This is how I would describe the types of shoppers.
1. The daily shopper who grabs what they need for the day until the next day.
2. Do you make a list and still divert from the list because other items look good? You can use them eventually right?
3. Do you make a list and stick strictly to it no questions asked because that’s what your budget says?
4. Do you plan your meals out weeks at a time, make a list and stick strictly to it?
So when you go into the grocery store which type of shopper are you? If that doesn’t work for you which type of shopper would you like to be?
Everyone’s lifestyle, meaning their schedules, are different so it seems to work best for a busy schedule to be a type 1 shopper. I want to point out that none of these types are incorrect because I struggled with the first three at some point in my life; however, if you want to be a type 4 (and I honestly know this saves money) then I want to share with you what has worked for me since I made the conscious decision to plan ahead. Within my experience I have noticed a huge difference from being a type 1 shopper to a type 4 shopper not only in my health but also in my money spending.
The Debate…. How Not to Compulsive Grocery Shop
I was gonna post a totally different blog today to relieve some of the seriousness about health and wellness (you know because I’m suppose to post on parenting and things I love also. So many ideas and so little time. haha) but then this debate on compulsive buying at the grocery store popped up in conversation among some fellow mothers I know. Some were wondering if there was a way to prevent the issue and most of us came up with the same census. Well, tada it was that easy to get my wheels rolling in my head for this blog.
When I became a single mom, 7 years ago, I began to plan my meals about two weeks out (type 4) so I only had to shop twice a month. I begin to see a drastic savings within my budget from previously when I was a type 1 or 2 shopper. I have not always been a planner but when you’re forced to be on a budget then you do what you got to do. I found out it actually is less time-consuming planning it all out and saves time within the store. Even though I’m not a single mom anymore and not on a budget I still am a type 4 shopper because I know it’s benefits.
9 Ways to Not Compulsive Shop
1) Grab a piece of paper/notepad because you should always have a grocery list when going to the store and stick strictly to that list if you want to prevent compulsive buying and stick to meal planning. Compulsive buying happens when you go into the store trying to think of everything you need off the top of your head. Your wants, not just your needs, start creeping in your shopping cart diverting you from your budget and resulting in overspending which sometimes results in overeating.
2) Meal planning – on one side of the paper I write my list and on the other side right the days of the week with the meals (you don’t need to stick to the meal on that day. I just do this as an outline to keep me on track). I keep in mind my busy days so for example I know there won’t be time to cook a dinner on Tuesday then I make that a pizza, sandwich or make what you want night but I plan for it.
3) Buy things that you can use for multiple meals. If you buy stuff for a salad then you can use the leftover stuff for tacos one night. Just make sure you’re planning to make that meal before it goes bad. I try to use up everything in my kitchen within my meals for the week.
4) Buy meals that you can eat as leftovers for lunch (take to work) or dinner the next night. I use to not like leftovers but I had to make a conscious decision a couple of years ago to change my mindset. We make casseroles, simple chicken enchiladas, alfredo, spaghetti.
We have leftovers on almost all our meals because we focus on our food intake like I mentioned in my previous blog How to balance the love for food. It’s been more cost-effective to switch to 6 mini meals a day.
No more microwaveable foods and trying to cut down on processed foods that cost more and leave you feeling hungry 10 mins later.
5) Limit your high-priced, low value (empty calories) buying and focus on denser meals. If we do buy empty calorie snacks like chips (baked is really good) or a box of oatmeal creme pies/Swiss rolls (really healthy huh! I have told you that we aren’t complete health gurus but we do limit the intake) for our children they know that if we run out we run out and that is it. I usually am mean and don’t give my children after school snacks because my two youngest children won’t eat their dinner if they eat a snack. Another way I save money on snacks for us is buying my all natural snacks from the online store I have previously mentioned. I get them discounted or sometimes free.
6) Plan Freezer Meals – some are healthier than others, save on time and money. I am not an expert on freezer meals but I have many friends that plan ahead this way. My mom’s club holds an event every so often to make freezer meals. I also read a blog by Polly & Rachel on http://thrivinghomeblog.com/healthy-recipes-index/healthy-freezer-meals-recipes/ that was quite useful and intriguing for anyone interested in going this route. Inspires me to want to do more Freezer Meals especially with my families schedule.
7) I have had to use cash instead of a bank card to purchase food. All the cash I brought, within my budget, is all I could spend.
8) I use to coupon when I was a previously married and had a household of 7. I wasn’t a crazy coupon lady even though I admire anyone that gets down to the nitty and gritty of clipping coupons. I’ve never had the time nor devotion, even though I would like to, but I was clipping coupons and watching sells enough (partly because I worked at a grocery store at the time so I knew sells) so I could get our weekly spending on food down to $50/week and built my weekly meal planning around coupons.
I also buy discounted meat and make sure I freeze them before the best buy date. Buy other discounted items.
9) Honestly, I limit all the time I can in the store and as I’ve said before, forgive me for repeating myself, we do a lot of online shopping to save on time and money while shopping healthier as best as we can.
I would love to know your thoughts. Is there anyone else that would classify themselves as a type 4 shopper? What other tricks do you use to prevent compulsive grocery shopping?