Make Your Best Shopping List

by Gina Blitstein · 0 comments

Uh-oh…your cupboards are looking bare. Time to hit the grocery store. You’ve got your wallet at the ready so out the door you go, prepared to stock up your fortress. But wait — where’s your shopping list? You didn’t make one? Big mistake.

Grocery shopping without a list is like planning an attack without a battle plan. Think of grocery shopping as waging war in the marketplace. The store’s mission is to get you to spend as much money as possible and your mission is to keep as much of it as you can. Your grocery list represents your means to that end. It enables you to accomplish your goal of getting in, securing precisely what you need and escaping with your bank account intact. The enemy is unpreparedness, which leaves you vulnerable to costly confusion and impulse buying. You also run the risk of launching an incomplete mission, which will mean another confrontation with your adversary in the form of an extra trip to buy what you forgot.

Let’s make a shopping list that will keep the mission of buying your groceries and household supplies on track – as streamlined, efficient and economical as possible. Because every shopper is unique, as is every store and circumstance, take into account your own shopping style along the continuum of rigid to free-form. The goal is to create a useful tool that works in harmony with the way you shop. Here are some general practices to bear in mind to make your best shopping list:

Make a grocery list template. This will serve as your strategy guide as you plan each grocery procurement mission.

  • Create a master list of household staples. Write down what you use on a daily basis by brainstorming and by consulting your last few grocery receipts.
  • Flesh-out your grocery list to include extras, like snacks, beverages, special occasion foods and supplies. Remember what’s necessary for all meals (and in-between them) and any specialties needed for parties or events.
  • Organize your list by aisle or area of store. This will ensure that you get what’s needed the first time in each department, avoiding backtracking and passing tempting merchandise not on your list.

Update your list according to season. Store offerings as well as your needs change with the seasons. Revisit your template several times a year to include what you didn’t think of a few months ago.

Incorporate sale items. Before you shop, peruse the store’s sale flyer, adding items you need that are on sale in order to save on things you use. It’s also a good way to plan a splurge, when something you wouldn’t ordinarily buy goes on sale.

Create your list on something that can be taken with you. Writing items on a dry erase board may be convenient when you’re in the kitchen but it means either your list stays at home or you have to copy it on something portable, doubling your effort. It’s better to use good old-fashioned paper or a portable electronic device.

Add items directly to your list as realize you need them. Don’t wait — do it now before you forget!

Plan the dishes you want to cook. Based upon what you have on hand and what’s on sale, create a meal plan and add ingredients you don’t have to your list.

Shop alone, unless you are shopping with your savings army. Untrained tag-alongs cause extra spending. Don’t let those shopping with you detract you from your mission!

Making, taking and sticking to a list makes your shopping easier, more complete and in the long run, more economical.

Bonus Tip:

Another way to save on your monthly Internet and TV costs is to find a current ATT U-Verse coupon code or at least a promotion to knock down your home service bill.

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