This first one is about lists--grocery lists, to be exact. I'm generally a "list" sort of person, and like to organize my thoughts or keep track of things by using lists; unfortunately, though, that habit hasn't carried over into my grocery shopping habits.
I really only have one way of grocery shopping: the guerrilla shopper method. It works like this:
- Think of one to ten things I need at the store.
- Go to the store.
- Stagger out of the store an hour and a half later with eight to twenty grocery bags whose contents cost anywhere from twelve to fifteen dollars a bag.
- Get home, unpack groceries, and realize that anywhere from one to nine of the things I went to the store for didn't end up being purchased.
- Repeat steps one through four the next time I get to the store.
With budgets being what they are, and so on, I've been wanting to improve my grocery shopping efficiency. A while ago I found a list generator online (which has probably been shared by others before) and I bookmarked it; there were two things I didn't like about it, though, so I didn't try it. Those two things were:
- It came from a "working mother's" website and had "working mom"** in its title;
- I didn't write it myself, so the categories were arranged differently from how I would have done it.
It really couldn't be easier to use: clickable items, big boxes to type in your own items, and then a "submit" button which creates your own trip-specific list for you to print. The categories are still arranged in a way I find slightly counterintuitive, but with the ample space to add your own things and the ease of creating different shopping lists every time it's not a bad list, overall. I did find one big flaw: the list doesn't mention toilet paper at all, which is a pretty big omission--though that's one item I don't usually forget to buy.
Is it any easier to use than the old-fashioned half-sharpened pencil and back of random envelope? Only in that the categories are a helpful reminder of things you know you're out of but aren't thinking about: I knew I was out of ginger, a spice I use frequently, but I wouldn't have thought to write it down if I hadn't been using this list.
And if it cures the "guerrilla shopping" habit, I'll let you know!
**UPDATE: No offense to the moms who work outside the home meant. I just hate the phrase "working mom," because it seems to imply that moms who stay at home with their children and even teach them somehow don't work. We're all working moms; the only non-working moms I'm aware of are the ones who both stay at home and can hire full time live-in help, and I don't know any of them personally. :)