This article in the Huffington Post makes it all so so trivial. Why do we keep shopping? Why do we buy things we don't really need? Are we really that shallow?
Buying to impress people - If spending some money (which just about anyone can do) impresses certain people, it doesn't really say much. It doesn't reflect in any way on me.
Buying out of habit - It's possible to get other habits. After all, it's only because we've done them over and over that they become habits. And repetition can get boring, can't it?
Advertising made you do it - Doesn't it make you feel a little foolish to be so gullible? Technology (think Netflix, fast forward, ad blocking) makes it possible to avoid a lot of advertising. Avert your eyes
Buying it retail is the least creative option - You're better than that, aren't you? I get a kick out of re-purposing something or adding new life to something that was going to be discarded.
Shopping cheers you up - We all like 'nice' things, however we define that. Give yourself a small budget and enjoy the hunt through alternative venues (eBay, thrift stores, bartering) and find something that gives you some long term pleasure every time you look at it.
Maybe the best alternative? Find something else to do!