3 Reasons NOT to go to the Grocery Store Without a List!

Savvy Spending

Savvy Spender knows how to pinch a penny and about being on a budget. She has learned great ways to save money on everyday expenses.

3 Reasons NOT to go to the Grocery Store Without a List!

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Just as Christopher Columbus didn't set sail without a map and Neil Armstrong didn't land on the moon without a carefully detailed plan, shoppers shouldn't take on the grocery store without a list.

3 Reasons NOT to go to the Grocery Store Without a List!Save more money on your next grocery trip by mapping out the journey before heading to your destination.

Here's why:

1. Needs over wants

Sure, it seems simple enough, but we've all succumb to the almighty power of the attractive display of who-knows-whats and the colorfully packaged thingamabobs. Stores' tools and tricks to make shoppers dole out more money are pervasive, but superfluous spending be avoided with a little bit of planning. By making a shopping list, you'll be able to differentiate between the foods you need and the foods you (and your credit card) can do without.

Put the "planning" in "meal planning" by putting together a simple to-buy list. Grab a cookbook, choose a crowd-pleasing dish, and only write down the ingredients you don't already have at home. To avoid buying one-time usage ingredients, aim for dishes that use common ingredients, or use your resourcefulness and find a substitute instead.

By making a physical list of things to buy at the grocery store, you'll be less likely to stray from the meal essentials. Still, it's realistic to allow for some leeway. Just set a limit to how many unplanned items you can buy before heading out - one to three unlisted finds are plenty.

2. It's about time

Using a grocery list saves more than money-it saves precious time that all busy shoppers can use. Think of the shopping list as a road map. No more aimlessly wandering through the aisles you have no business being in. No more distracting detours. It's just you, your list and your basket, fully equipped to hit the open, well, aisles.

By knowing the layout of your grocery store, you can weave through the maze like a pro. Learning how to be efficient with your time in the store is tied to being just as efficient with your money.

3. It's easier than you think

Whether you're a smart phone devotee or a pen-and-paper traditionalist, there are countless ways to make a shopping list. Cell phone apps are designed to make creating (and checking off) a grocery list smoother than ever. With today's technologies of convenience, the process of grocery shopping has been streamlined into a process that's faster and simpler than you can say "Easy Mac."

Not a techie? Not a problem. Today, numerous companies sell pre-made shopping lists that have basically done all the work for you. Checklists with an all-inclusive list of items already printed on them make savvy shopping easier than ever before. Simply run through the list before you go and check off items you know you need.

But not having these fancy tools is no excuse to not make a list. All it takes is a pen, a piece of paper and the willingness to save more time and money in the grocery store.

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Food on the Table Meal PlanningSheri Alzeerah; Food on the Table

Sheri Alzeerah, a self-proclaimed "international hodgepodge," is proud to call Texas her home. Alzeerah was born in Canada, and moved to Texas in 1993 with her Bahraini/Iranian father, Filipina mother and two older brothers. As Food on the Table's editorial intern, she scouts out ways to save money on home-cooking and grocery-shopping. Her work can be seen in Texas Highways, Austin Monthly, UT's student newspaper and alumni magazine, various local newspapers and her personal food blog, Chow, Bella!

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  • This is great article because it can help people save money and also eat better foods.  You can sit there with the list and determine what is healthy and what maybe fattening.  Grocery stores are designed to make you wander around and pick up things you do not need.  We are more responsible when we are making a list versus impulsive wandering the aisles.

  • By the time tummies start growling and patience starts wearing, it's tempting to just grab a take-out menu or zip on over to the nearest drive-thru. With fast food joints dotting every street corner and snappy food delivery just a phone call away, convenience

  • What's worse is November's peanut butter price increase due to the scarce peanut crop this year. But don't let the draught dry out your wallet too. Peanut butter is so much more than the old standby for choosy moms

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