Impulse Buyer

Just a note, because I’m paranoid: yesterday’s post was originally entitled “Soliciting for Money”. I was not soliciting for money, but writing about the phenomena of requesting money online. I updated the post title to be more clear 🙂

I would love to tell you that we are simply in debt because our student loans are soooo big. And our student loans are really, really big, but truthfully, they are only one piece of the puzzle. I have made so many mistakes with money, I could probably write a post a day for a long time.

Since my recent commitment to be a better steward of our money, I’ve been reading books, articles, and blog posts to keep me motivated and I’ve learned a ton. One thing I kinda knew but didn’t know was to limit your trips to the grocery store, which is a tip you can find in the Economides’ book: America’s Cheapest Family Gets You Right on the Money. Easiest way, hands down, to cut costs on your grocery bill.

Every time you walk into a store, you are opening yourself up to impulse buys, so by limiting your trips to the store, you limit impulse buys and save $$$. Here’s what I have discovered about myself and impulse buying – I do it. A lot. And I didn’t really think I was. But oooooooh boy, do I. Hubby’s a big offender in this department, too, but neither one of us was really bad about this until we had children.

Once we had our daughter, trips to places like Wal-Mart and Target (oh, my heart) became traps for us to buy just one toy. Just one book. Just one movie. Just one cute dress and matching cardigan and coordinating hat and purse gasp. Even pure grocery stores do not make as immune because we’ll grab the kiddo’s favorite snack or something new for her to try. Hubby has bought her no less than three toy Corvettes there, too (which I never could figure out – did he just forget that he’s bought her the same, but different colored toy, or what? I digress).

These tendencies, combined with over zealous gift-giving from far away family leaves our house looking like this. Too much stuff, not enough space. Again, I digress.

image

The Economides are rock stars, because they go grocery shopping just one time a month. They freeze things that go bad quickly (like milk, bread, and some produce). They meal plan to make sure they have what they need in that one trip, and they also stockpile good deals because of coupons, so then there is no “I’ll just run by Target for two things” and then walking out with something like this.

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She has a REAL dog just like this one

While we have a standalone freezer in our basement, it’s slowly being over taken by a supply of breast milk, and we don’t have a very big kitchen, so I’m not sure that I’ll ever be able to just shop once a month. What I think I could do is shop once a month for shelf stable items and just do a weekly run for non-freezable produce (a huge part of my diet as a vegan), like leafy greens for salads. Less time in the store, fewer aisles, and no encounters with those tempting end-of-aisles displays that are proven to increase impulse buys.

How often do you plan to get groceries and how often do you actually find yourself at the store?

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7 thoughts on “Impulse Buyer

  1. This is so true! Here recently I have been trying to get an entire week of groceries in one trip. I have noticed I spend much less by doing things this way.

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    • One of those easy ways to cut back, right? We always have a list for a full week’s worth… We just always seem to need one more thing. I think we may need to just make a rule that we can only go once a week. Either we have to do without something, or we don’t get it until the next trip.

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  2. I used to do all my grocery shopping on Sunday. Since my husband is off on Mondays, he would “supplement” what I brought bring us way over our budgeted amount. Lately, I have been having him shop and then I go back. Its a mess. I need to sort it out.

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    • My husband and I recently started going together and splitting up my list. We get done in half the time and it keeps us from each making a separate, impulse laden trip. The problem is that now we have two people making impulse buys for sure!

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