Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Tuesday Time to Tackle: Cutting Back on Shopping Trips

What a blessing we have to live in a land of plenty!  Not only that, we live in a location which is conveniently located to shopping.  Anything I need can be easily obtained.  Of course, the downside is that anything I "need" can be easily obtained. 
When John and I first started having children, we lived in a small apartment in an upscale neighborhood.  I was concerned that our children might develop an attitude of entitlement or not learn the value of saving money.

Through the years, we have moved various times to various places, and though we don't live in such an economically upscale community anymore, I still hope that I have taught my children sound money management principles.   My young adults are well on their way to independence, and seem responsible with their money, which pleases me.

I realized recently, though, just how often I was going shopping for some "need" or another.  We have a large, stocked pantry, so why was I constantly shopping?  One day, in an outwardly-calm, inwardly frustrated moment, I declared that I would not be running to any store for a period of one week.  What a stroke of genius! (I love the little bits of inspiration that can come in answer to a problem.)  Instantly, all sentences that started with "I need" could be summarily dismissed with "I'm not shopping until next week."  Of course, by the time next week arrived, many of the "needs" were no longer required.  I saved time and money, and I used up pantry items which were nearing the end of their shelf life.  

I haven't adopted once-a-week shopping as a habit yet, but I'm certainly toying with the idea--in fact, I'm certain the interval could be stretched out much longer than that.  

How do you handle shopping?  

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Thanks for shelter, food, and family. 

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9 comments:

  1. I personally think it's a good thing to shop once a week. Most of the time when I go shopping in between the weekly trip I find I buy more than I need. So I try not to do that any more too.
    I'm blessed with the best husband, because he does the weekly shopping on saturday, so I don't have to. I detest grocery shoppping!
    Plus, I noticed, we live more frugal because of it, which personally I think is the best part of that!

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  2. So funny I just blogged about this not too long ago, however my shopping dilema was in regards to groceries. I think your once a week plan is a good idea! I might have to try that. And when I find myself saying "I need" ..I write it down on a list (use an app on my smart phone). I too find myself erasing a lot of things I thought I needed off and there for saving mulla.

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  3. Pretty much once a week unless we run out of milk, butter or bread (the thin sliced sandwich type).

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  4. I shop once every two weeks. I hate shopping! LOL

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  5. I struggle so much. We really need to work it out better since it's our second biggest expense after mortgage. So many times we have enough and I think it's not and I want to go out, thus wasting gas and money. I hope once-a-week works out for you! It can certainly be done.

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  6. I usually shop once a week, and sometimes can stretch shopping to two weeks.

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  7. I really prefer to shop only once-a-week, but being retired finds me less strict about that. I like planning a weeks' menu and then shopping. That's the ideal; but we live so close to so many stores, it's way too convenient to stop at this place or that when we are out anyway. We shop at a small market called Sprouts for fresh produce and Walmart for just about everything else. When I was still working, and we lived in Yuma, our winter time saw our small-town population double in size with "Snow Birds." During that time, I tried really hard to do my Walmart shopping every 2 weeks because of the crowds. I also tried to get there by 7a.m. to get in and out before it got too crowded. Now the crazy-crowded store is Costco, and we try to only go there once-a-month -- way too many temptations!

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  8. I was in the middle of leaving you a comment yesterday when my computer crashed so it doesn't look like it made it to you (if I end up with 2 comments feel free to delete one of them!)
    I have always been good about planning menus and only shopping once a week but I have been working (unsuccessfully so far) to stretch it to once a month with the exception of bread and milk. I keep trying and it is amazing how much it has improved my grocery budget.

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  9. Once a a week shopping has been the norm in our household for more than 30 years and I do believe it has saved us thousands of dollars! Now that we are retired and on an even more limited budget once a week has stretched to 10 days or even 12! Costco is an event about 6 weeks or more and that is helped by the over 1 hour drive to get there. Lists are absolutely essential for this plan and do not stray from the list!

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Thanks for making this a conversation. I love to hear your comments!