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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A Little Bit OCD

So, in case you don't know me personally, let me tell you, I'm an OCD list maker. That's right, I make lists of everything: vacation ideas, party ideas, menus, holiday activities, all the recipes I love to prepare for the family, and so on. I have a family binder to keep track of all my lists, I guess you could say it's a family planner. There are several tabs including a tab for each child. That's where I have been organizing their records from our trips to the doctor. Whenever I have an idea and think to myself that I'll have to try it next year, I put it in my trusty little binder.

There is one list that I must say I'm awfully proud of. It is a list of all the groceries I buy at a particular store in town. It's in spreadsheet format and I have organized it according to how I travel through the store. For example, as you enter the store, you are in the produce section so I have all my produce listed first. Then I pass the deli so I list anything that I might buy from the deli. We go through the meats to get to the aisles so those are next and so it goes all the way to frozen foods. Why did I do such a thing? For many reasons.

I don't know about you but I DO NOT enjoy grocery shopping, especially at HEB. It is a nightmare. I'd rather go to the ob/gyn for my annual. I'd rather get my teeth pulled with no feel good medicine. It's awful I tell you! The parking lot is like a rat race and inside the store is even worse. It doesn't matter what time of day you go, it's crowded and no one cares if their cart is blocking the entire aisle. The only reason we shop there is that the prices are significantly lower than my favorite store, Kroger.

So back to the list. One reason I came up with the list is because I get so tired of fighting my way through the store, getting to the end of the store and realizing I have missed something or I just didn't know what aisle it was on. With my OCD list, everything is organized by aisles. I know exactly where it is. Another reason I did this was to eliminate grocery lists. I print several copies of this grocery planner and I highlight the groceries I need as I run out or as I think of them. The main reason I did this is because I plan enough meals to last us a month (except the usual milk, bread, and juice that we get more often). On the back of the planner, I write down all the meals I want to cook and then I highlight the groceries we need to buy on the front. I even make a note as to which meals have ingredients that will go bad if I wait too long to make them. Another advantage to this system is that I can cut the list in half and give it to Stephen if we want to save time. He can do half the shopping and I can do half the shopping.

To make it even more OCD, I used to use the receipt to write down the prices of each item and for awhile I used that list to compare prices at other grocery chains. It works beautifully and we only go to the main store once a month, seriously!

See? OCD! That's me!

So, do you have any grocery tips you'd like to share?

2 comments:

SimmonsFamily said...

I'm with you on the HEB thing. I do the same thing with my lists, organizing them by aisle. I started doing it after I tried taking 2 kiddos to the grocery store. I rarely leave anything out. Maybe, just maybe they will open up an HEB on our side of town. One can only hope. :)

Renee said...

I've shopped at HEB and I know exactly what you mean. My favorite store is Kroger too. Have you tried www.thegrocerygame.com? It really makes coupon shopping easier and is the only way we can afford to shop at Kroger (due to triple, double couponing). I started this when I was working full time and it really works, saves money and isn't time consuming (other than cutting out only the coupons that you need). I went from hating to grocery shop to it being fun (really!) and loving to see the savings. Happy Halloween!