It is Friday afternoon and I'm home early finishing up my list to do my grocery shopping tonight. When possible, I like to do it early on Saturday mornings, as Walmart is chock full of all kinds of interesting folks on Friday nights. But no matter when I do it, I always take two things - cash, and a very precise list, with estimated prices out to the side of each item (if anyone is interested, I have an Excel spreadsheet I can share!). Call me a nerd, but this has been one of those habit-changing (and life-changing) things that I learned from our Dave Ramsey class a couple of years ago, and it has been such a cool thing. Wheeling that shopping cart up and down each aisle used to be a temptation-filled trip, and I would always find several treats that were impulse buys - AND were hell on my diet and waistline.
Not surprisingly, many people have that same challenge when paying with plastic, according to MSNBC.com's article: Cash Only Diet May Be Key to Healthy Eating. A recent study showed that people that tend to impulsively purchase when paying with debit/credit card are much less likely to succumb to their junk food weaknesses when paying with cash. Hello, that's me! Do I really need to buy that $4.99 tub of Pillsbury Slice and Bake cookie dough? Uh, no - and paying with cash (usually) curbs that urge!
It has been a good lesson for Jace as well - he knows I have a certain amount to spend each week, and is used to it after two years. He sees me sticking to the list and making good food choices that are within our budget. Although I do let him get some snacks and yummy things, he understands and respects that we won't be piling impulse purchases into the cart, just because they catch his eye.
And what's the other trick I've learned with grocery shopping? Never go on an empty stomach, because then everything looks good! So I'm off to grab a little snack before we head out to the store.