Is Most of What We Buy Unnecessary?

Is most of what we buy unnecessary? This is a question that can be applied to budgets and shopping lists to really show how one spends his/her money. In order to answer this particular question a few questions need to be asked first. For starters, what do you buy? Plywood, groceries, vegetable seeds, diapers, guns, and ATVs are some items that can be bought. The next question that would be asked is what does necessary mean? Well, according to Merriam Webster, necessary means “absolutely needed”.  After that there is the big question we must ask. What is, whatever one buys, necessary for? See, certain things can be necessary for certain goals, or just survival. For example, baking powder is absolutely necessary in order to make biscuits, without it the biscuit would be smaller, since the powder helps the dough to rise while cooking, and also not as fluffy since baking powder assists in creating air pockets in the biscuit. Another example would be a certain toy, let’s say a certain Lego set, for example. And let’s say that one person has all the other Lego sets released that year, from a certain theme, the City theme perhaps, but not that one. That person wants to finish the collection. So, that set is necessary to finish his collection for that year, even though it may not be necessary for survival.

This question will help determine whether something is actually needed for one’s purpose in mind or not. Soy-free food (soy is put into almost all processed foods that most Americans consume daily) is necessary for someone who is allergic to soy, or else they will start vomiting almost all that’s in their stomach, collapsing in some cases, which ends up resulting in that person having to be taken to the emergency room. Soy free food is absolutely necessary for that person to be able to eat without getting very sick. Now, let’s say someone buys groceries for their family, and let’s say they spent around $35 on produce, $17 on dairy and meat, $25 on processed snacks, $30 on frozen foods, and $2.39 on a candy bar, well the candy bar is obviously not necessary for survival nor a balanced and healthy diet, regardless of whether you follow the USDA or a clean, organic, no hormone or antibiotic, and non-GMO (genetically modified organism) diet (which is much healthier), the candy bar isn’t necessary and best if avoided.

The point is, is that an item can be necessary for different things, and since the question, which is the title of the essay, is vague, it’s hard to actually get a clear answer, so by adding more questions we can narrow down specific items, determine their use, if there is a use, and then repeat the process for all items bought. So, is most of what we buy unnecessary? Well, what do you buy? What qualifies as necessary? And what is that item necessary for? These questions can help someone, maybe you, determine the answer, since it applies differently for each person on the planet.