Healthy Lifestyle

A well-maintained shopping list

Something that every household should have is a well-maintained shopping list. If you don't already have one, read on to find out why you should!

A shopping list, believe it or not, hides a number of valuable benefits that can quite simply be broken down into a few persuasive points:

– It saves you time
– It can save you money
– And you can tie it into your meal plans, getting you eating better, wherever your snacks or main meals of the day are concerned.

Now, saving time is self-explanatory while saving money however, can happen through numerous means, let see how…

– By having a shopping list that you stick to, you avoid spending money on items that are not on your list
– By knowing what is on your list, you can move directly to the appropriate aisle, find your preferred brand and get out of there
– If your list is well maintained you won’t be buying excessive stock and ultimately, waste
– Pantry planning is important. Get the right balance between fresh and long-life produce. Most fridges are not large enough to accommodate sufficient groceries for the full week, so use your pantry to accommodate some of the groceries that are available in UHT form.
– If you know what is on your list, watch the local papers and TV and see who is offering good deals on your listed groceries. Planning your groceries by retailer can save you lots of money too
– Know what is in season and adjust your list according to seasonal (and local) goods that are often a little cheaper than imported, out of season produce
– Have a squiz online! Bulk online sellers are often able to move stock really quickly and are priced well under regular retail prices, and often include delivery to your door – how convenient!

Once you have your list planned out, you’re halfway there. Here are a few more tips to keep in mind when hitting the road and starting your shopping:

– Pick a favourite retailer, and stick to it. By visiting the same store frequently, you are less likely to be tempted into visiting different aisles or areas of the store that you normally would not. Unless you’re shopping around for bargains or cashing in on special offers, having a regular grocery store can make the shopping process easier, quicker, and friendlier too as you get to know the staff and employees too
– Develop a routine that gets you in and out without temptation – literally. And when stock does shift around the store – don’t let this fluster you – simply revert back to plan A and stick to your grocery list
– Naturally the ‘grocery list’ we are talking about is a physical list. Whether this be on your phone or part of an iPhone app (that might or might not scan barcodes and keep track of your spending) – keep this list on you and visible while doing your shop, and be sure to cross off what you have found
– Know your kitchen and know your pantry. The better you know your own space, the better you’ll manage the shop and prevent yourself from impulse buying!
– Another simple tip may be purely psychological, but never write your list, or do your shopping, when you’re hungry. Avoid these tasks when you’re feeling starved or in the least peckish, as you’re more likely to extend the list by dipping into snack foods that would not normally be on your list
– Zone out by listening to your iPod. By tuning out you’re less likely to become distracted
– Set a budget: be realistic with what you want and can afford to spend, and if you’re an impulse buyer, get clever and only work with cash.

The final and probably most valuable point to keep in mind is the following:
JUST BECAUSE IT’S ON SALE DOESN’T MEAN YOU NEED IT. Most impulse buys happen when shoppers see the ever-loved (mostly-hated) SALE or ON SPECIAL signs on products. Special offers and promos will be around until (and probably long after) the day we die. And if you’re serious about shopping and saving money, stick to your list. Good luck with your shopping!

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