It seems every time I walk into a grocery store without a list, the same thing happens. I get distracted by the bright lights, the colorful shelves, and the piped-in music. Instantly forgetting what I came for.
I usually end up buying food I shouldn’t be eating or products I don’t need. (I bought a big bag of potato chips when all I needed was salad fix-ins.) But what infuriates me the most, is realizing I forgot an essential item for dinner or the home resulting in having to go back out to the store again. For these reasons, I never go shopping, especially grocery shopping, without a list.
Making and using a grocery list is a matter of habit. I keep a pad of paper stuck on my refrigerator with a magnet so it’s always available. It’s convenient because when I am cooking if I run out of bread or onions, I can easily jot it down right away. Other family members do the same. When the day to go grocery shopping finally comes, I take a minute and recopy the list to make the task easier. I place all the vegetables and fruits in one column, chicken and meats in another, and do the same with canned foods, dairy items, and so on. This saves me from having to walk back and forth between the aisles searching for random items.
Another advantage of using a list is I can sit down and make check marks next to items for which I have coupons. I can make note of the expiration dates on the coupons and put them in order so I’m not fumbling around with them at the checkout stand.
The biggest challenge is sticking to the items on the grocery list and walking by the chips, cookies, and candies that I (personally) don’t need to buy. But even if a few bags of comfort food end up in my cart, my list keeps me on track and ensures nothing is forgotten. Lists not only save me time, but also save me money. This is why I make and bring a shopping list!