TIP #5: THE LIST

I can count on my hands the times I go to the store without the list. It is a known fact now that people who shop with lists save more money than those who don’t. Every store I go to I take a list with me. This includes grocery shopping, but it also includes thrift shopping, natural food items, clothes shopping too. The list helps me to just buy what I need instead of spending on items I don’t use or will never use.

Grocery list example

My grocery list comes from scouring my assortment of cookbooks, looking at sales fliers, and recipes I have hidden inside my head. In my case the recipes in my head scream louder than my cookbooks. So I write down a menu with the date on it, then I write down every ingredient onto the list. I cross off items I already have like: garlic, onions, and any spices.

After I make the master list for grocery shopping  I dissect it into different blocks. The first block is always the produce, because most grocery stores are situated with the produce first. Then I have Can/Jar, Box/Bag, Meats, Dairy, Paper Products/Misc. I dissect the master list in this way for all the stores I shop at. Because it saves time and money.

As I move through the store I check off all the items I put in the cart. No brainer there. When I’m done shopping at one store I keep the list because if I didn’t check an item off because it was too expensive or the store didn’t carry the brand I like, I will add that item to my other stores. This happens when I am on the look out for organic gluten free items.

When I’m finished with my shopping I take the master list and I attach it to the menu then I save both to use at a future time. This helps save time, so next year this time I can pull out the menu we had in the first week of March this year. That’s why I date my menus and my lists.

I only buy what’s on the list. If something is on sale that isn’t on my list, I run through a series of questions and if I answer yes to ALL the questions then I can purchase the item. For instance I bought a case of apples three weeks ago at my gourmet grocery store for $5.

Questions I ask

  • Do I have to time to process them (apple sauce, pie filling, butter)? 
  • Could I save money by purchasing them?
  • Did I have the space to store them?
  • Could I share them with others?
  • Will we eat them?

I answered yes to all these questions, so I bought the box. I made the time to process them, I ate some of them, I made cookies from some and shared them, and I saved money because now I have frozen apple pie filling with no-sugar that is great on ice cream in the summer (a nice gluten-free treat).

The list helps me to buy only healthy food for my family plus it gets me in the store only once a week instead of multiple times because the less time you spend in a store the less money you spend.

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