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?