Shopping lists are super-important if you want to shop smart when doing any type of shopping. This is especially true of grocery shopping, but it works for every type of shopping. When you have a well-thought-out list, you can save money and time in numerous ways.
* Stay Focused – When you have a list, you’re going to stay focused on what you’re buying instead of all the distractions that stores put in our faces to try to make us buy that last-minute item just because it’s on sale or it’s at eye level at the checkout counter.
* Keep to Your Budget – If you are good at making lists, you’re going to save money. When you see the items on your list, it’s so much easier to identify things you really don’t need like those double stuff Oreo cookies that have no nutritional value at all.
* More Efficient Trips – When you create a shopping list, you can organize your trip to be more efficient. For example, you know you must get cold / frozen items last. So if you also have shoes on your list, you’ll get those first to avoid having to run home and put away the groceries.
* Planning Always Saves – Anytime you make solid plans to do something, you have an opportunity to save money (and time). The reason is that you can research the pitfalls and issues with your intended purchase in advance, which can help you narrow down the right brands that you want to buy without the sales hype.
* Avoid Waste – Often, and this is especially true with grocery shopping, we pick up things that look good at that moment but that we just end up wasting and never eating. This is also true with last-moment clothing purchases. That’s why you have clothing with tags on it. You had no purpose for it when you bought it, so it just hangs there useless.
* Take Advantage of Sales – When you plan your purchases you can look at mailed circulars, newspaper sales, and online information to find out when there are sales and take advantage of that. For example, for the most part buying a car in Dec–Feb (the previous year’s model) is going to be the best time, as they want to make room for new merchandise.
* Avoid Multiple Trips – When you create shopping lists, you’re much less likely to forget something requiring you to make last-minute trips to the store. When you make more trips to the store, you naturally spend more money because hardly anyone who shops can resist those sales more than a few times before they break.
* Keep You on Your Diet – Even if you’re not on a diet, planning your grocery shopping is essential to ensure you don’t only eat nutrient free high-calorie foods. Instead, you’ll see that you need to add some veggies and fruit when you look at your list.
* Keep You on Your Budget – If you make a list and see items that need research (like mattresses, beds, appliances and so forth), then you can do that research before you start the shopping trip – thus helping you stick to your budget.
Do you use lists when you shop? If so, how do you make your list? Do you use paper, or do you use an app? Let’s hear how you save money and time with your shopping lists.