Shopping Dream Meaning and Symbolism

shopping dream

Did you wake up from dreaming about going shopping last night? For some people, dreaming about shopping is a good dream, while others might think of it as more of a nightmare.

The good news is that you’re not alone in having this dream, and after all, it was just a dream. And for most people, dreaming about shopping symbolizes your wants and needs.

Since you’re dreaming about shopping, you’re probably wondering what this means – what is your brain really trying to tell you? To understand this and how it relates to your current day to day life, we must investigate the context of the dream to see what the symbolism of the shopping excursion means for you.

Just keep in mind that how you personally feel about shopping (hate it? love it? think it’s a necessary evil?) plays an important part in defining the true meaning of dreaming about shopping.

Interpreting The Meaning Of Your Dream: Questions To Consider

Since the meaning of shopping in your dreams can be interpreted more than one way, the first thing we have to do is take a moment to answer some questions. Once you know the answers to these questions, it will be easier for you to interpret your shopping dreams.

woman holding shopping bags

How do you normally feel about shopping? Are you the kind of person who loves to go shopping? Or do you hate just the thought of having to go shopping?

Maybe you view it as something that is just another thing that you have to do, like a chore or even a job.

How did the dream make you feel? This is something that you should really consider carefully and deeply. Don’t just rush to say enjoyment if you typically love shopping, because the dream may have brought up other feelings as well.

Here are some guided questions to help you interpret this dream: Did it give you a feeling of dread? What about despair? Did you feel scared? What about calm and relaxed? Or maybe happy?

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How this shopping experience made you feel in your dream tells you something very important – it gives you a clue as to how you feel in your waking life about a specific situation.

Are you searching for something or dealing with a lot of choices in life right now? If either of these things apply to you, then that shows you directly how the act of shopping is relevant to your dreams and day to day life.

Do you work in retail (or have you)? If you have employment experience in the retail sector, then you shopping dream is probably more related to your job than the act of shopping.

In this instance, you’d need to consider if you love or hate or you job. And are you maybe considering changing jobs, and thus you have some choices and are trying to make a decision?

Some Common Meanings Of Shopping In Dreams

Ready to figure out just what the heck that shopping dream has to do with your waking life? Below are some of the most common possible interpretations of what the shopping appearance in your dreams actually means.

You’re at a crossroads with multiple choices or options.

This is probably the most common meaning for people who dream about shopping. It signifies some decision making in your current or near future.

Your probably have more than one choice or option to choose from and you’re having some difficulty making that choice. Use what you shopped for and selected in your dream as your subconscious mind’s way of letting your know the choice to make in your waking life.

tiny shopping cart

You are looking for answers.

If your shopping dream is a frantic one, where you’re making a bit of a mad dash to shop for something, then this is not a good dream. That frantic feeling has carried over from your waking life and what you’re desperately searching for is answers of some sort.

So, you need to determine what sort of problem you have going on in your real life that needs an answer – and then take the steps to answer it.

Did you find what you were looking for in your dream? If so, let that guide you in coming to a conclusion for the real life problem that you’re facing right now.

Are you going after what you want and need in life?

For some people, a shopping dream shows that you know what you want or what you need in life. And in the dream, you’re going after it, putting it in your basket, and checking out with it.

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Are you doing that in your day to day life? If not, this dream is showing you the path to take.

person shopping

Is that shopping cart full or empty?

Pay special attention to the shopping cart in your dream. Is it stuffed to the brim with items? Or are you pushing around an empty cart?

If that cart is empty in your dreams, then it means you are also empty. You’re not feeling fulfilled by life or the decisions you’ve been making.

If the cart is full in your dreams, then it means that you are also full. You are leading a life of fulfillment, which is awesome – but this is a warning to not overfill that cart and get overwhelmed.

If the cart is overflowing in your dreams, then it means that you are drowning (metaphorically speaking). So, it’s time to recognize that you’re going under and feeling overwhelmed and do something about it.

Did you have money problems paying for the shopping?

If your shopping dream is more focused on not being able to pay for the merchandise, or getting declined at the cash register, then it shows that you are stressed about your finances in the real world.

Maybe you’ve taken on more than you can handle and you cannot afford to keep it up.

Or maybe, the purchase in your dream went well and you’re not stressed at all. Instead, you’re happy because your finances are in a good place.

Either way, if your shopping dream is focused on prices or paying for the shopping, then it’s time to reflect on your finances in your waking life.

The Symbolism Of What You’re Shopping For In The Dream

Just as important as what’s going on with the shopping cart and how you feel in the dream is what, specifically, you are shopping for in it. So, you should take note of not only what you are shopping for, but the type of store where you are doing this shopping in the dream.

Are you at a book store in your dream?

I love bookstores, so I’d be stoked to dream about being in one. But, the reality is that if you’re dreaming about shopping in a bookstore, then it probably means that you’re seeking knowledge, or answers.

Often this is the result of needing to make a hard choice or decision in your real life.

So, pay attention to the types of books that you’re shopping for in the dream and it just might help you to make that decision.

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discount shopping

Are you at a clothing store in your dream?

Shopping for clothes in your dreams signals that you’re focused on your image. Of course, this can be due to several different things.

You might be concerned about how other people see you, either currently or because of something that you’re about to do.

You might be focused on trying to change your appearance or how people see you in real life, hence the clothes shopping.

You might also be trying to determine what image you want to project to the world, or how you want others to see you.

Regardless of the reason, pay close attention to the types of clothes that you shop for in your dream because they give a clue to the image that you see (or want to see) of yourself.

Are you grocery shopping in your dream?

If you’re on a diet or concerned about your weight, then this is a common recurring dream. As you might guess, it symbolizes your focus (and maybe struggle) with eating healthy.

For those of you not on a diet, this dream often is symbolic of your desire to provide for your family, and yourself.

So, if you’re buying a lot of good food, then you’re proud about providing. But if  you’re struggling in your dream, then it signals your real life feelings of struggling to provide.

It’s also important to pay attention to specifically what foods you are shopping for at the grocery store. Knowing this gives us more insight into the true meaning of the dream.

Are you shopping in a home or home improvement store?

Dreaming about being in a home goods store or a home improvement store can have a variety of different meanings. Maybe you’re looking to buy a house in your real life, so this shopping dream is more about deciding on things like decor and furniture.

Or maybe you’re renovating your home and this shopping dream is more about helping you to decide what the theme or decor will be once you get the property renovated.

As you can see, the type of store where you’re doing the shopping in your dream plays a part in helping us to decipher and meaning of your dream.


Have you had shopping dreams? Do you have questions about it? Do you have a shopping dream interpretation or meaning that we don’t have and you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments below.

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