Archive for January 31, 2009

Unconsciously Spending at the Grocery Store

Do you know how much money you will spend at the grocery store when you pull your cart up to the register? I never seem to have any idea. I usually try to estimate the cost as I place my groceries on the conveyor belt, but I am usually off by at least $30. I am one of those people who go into the grocery store for $50 worth of items and walk out with a receipt for $150.

I consider myself a reasonable shopper. I clip coupons, research the store circulars, and head to the grocery store with a relative plan of what I want to buy. I don’t waste money on overpriced, convenience items or junk food and I typically save at least 20% of the cost of groceries by using coupons and store sales.

Still I am always amazed at how much money I spend at the store. I find myself throwing various odds and ends into the cart. I try to remember if I have spaghetti sauce at home, convince myself I don’t have any and come home to find I have three jars in storage.

I’m happy to say that we do eventually eat whatever I purchase at the store. Eventually we will eat all of the spaghetti sauce, or pasta, or rice, or whatever staple food I decided to purchase on sale that day. Eventually I will go on a month long hiatus from the grocery store to ensure we eat all the food in the pantry, but I am still frustrated by the urge to spend so much at the store.

The grocery store is the one place where I seem to purchase unconsciously. I am lured by fresh produce and visions of tasty dinners. Each time I leave I consider creating bi-weekly menus to avoid this type of impulse shopping, but I like the spontaneity of creating meals on the fly. Maybe I could comprise and plan some of the meals in an effort to shop just a bit more consciously?

January 31, 2009 at 4:59 AM 8 comments


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