even all of what I've carried around back on the racks (where they came from--I clean up after myself--).
Yesterday's net result: beaded flipflops. That I really, really wanted and I really, really love.