Create a shopping list.

Today’s task is to create a shopping list and to resolve to stick to it. I get into trouble–and my husband really gets into trouble–when we deviate from the shopping list just because we saw something we wanted like chips or cookies or some other junk food.

Put your shopping list in an easily accessible place. Like my weekly menu plan, I have a chalkboard shopping list on the refrigerator.  And I have a chalk pen on top of the refrigerator so that no one has to look far to add something needed to the list.

I transfer my shopping list to a phone app on my weekly shopping day.  The app lists items in the order they are displayed in my store. You could do the same thing on a sheet of paper, whether you print it every week or laminate it or put it in a page protector so that you can write on it with wet erase markers and wipe it clean every week.

The point is to make it easily accessible to write what is needed on it and to organize it weekly before you shop so that you don’t end up backtracking in the store. The benefit is that if you promise not to buy anything not on the list, you could even save money.  (Note:    I do make exceptions for on-sale items.  For example, when my husband’s favorite snack is marked down from $3.50 a box to $2.50 a box, I buy a box, regardless of whether he needs one.  Because he will need some at some point, and saving $1.00 a box is a good thing.)

Time required:  90 minutes, only because I sanded and painted the shopping list on my refrigerator. I also spend minimal time each week updating my app as I shop in the store.

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