Summary – Shopping is like war, finish your mission and get out of there ASAP
It’s weekend, and you are thinking of going to the mall for some shopping. That’s like preparing to go to a battlefield, where almost everything you do will result in some loss of blood (in this case, money)
However you are not the typical guy who go into a war unprepared. You have learnt almost every little tips to control your expenditure especially combatting impulsive buying. You prepared a list of what things to buy. You start your engine for the shopping trip. Not long after that, you are back with a lot of items you actually don’t need, fewer money to save and sometimes a huge debt in your credit card account.
Where did you go wrong? My guess, it’s the list. Here are some suggestion on how to improve your shopping list.
1) Research monthly items
Take two months to actually do the experiment. Whenever you go shopping, jot down every little things you buy, the quantity and the price. List that down and make a proper list of all the items you usually need every months.
2) Print it out and make 5 copies.
The best way to make a shopping list is by putting a checkbox near to the items on the list. Once you have print it out and make 5 copies, you must use them for 5 months. And if there are additional items you want to add, you need to add them manually by pen. Do NOT print another copy.
The whole idea is to make adding new items into the shopping list as difficult as possible. That is why I suggest we make 5 copies and finish them first. This way, by the fifth month, we will usually forgets what other items we add to the list in the first month.
3) Map the shopping list according to your grocery store.
When you are making your shopping list, try to visualize you entering your grocery store. What do you see first? What essential items can you get there? Try to make that shopping list in such a way that you don’t need to go through the same area in your grocery store twice.
The idea is to minimize the time spent in the store. The lesser the time spent, the more money can be saved.
4) Put a warning message on the list
A warning like “Every cents counts, Do NOT buy it” will work just fine. Make it extra large and bold it if you have to. For a more personal touch, put a picture of you begging so that you will not overspent. That should do the trick.
5) Give yourself sufficient money
Remember when we did the research in step 1? You are jotting down the price for all the items. Now whenever you are going on your shopping spree, calculate the total amount you will need to buy the whole items. Add another 10% to the total amount and give the rest to your shopping partner (i.e. the mrs)
Forget that you have surrendered the remaining money to her and shop away knowing that you only have exactly the amount of money to buy the thing on your list. Works like a charm..
– I wonder –
Any other ideas for a more effective shopping list?
——– I wonder ———
The mrs is actually a bit annoyed when I first introduced her to my shopping list. A lot of items are added. Can’t blame her. My first shopping list is for a bachelor, so I have to overhaul the list altogether with her.
Now the list has become a necessity whenever we go shopping. If not, we might forget something
Photo Credit – BruceTurner