Grocery shopping. Some people love it. Some hate it. But me? You would think I hated it since I go so infrequently. I’ll be down to the bare minimum in my fridge before I venture over to my local Kroger.
In between my big monthly grocery hauls are stops for some necessities. I might pick up some milk and eggs at Walgreen’s. Tomatoes are a necessity I’m never without—those I get at the Coffee Company. The Coffee Company? Yes. They’re right next to my dry cleaner and many years ago I couldn’t resist the urge to stop by as I saw a beautiful display of tomatoes outside their door with a hand lettered sign “home of the killer tomato.” How could I not stop?
The store is teeny tiny but manages to pack in a lot of stuff from fruits and veggies to Godiva chocolates and local homemade artisan jams and of course many types of coffee roasted right at the front of the store. Danny is almost always either behind the counter or overseeing the churn of the coffee roaster.
But back to my main grocery trek. I generally shopped with a partial list or one in my head—coupons in hand. As a registered dietitian nutritionist I’m always advising clients to shop with a list. Sometimes I’d jot down a few things just to make sure I didn’t forget. Occasionally I’d think I could not possibly forget that one easy item only to walk out of the store with everything but that one item I needed. Sound familiar?
Last year I started to get serious—really serious about the list thing. Being a coupon clipper I’ll first go through those putting them on my list and identifying with a “c” next to it indicating I’ve got a coupon. Unless there is a new product I want to try, my coupons are always items I generally buy. Then I’ll go through my cabinets and find what needs to be restocked. On to the list those items go.
The only thing I’m not very specific about are fruits and veggies. Unless I’ve looked at the paper, I usually don’t know till I get to the store what’s on sale and what looks best.
Most importantly is sticking to the list. I allow myself three extra items—things I might have forgotten to jot down. Using the list has made shopping so much easier. Where before I’d pick up an item and debate putting it in my cart but now, if it’s not on the list it’s not an option (unless I want it to be one of my three *bonus* items). Furthermore I am spending 30 – 40 percent less money. On occasion up to 50 percent. Amazing. I can’t believe how much impulse buying I did before.
So shop with a list—a detailed list! Stick to the list and see how you’ll buy healthier and spend less.
What is your experience shopping with a list?