Making shopping lists is a humdrum task. Indeed, many people don’t even bother making them, relying instead on their memory or in-store
inspiration. But skipping this step could be causing you to spend more than you wanted to. Also, you could be missing out on some of the physical and mental health benefits the act of making a shopping list can provide, as well as causing a detriment to our environment!
1. Save Money
There’s never a bad time to be frugal. But saving yourself money doesn’t need to involve a complex web of coupons and convoluted skullduggery. Saving yourself some cash can be as simple as making a shopping list.
Well, it’s all because it will help you keep focus when you shop, meaning you’ll be less likely to put items you don’t need into your cart. Indeed, psychologist Paco Underhill found that up to 50% of our shopping carts get filled with unplanned and impulse buys.
But why is this?
It’s because supermarkets and shops like to use underhanded psychological games to get us to part with our hard earned cash when we
don’t need to. This isn’t paranoia, either. It’s a well-documented and lucrative area of commerce.
Using a shopping list will help you to stick doggedly to buying only the things on it. It’ll help you avoid giving into those flashy and tantalizing temptations that stores bedazzle you with.
If you’re not buying things you don’t need or didn’t plan to, you’re not spending as much money as you normally would.
2. Save Time
Even if you’re not short on cash, chances are you’re definitely short on time. Our lives are becoming more and more hectic, and you have less and less time to do the things you want. Spending time in a supermarket is probably somewhere you’d rather not be.
But you can use a shopping list to save you time. By keeping focused on only the things you need to buy, you can quickly go in, pick up what you need, and head straight to the checkout.
Furthermore, if you use a grocery list app that arranges items into aisle categories, you won’t even need to zig-zag around the store picking up items in the order on your list. You can pick up everything you need from one aisle in one go. You might not be able to travel through time with your shopping list, but the time you save by using one is the next best thing.
3. Lose Weight and Stay Healthy
Shopping lists are a critical tool in the battle against the bulge, especially if you’re undertaking a specific diet.
Using a grocery list can help you avoid the temptations of the food you’re supposed to be steering well clear of. This is especially true
of unhealthy snacks, which are often also the subject of grocery stores sneaky sales tactics.
Furthermore, if you write down exactly how much of a particular item or ingredient you need on your shopping list, you can make sure you don’t end up with any extra items that might lead to you making bigger portions or eating extra of.
You might even want to put a “DO NOT BUY!” section on your shopping list, to remind you of your forbidden items, and also to encourage you not to give in to those cravings whilst shopping.
4. Improve Your Mental Health
Did you know that making a shopping list really helps your brain?
Making a shopping list, as well as completing it, can help your mind focus on other important tasks throughout your day. This is known as the “Ovsiankina effect”. If you already planned your shopping in advance or completed it in its entirety, your groceries aren’t something your thoughts drift towards because its an unfinished or unprepared task.
Checking things off a list and finishing a task also makes you feel good. This is because your brain releases dopamine, the feel-good chemical, as a reward every time you complete a task.
5. Help Save the Environment
Shopping lists seem like an unlikely front-line eco-warrior. But it can be used as an indispensable tool to reduce your food waste. As much as greenhouses gasses from industry and travel have an effect on the environment, food waste does too.
Food waste that ends up in a landfill actually releases methane: greenhouse gas that’s 20x times more potent than CO2!
So how can a shopping list help change that?
It does so by giving you the same focus it does when it comes to saving time and money. If you buy only what you need, you’re far less likely
to buy food you don’t need that may eventually end up in the garbage. This can be made more effective by calculating and buying precisely what you need and making sure you have very little left-overs.
Make Lists, Not War.
So, with those 5 reasons, why wouldn’t you want to be making shopping lists for every time you do the groceries. The benefits will make you happy, healthier, a little richer, freer, and help save the world.