"If we ever forget that we're one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under." - Ronald Reagan

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Works For Me Wednesday: Shopping List

"Works for Me" Wednesday is a feature I've seen at Rocks In My Dryer. I've never done it before and don't expect it to be a regular feature but hey! I gotta shake things up a little every now and then!

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 stupidity naivety.

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?


Kristina P. said...

What catty, jealous women! Get typing with your bad self!

Nat said...

What a great program! I'll have to check that out. I shop with four kids screaming for treats and toys, and I backtrack all over the store. So much fun...sense the sarcasm!

Jo said...

Well, those women obviously have enough time on their hands to be rude and uncharitable! Recently, my VT gave me one of those fridge magnet paper pads. I tied a pen to the fridge handle and now, if we run out of something, whoever noticed or just used the last one writes it down. Not a good system when you have small ones like you, but a great one when there are mostly grown ups in the house.

The Koala Bear Writer said...

I use a system like Jo's, that I learned from my mother-in-law. There's a notepad stuck to the fridge, pens on top of the fridge, and anytime we run out of something, we put it on the shopping list. (Or, my husband tells me we're out of it and I put it on the list...) However, I can see how the organizing it by store would be handy, as I'm often backtracking, or trying to mentally organize my list once I get to the store. :)

Emma said...

Wow, you did put a lot of work into your shopping list. I put my shopping list in category order; produce, dairy, meat, canned, etc. I am lazy at meal planning. It is a goal for the near future. I love typing my shopping list. Makes it much easier to organize.

Janell said...

Gee, I type my list, but that's because I type everything. Seriously, I needed a #2 pencil for a survey awhile back only to discover I didn't own a single pencil of any variety.

TJ said...

I HATE, HATE, HATE, grocery shopping, I do a terrible job, then cooking is really hard cuz we have nothing. I'm gonna try this, you might have just changed my life.

Bonnie the Boss said...

Those women were idiots!! They have no clue and if you want to be organized and type your list at least you are organizing something important, and teaching your kids the value of a dollar and planning.

Teresa said...

Hi there - I'm a new follower. My friend Ramona told me about your site.
Thanks for the grocery list site. I'm visiting it right after I leave this comment.
I have often been made fun of because I carry around this big binder, filled with baseball card protectors that are filled with coupons. Whenever people roll their eyes, I just shake my head in pity because the "Savings" at the bottom of my receipt will be higher than the total. So I let them laugh. They are rude and I save money :0)

Jan said...

Wow- I am simply impressed. What a great idea. I have always done a list. But now that I only have one at home, I go by what we eat and look for sales. I really like this though. Thanks.

Rupper Family said...

I pretty much stopped at you walking around the corner after hearing those women...you didn't stop to say anything to 'em? When I'm pregnant I employ the "back the hell off look" with anyone who even looks at me funny. Good self control Woman! I'm proud. Save the stink eye for someone more deserving, like the guy who tries to tell you that you can't park in a handicapped stall to load 3 preschoolers into the backseat around your earth-sized belly bulge!

Kristina P. said...

My cute, pregnant friend, I would have emailed this to you, but you don't have email in your profile.

The comment you left on my blog was under your name, and I didn't know if you meant to be anon. and I didn't want you to be embarrassed, so I erased it. I didn't want you to think it was inappropriate. You can go back and add it if you want! (I thought it was funny.)

Tausha said...

I must try this! Everything worth doing requires a little work-right? Thanks for the tip!

Jessica G. said...

Kristina - I know! Oops! I tried deleting it and will have to go back and post it again. ;)

Debi said...

I love grocery shopping, always have! I usually shop late at night when it's quiet , or on Saturdays when it's crowded. Both are great. Maybe I should have a personality test to see if I fall in the weird category because I absolutely DO NOT LIKE grocery lists. I am a free spirit and I am a mood person and I only want to buy what I want when I want because I want it! I feel like lists confine me. Not only that, but I don't shop normally anyway. I rarely use coupons but I always bargain shop. When I find something for a good price I buy LOTS of it to put in my food storage (I love the looks the checkers give me).

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