There are a couple of golden rules when you go grocery shopping.
Never go shopping on an empty stomach. Self-explanatory.
It has been proven that we buy a lot more when we are hungry. You will recognise this specific problem, I’m sure. I bet you had days when you walked home with a shopping basked full of snacks that you didn’t intend to buy, or you even found yourself opening something on the way home.
Always carry a shopping list and stick to it.
Having a clear indication what you need to put into your trolley not only focuses the visit to the shop and speeds up the process, but it also helps you keep control over sudden urges of the type “I’d like to try this” or “I have not have […] in a long time”. That said, of course we sometimes forget to put things onto the list. Therefore, I allow myself 2 extra items in case I forgot to write it down. No impulse buying, though!
Use the same shop(s) each time.
Being familiar with the layout and placement of the items you came to buy keeps you from wandering aimlessly and seeing a lot of stuff that you would otherwise not have considered buying at all. This said, shops are clever and there is a reason why they gently make changes to the placement of specific items over long periods – they want you to keep guessing and wandering into isles you don’t usually visit!
Of course, going to the same shop all the time gets old and the selection of items may be limited. Why not do what I do? I have my main shop to fill my daily needs and occasionally I visit another one to pick up items my main shop does not sell. For example, my main shop only has one type of flavoured yoghurt: when I pass another shop on my way home I like to browse the yoghurt section and pick an exciting flavour to give myself some variation. You get the idea…
When presented with a choice, make it quickly.
One thing some shops are very good at is this: they offer a lot of variations on a theme. Items like deodorant come in dozens of options and the overload of choice can lead to a complete shutdown: “which one to choose?”. My advice is simple: walk up to the display, find one that you like and then immediately stop comparing and quickly move along.
Why? You have already found something you like, right? No point in looking further. Of course, there may be something else you like, but deciding which one you like better – especially if there are more than two – is going to be a bit of a mind-boggler and will ultimately lead to one of two outcomes: you spend a lot of time deciding, or you take them all. You will lose money or time, or both. So: stick with your first choice and never wonder if you may have missed out on anything!
A last (optional) tip: Stay calm and focused during your visit to the grocery store. Don’t let yourself get stressed out by the sheer choice at your disposal.
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Hi, my name is Tilo Flache. My current mission: help my clients declutter mind and space.
This blog contains pointers for your journey towards a happier living experience.