Here’s my strategy:
Before going to the store I sit down and make a list of all the things we are low or out of. I always plan for a one-month basis except for bread and vegetables. On the ride to the store I repeat my motto: “I hate grocery shopping, I hate grocery shopping….” Once in the store it’s my goal to get in and out as quickly as possible. I have probably passed by my friends and not even realized it. I don’t look at extra things. My list is my map and I rapidly pick up all the items. I buy large quantities of the great sale items for my "stocking program". I make little tick marks on my list, the ones that you make in groups of 5 so I know how much I am spending along the way and don’t go over my planned amount. When I’m all done and back in my car I breathe a sigh of relief that it’s done.
My husband’s strategy:
While on the way to the store he’s working on his list. He mentally repeats his motto: Oh good, I get to go to the store, I love grocery shopping, I love grocery shopping”. Once in the store he checks the store ads and makes note of the things that are on sale that we use and pulls the coupons that he wants to look for. In the produce section he looks at everything, touches everything to check for ripeness, smells the cantaloupes, samples the grapes, and peeks inside the corn. He strikes up a conversation with everyone that passes by him smiling as he goes. He repeats this process throughout the store and picks up snacks to add to the cart along the way. There are times when I have dropped him at the store, run errands, and come back 40 minutes later to find that he is still in the produce section. Through the month he runs to the store almost everyday to pick up just a few things, and the things on sale, and more snacks.
Can you guess who spends more money?
Who has more fun?
Both of us are extreme shoppers. He loves it. I don’t. Most people are probably somewhere in the middle. Although I do not have a scientific study to back me up I’m sure that I could prove a correlation between how much a person spends for groceries and how they emotionally feel about the event. I can pass by the store dozens of times without a blink but if my husband is with me we often end up stopping “Just for a couple things”.
So now: the moment of truth. Which kind of grocery shopper are you? How does that affect your shopping and spending habits? Do you faithfully do all the items noted in red?