Friday, February 10, 2012

Avoiding Temptation and Saving Time

One of the hardest things about staying within a strict grocery shopping budget is avoiding the temptation of the impulse purchases. How many times do we realize that we need to stop at the store for one or two necessary items and end up walking out of the store with an additional $10 - $15 more of stuff we didn't plan on getting because it was a good deal or we just couldn't resist?

It may sound completely counter-intuitive, but one way I sometimes combat this is to shop at a more expensive grocery store! Before you think I have completely lost my mind, let me explain. My regular Publix and Aldi stores are on the opposite end of my suburban town from my office. My house is kind of in the middle of the two. If I need just one or two items, it doesn't seem worth the time or gas to go to one of those in rush hour traffic. To take that detour in rush hour traffic often means I don't get home until at least 6 o'clock and I'm usually tempted to just check a bit further on the deals (regardless of whether or not I have my coupons with me).

So, I stop at a local grocery store that is basically on my way home. Last night for instance, I needed coffee creamer (an absolute necessity for my morning to start off right) and bananas. So, instead of making the detour across town, I stopped at the locally owned store. I grabbed my creamer and bananas (on the same aisle), went straight to check out, and was out of the store in less than 5 minutes. Since I know this store has higher prices on most items, I wasn't tempted to scan the other aisles. I added it up when I got home, and figured out that I paid approximately .65 more at this store than I would have if I'd gone to Aldi. However, I saved roughly 40 minutes of time and nothing else made it into my little hand held shopping basket.

In this case, the time and gas savings outweighed the cost savings I usually see by going to my regular stores. While this would not be the case on a "big" shopping trip. For 2 items, it was definitely the better choice.


  1. I had that revelation at some point two years ago. I was driving about 1hr roundtrip to a store that I really liked because of the variety of things there. That was adding roughly $8 in gas alone! Not to mention the other extras. Now, I stick with the much cheaper local stores, and only hit the farther stores when I have to do a trip anyway (like when I go to work at my part time job). Though I'll confess... I never thought about more expensive, less frequented stores as a deterrent against buying extras!

  2. I do the same as you Sass. Walmart is the cheapest grocery store near me but sometimes it is not convenient or I just don't want to deal with the crowds and parking. So, I'll stop in one of the pricier stores to get my one or two things. Then as I'm walking through I glance at prices of stuff I regularly buy and say to myself "boy, I'm glad I don't have to shop here for my regular shopping!"

  3. Hi Sass, It's nice to meet you! I live in Etowah county, just northeast of you! Thanks for sharing about the grocery trip cause I agree with you on that. It just doesn't make sense to spend lots of dollars on gas and only save a few dollars at the checkout. Good luck on all your endeavors! Blessings from Bama!

  4. You should try grocery shopping once a month - then you'll really save money on gas, and you won't have to go into a store for just one or two items. I started OAMS last year, and love it!