Tuesday, April 10, 2012


"Today is Monday, Today is Monday
Monday is wash day
Everybody happy?
Well, I should say!

Today is Tuesday, Today is Tuesday
Tuesday is Ironing, Monday is wash day
Everybody happy?
Well, I should say!

Today is Wednesday, Today is Wednesday
Wednesday is cleaning, Tuesday is ironing
    Monday is wash day,
Everybody happy?
Well, I should say!

Today is Thursday, Today is Thursday
Thursday is baking, Wednesday is cleaning
   Tuesday is ironing, Monday is wash day
Everybody happy?
Well, I should sat!

Today is Friday, Today is Friday
Friday is fish, Thursday is baking, Wednesday
  is cleaning, Tuesday is ironing, Monday is
  wash day
Everybody happy?
Well, I should say!

Today is Saturday, Today is Saturday
Saturday is shopping, Friday is fish, Thursday 
  is baking, Wednesday is cleaning, Tuesday
  is ironing, Monday is wash day
Everybody happy?
Well, I should say!

Today is Sunday, Today is Sunday
Sunday is church, Saturday is shopping,
  Friday is fish, Thursday is baking, 
  Wednesday is cleaning, Tuesday is ironing
  Monday is wash day
Everybody happy?
Well, I should say!

This is the fifth and last post in the series "SOME PLANS TO SIMPLIFY HOUSEHOLD JOBS".
"Grocery stores are designed to keep you in the store as long as possible. All 'essential' items (milk, bread, produce) are located on the extreme corners of the store, so you have to pass by lots of other tempting merchandise even if you're just running in for a quart of milk. The most expensive products are placed at eye level (except for kids products, which are placed at their eye level). Products on display at the end of aisles, are usually not on sale or a special buy."
"How to Grocery Shop - You Need a Plan" : Linda Larsen  About.com Guide
".... two-thirds of our grocery-shopping decisions are made in the store, says Barbara E Kahn, PhD, director of The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. People come in with a general idea of what they are going to buy, but their list tends to be vague .... when decisions are made in the store, you are vulnerable to cues such as corner displays, big red 'Value!' arrows and other in-store merchandising."
"Lost in the Superemarket: Men Without Lists" : Daniel DeNoon.  MedicineNet.com

What's your view of 'shopping'? Are you the sort of person who meticulously plans the list, the order of the shops, the amount to be spent in each, and the time allocated to the task? Do you shop impulsively and spontaneously with no budget in mind? Do you dread any form of shopping, putting it off, using any excuse to get out of it? Is the daily pop into the shop a 'fix' for you?
Some say your attitude to shopping is affected by how busy you are, your income, stage in life and temperament. 
Regardless of where you place yourself, the need for regular supermarket visits in person or on line, is a requirement for most parents.
Here are 10 points that I hope help to simplify your grocery shopping day ~
This seems to be the number 1 piece of advice from many sources. Check the fridge, pantry and cupboards and have a well prepared list of what you need and expect to use before the next shop day. This way you will save yourself extra trips back to the supermarket for items you forgot - saving time, effort, petrol and money.
Stick to the list and don't get conned by the specials! If you don't usually buy it, don't buy it just because it's on special.
For years I had a map of where all the products were in our supermarket, but you can write the items on your list in the order you come to them. This speeds up shopping time.

~ Some people plan all the meals for the week /fortnight then make the list of what's needed. I have shopped like this and it does save money when finances are really tight!
~ Another help to to make the shopping list is to keep a magnetic paper pad on the fridge to write down items when you see the are running low - don't wait till they have run out. At times we find the supplies in one area of food which are meant to last for a fortnight, run out earlier. If this regularly happens then you need to stockpile these things when they are on special, so you have a backup supply.
~ Some people recommend a pantry list of everything you have in there and the number of each item. Then you need a space to cross off when you use an item. They say this speeds up making the shopping list. I have never done this but am considering it at our bach where so many of the family use the family food pantry, but I'm not sure everyone would do the crossing off....??/8%z# :-)
~ You may choose to check newspapers and advertising flyers for saving coupons on items you intend to buy. That's why it's best to have the shopping list written before you look at the coupons.

~ I don't like grocery shopping, so I shop fornightly. I believe it saves money as I often make-do with what we have till the next shopping day.
~ Shop out of peek supermarket times - you get through much faster. I simply can't catch the fascination so many people have with being at the supermarket with the throng of thousands trying to find a car park, wait for a free trolley, squeezing along the aisles, having to rudely reach over people to get things off the shelf, and then standing and waiting in line-ups to pay for the food! Ahhh - that's why I regularly ask at my supermarket when the quietest day/slowest times are. Tuesday is still their slowest day. When our kids were little I shopped after 8pm after they were in bed, it was a quieter time to shop. Likewise after lunch before the school finishing time has less shoppers.
~ Don't shop before a meal time, when you're hungry - it's too easy to be swayed by the lady handing out free food samples. You also have less physical energy or discerning brain function to make decisions with.
This is the number 2 biggest piece of advice from many sources. If you have limited finances, shopping with a budget gives less pressure to the shopper on their return trip home. Keep a running tally of rounded up costs as you shop, in your head or on your phone calculator. You can write down the total at the end of each aisle then start again. As you're approaching the budgetted total you need to consider 
  * if to buy less quantity of an item from here on
  * not to buy certain items at all
  * to buy smaller sizes of what remains on the list 
and if you still can't keep in the budget then you need to apply the three options above to items bought earlier in the shop.
Some people hold an extra amount each month which is outside the weekly budget, to give themselves liberty to buy things on special which they stockpile for use over many weeks.
Buy the generic store brands rather than Brand names. Some items are no different eg flour, sugar, tinned tomatoes, pasta, rice, tinned fish, whole grains.... to their Branded cousins. You definitely save money this way!
The supermarket where we shop is annually the cheapest in the country, so we are lucky. Some supermarkets have good meat prices, others cheap household goods. Compare the prices at your local supermarkets so you know you are getting a good deal.
You can try open air weekend markets and co-ops or organize you own co-op with neighbours or friends.
Do you like to shop with the kids/ or not? I have done both - certainly found a quick helping hand - trolleys rolled out to the car for me... when I was fully pregnant and had a few kids in toe! 
  * shop without kids - get the task done quickly
                                     - had a few 'freedom' moments
                                     - could think clearer eg hand over the correct money
                                     - not occupy so much floor space at the check out
  * shop with the kids - teach them how to shop
                                      - another time of them learning selfcontrol
                                      - opportunity to give them responsibility
                                      - show off the kids new shoes...
                                      - a special Mum and one child time
If you have your own supermarket bags made of cloth, plastic weave, foil... you can have them ready for the check out person to pack your things into them. Or if they won't do that, you need to take a child shopping to unload the trolley onto the conveyor while you pack the checked out items into your bags. They are tougher and can cope with far heavier weights that the supermarket plastic bags, as well as being easier to lift and pack into the car. Another benefit is you cut down on the number of plastic bags you take home.
I have never done it. There is controversy  as to if it saves money or not. It also comes down to that I'd prefer to choose for myself, once I see all that's available.
  * DON'T buy fizzy drinks, juice, fancy teas and coffees or alcohol. Drink water, milk and simple tea and coffee.
  *  DON'T buy frozen meals, semi-prepared meals in packets or tins. Make it fresh, yourself.
  *   DON'T buy junk food or snack food. Prepare your own muesli bars or use fresh fruit in season, dried fruit and nuts that have reasonable prices.
  *    DON'T throw out left overs. Use them to create another meal - pie, over pasta or rice, into a soup or lasagna or curry...
  *     DON'T shop at the little corner store or petrol stations for food.

THISWEEKWITHTHEKIDS ~ happy shopping! The little poem at the top of the post ends with "Sunday is church..." and this is what I'm intending to do, but what about you - how do you recharge your tank, stay encouraged to keep on track in life with and for your family?

1 comment:

  1. I was just looking at the Countdown website before I read this post. I only do on-line grocery shopping when the delivery is free :)