So I went to the grocery store a little while ago. I took my shopping list and my Boy. I should probably explain that I have weird hearing. Sometimes, I can't hear a word you are saying (especially if you are a "low-talker") and other times, I can hear people whispering across the room, but only if you are talking about me. Seems odd how I am attuned to people talking about me...so it wasn't all that surprising when I passed a pair of women - probably my age but guessing from what was in their cart and the following conversation, single - and not halfway down the aisle, I heard them talking about me.
Lady 1: Did you see that?
Lady 2: I know! What a waste of time!
Lady 1: Seriously, who types their grocery list?
Lady 2: She must be a SAHM with nothing better to do.
Lady 1: I don't know what they do all day. Kids aren't that time consuming.
Lady 2: Apparently, they type everything.
Laughing, they turned the corner. Well, at least they weren't calling me lazy and fat. Seeing as how I wasn't wearing my grumpy bunny shirt, I wasn't in a bad mood, so I just kinda chuckled at their
And really, I don't type my shopping list. I use a computer program and it has made all the difference. When I was a kid, I watched my mom make her grocery shopping. Items where carefully listed by category and store as she looked over her prepared menus for the week. She had a tight food budget with no room for impulsive purchases. When I moved out on my own, grocery shopping was an exercise in losing my self control. I bought whatever I felt like but carried a calculator with me so I didn't go over budget. A lot of food went bad/stale/uneaten because I didn't have a plan for it (except the brownie mixes...).
Then I got married and suddenly, eating cold cereal for dinner five times a week just wasn't acceptable. I first heard about a shopping list program from a friend and did my own online search to find it. I came across Home Plan's Shopping List. And it was free! Here is a screenshot of the program in action from their website:
The initial set-up takes a little time. The program comes with sample categories, products and prices already in place. Simply click what you need (click more often if you need more than one of something) and the list is automatically populated. Your expected total is tallied at the bottom of your list. I have this program open on my computer while I make up my weekly menu so I can immediately add ingredients I know I'll need.
It took me a few trips to get things right. I got a store map from the local grocery store and set up my program to list the products by aisle, starting with the area of the store where I entered. I saved my receipts so I could get the correct prices on things. Occasionally, I still have to update prices and locations when the store gets all ambitious and moves things. But it saves me so much time! I'm not heading back to previous aisles to get something that was buried way down on the list. And I know exactly how much I should be spending. And I'm not trying to decipher my hastily scrawled notes.
How do you shop?