Here is another simple but powerful savings tip. Shop with a list! It doesn’t matter if you are shopping at the hardware store or the grocery store. Shopping with a list will always save you money.
We’ve all been there, wandering through a store when we suddenly see or think of something we need. Sometimes, it truly is a forgotten need, like when you forget to add eggs to your grocery list and you see them as you are picking up the milk on your list. Most times, I would venture to say that if the item wasn’t thought of beforehand and intentionally placed on your list, you don’t need it.
There are certainly exceptions to this rule! Again, perhaps you are in the grocery store and you stumble upon a cart of marked down cereal that is only $0.50 a box. If your family eats cereal and the item fits in your budget, I would certainly snatch up this bargain, even though it wasn’t on my list.
The two examples so far have been from grocery stores. Here’s one more grocery store example. As I mentioned with one of my previous tips, when I’m planning my grocery list, I write it on the outside / back of a junk mail envelope. Then, I tuck any corresponding coupons inside the envelope to keep everything together. When I get to the store, I pull out my envelope and mark items off my list as I shop.
Lists help because you know what you are going to buy and how much money to allot for that trip. A list helps you resist the temptation to pick up that checkout lane bar of candy or the latest screwdriver gadget because it wasn’t on your list. A list helps you stick to your budget. It’s easy to mentally convince ourselves of anything but when we have a list written down on paper, it’s harder to persuade oneself to make a change.
I make lists throughout the day but especially when I’m shopping. When I am running a day of errands, I list all the stores I am going to, in the order I am going, with the items I want to pick up at each one. Lists help me stay focused so I can get in and get out without forgetting anything. Not only do lists save me money, but they save me time. Both things which I like to save! How do you save using lists?
To read the previous tips in this series, you can do so here.