7 good reasons to shop with a grocery list

Do you shop with a grocery list? I always do. Shopping with a grocery list helps me remember what items are needed to replenish my pantry or the ingredients needed to prepare a special dish. Shopping with a grocery list also helps me in other ways. Here are seven additional reasons why.

Prevents overspending. Having a list keeps me on track with my grocery shopping. Instead of meandering up and down the store aisles looking for deals, I shop for what is needed and no more. This prevents impulse spending and keeps a grocery budget on track. So what happens if I run across a fantastic bargain? I simply substitute something that's already in my cart for the bargain deal.

Coupon reminder. When drawing up a grocery list, I always make a notation next to the grocery item of any coupons to redeem. This reminds me at checkout time to present my coupons for an additional discount. Without some kind of reminder, it's much too easy to overlook a coupon or two.

Prices. From my own experience, I started writing down prices several years ago while shopping as a way to verify that groceries were ringing up at the correct price at check-out. (Where I live, 3 out 4 transactions contain at least one error). Having the prices recorded also helps when a clerk asks, "Do you remember the sales price?"

Comparative shopping. I shop at several neighborhood stores to find the best deals on all the various groceries our family uses. Having a record of grocery prices at the different stores helps me determine where I'll find the best savings on specific items.

Saves time. A list means that I can complete my shopping in under 15 minutes, instead of an hour. My list is organized by food types which lets me zero in on specific areas of the store instead of cruising through all the aisles.

Prevents duplication. How many times have you bought a grocery item only to find one on the shelf at home? A grocery list prevents duplication which is especially important when it comes to perishables that may spoil before they can be eaten.

Budget planning. Knowing the cost of groceries is an important part of planning a monthly budget. Without this information, it's tough to project how much money will be needed to feed our families for the month, plan a barbecue, or host a holiday party. A list helps us project our grocery expenses so that we don't find ourselves running out of both food and cash before the end of the month.

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