How to navigate a supermarket - and without impulse buying or overspending!
Oh, the list...sometimes, I find a list frees up my mind, and other times, I find it constricts me. There is no doubt, in the supermarket, it does save me money. List On!
I go around supermarkets on auto pilot, which works well until they move everything around. If you're interested I wrote about that last year: https://open.substack.com/pub/terryfreedman/p/a-moving-experience?utm_source=direct&r=18suih&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=web
I use supermarkets to help me write articles, because I can't be got at (no phone signal).
That bit about becoming familiar with the way a particular chain of supermarkets sets out its merchandise is a load of rubbish in my experience. Each branch of Sainsbury's is a law unto itself, so going to a new one (new to me, that is) is a distressing and time consuming experience.
Anyway, great post, and I'm amazed that the photo of your bullet journal showed a relatively unpopulated one. I like my own to do list: great fiction. It's now almost long enough for me to market it as a novella or a kindle short read.
Loved the picture by AI too!
I always find your discussions of your use of lists, well, soothing! I head out to the local Costco, where they move things around weekly, but yes, lists are a godsend for keeping costs, waistlines, and everything else under control. (And that generated image, oi!)
An interesting analysis! I have reduced supermarket induced anxiety by going 100% online for all regular shopping. I do go to the supermarket but only as a "treat" (how sad!) mostly for stationary and magazine browsing, seldom buying. I also reduce my daily list to no more than 4 items, anything else in a bonus - am 3 items done already today pre lunchtime! Keep up the great work!
I think I’m the opposite of everyone here - I love to go to the grocery store! I’ve never used the online pick up (I live a mere 400m from the closet grocery store, so even if delivery was available I don’t think I could bring myself to use it). In fact, yesterday after work I did my weekly shop. I do use my list pretty strictly too, and carefully meal plan to avoid impulses (I allow them for in-store specials of things I would buy/use anyway, if they weren’t on my list). I rarely wander the store idly, and I think that helps, as you’ve found.
love this and you will not be surprised to learn that you and I use the same notebooks...
Supermarkets - the bane of my life.
If I take a list, I'm fine. I'm strict. If I don't have a list, I'm lost, my mind in a complicated whirl.
But whatever the case, I hate big brand food retailers - they're sneaky and manipulative. Oh for the old-fashioned grocer or corner-shop.
I love your bullet-journal, Rebecca. I try to do the same, but only on scraps of paper which I lose!! You've inspired me.
And re Substack Notes, I tend to agree. I'm an Instagram fan and won't replace that. Something about Notes reminds me of Twitter and I cancelled my account there yonks ago.
Nice post. I use list too, but I use someting called Kanban. Under Kanban you setup a set of columns (TO DO | DOING | DONE). Your tasks move though these columns from left to right. Then, you only work on the tasks in the DOING column and limit the number to a small amount, I use three. This forces you to focus of getting task done and not distracted by too many of them in process. My favorite Kanban saying is "Stop starting and start finishing". OK, I'll get off my Kanban soapbox now.
I am not a grocery store lover- I usually look for any excuse to not go.
I teach, and write, about how to elevate our daily energy. One of the simple tools for this is to make a list rather than holding the info in our brain. How do people DO that? Beats me!
Without a list all that stuff is being held in the back of our mind, waiting for recall, using brainpower which can be draining.
I even break my daily list into sections - Work/Home/Town/Computer/Call. As you said, it’s very soothing!
Great piece Rebecca! I love how you reflect on younger days I remember shopping for tuna, salad and potatoes as a student and being mind blown! 🤯
Fascinated with your BUJO as always! I do an “Asda online” and a Lidl shop when it’s quiet - the Lidl shop shows you the quiet times! 🤫 I find it works well. The challenging this for us here is everyone has slightly different dietary requirements so I’m always wondering if I could be better organised re cooking. We were given an air fryer and it has changed everything for me at meal times - it’s a much more pleasurable and less noisy way to cook and it’s fast and tasty too!
Put me down as a supermarket lover as well. I walk every aisle expecting to be surprised and delighted by a new food. And when I reach into the dairy case for half and half, I have visions of delicious cups of coffee ahead. It’s an anticipatory sensual pleasure, not a chore!
I do love a list but recently a friend mentioned how they determine their meal plan by what is in the reduced produce section and I was intrigued. Not tried it yet though. Recently the husband and I started our Saturday grocery shop date, involving a trip to Aldi for the bulk of shopping an a convenient Asda for things that Aldi does not sell. We use mainly the family wall app for the grocery shop since husband and child can add things to the list and it saves me the pointless hassle of asking if they need anything from the shop. Still a list though and still organised into the sections at our Aldi.
Under strict household rules, I am no longer allowed to visit the grocery store without supervision. Too many items that were not on the list seemed to be "falling" into the cart.
I was recently given a reprieve to visit Costco solo with the condition that I not come home with anything that can be plugged-in. Baby steps.
Wow! This is so great. I have so many things to comment on and agree with. For now I will just say that, yes, shopping for groceries on line can be so wise. Just put the basics in the cart and there is no manipulation. (I despise blatant manipulation!) I go through the "cart" before I check out and remove any extra impulse buys. I have saved a lot of money. ALSO, when I actually go in the store my motto is "shop the walls". All the important, basic, unprocessed things are at the perimeter - produce, meat, dairy, bread. All the packaged, frozen, processed, and junk foods are in the center aisles. I only venture into the aisles to buy wine. Seems to work well for me. I have very few boxes, jars or cans in my cupboards. Thanks for sharing all your wonderful ideas with us, Rebecca. It helps me take stock.
Must. Have. A. List. For. Everything. Agree 100 percent. It's so satisfying to check things off. And to have a place to brain dump.
I agree with the Substack Notes. I opened it, looked at it, and immediately felt uncomfortable. Oh no, this again. Now Substack is like everyone else and a lot of us came to Substack to escape traditional social media. I will also not be partaking in notes for now.