Raise your hand if you have ever walked into a grocery store and spent the next hour trying to remember what it was you went in there for in the first place. (Did you really raise your hand? If so, good for you!)
Don’t worry, you’re not alone. It’s hard enough to shop in the limited time we have. Adding in children and other distractions while trying to focus on what we need, plus making sure we get the best bargains and … well, it’s virtually impossible at times to make sure we’re using our grocery money wisely.
I love my shopping list and rarely do I show up at a store without it. If I do try to wing it, I inevitably arrive home to find I have forgotten at least one thing. We all know how frustrating that can be!
My grocery list starts at Say Mmm. This reminds me to buy things I normally buy, and to pull weird things off my meal plan. Then I check out the running list that is stuck to my refrigerator. If my husband wrote down that he is in desperate need of Doritos, then I add that to the list. Then I check to see what I have for coupons. I am far more likely to use my coupons if I align them with my list before I ever head into the store.
Using the grocery store flyers to create your list is another good method. If I am going to make stops at multiple stores, I will create a list for each. I also try to make sure all my shopping occurs on the same day. While this may take more time, it saves in the long run. I’m not running out each day to shop thus I save time and gas money.
When I shop with a grocery list, it helps me keep my spending within budget. On those weeks when I really have to cut it close, my list doubles as a budget. I know approximately how much everything will cost, and I write the prices directly on the grocery list. There is also a Say Mmm Plus feature that helps track and add up prices. When I add up the prices, I can check to make sure my list isn’t bigger than my paycheck. If it is, then I can pare it down at my kitchen table, not in the checkout line.
With a list, I’m also less likely to nab an impulse item off the shelf. I’m certainly not saying that impulse buying is eliminated completely, but my list certainly cuts down on it. I’m also less likely to make multiple trips to the store (or worse, the local corner convenience store where the aforementioned bag of Doritos costs $1.4 million) since using my list means I’m less likely to forget something.
Shopping with a grocery list isn’t fail-proof. I still arrive home from time to time having forgotten something, but it doesn’t happen often. By shopping with a plan, I save money and that, my friends, is a good thing.