Some of us like our trip to the grocery store to be well organized and efficient so we can get in and out as soon as possible. And some of us want to wander and meander and be free to discover the aisles. For others, a shopping list is a way to gain control over tendencies to overspend and buy on impulse.
Which one are you?
I usually don't make a grocery list, unless I'm shopping for a party or special occasion and I have to be sure I have everything. I like to start with the produce and meat counter, and then build my dishes in my head from there, picking up what I need as I go along. This isn't very efficient, but it makes shopping more fun and spontaneous for me. I'm aware that this is possible only because my home life is pretty simple, as I'm often cooking for only one or two people. Things are different when you add children and large households into the picture, especially if there are special needs or finicky eaters included.
I know some people use a grocery list to stay focused and on budget -- if it's not on the list, then it doesn't go into the cart. I also know someone who organizes her list by her store's layout, so she can methodically work her way through her list, department by department. And of course the addition of smart phone apps add a whole new array of possibilities. What's your shopping list strategy?
(Image: Dana Velden)