A Minor Mistake: Shopping While Hungry

I often write that I still make financial mistakes, but it occurs to me that I don't share them here as much as I once did. After April's story earlier this week about the cost of healthy food, now seems like a good time to share a mistake I made on Tuesday.

Generally, I work out in the morning. I get up at 5:15 and am at the gym for the 6:30 Crossfit class. On Tuesday, however, I slept late. I got up at 7:00 and spent the morning writing articles for Get Rich Slowly. I went to the noon Crossfit class instead.

Because I hadn't bothered to eat breakfast (I don't normally eat before I go to the gym at 6:30), I was ravenous when my class got out at 1:00. Since Kris had asked me to pick up bread and milk, I stopped at the local organic grocery store, which is conveniently located between the gym and home. “While I'm buying milk and bread,” I thought, “I'll grab a little something for lunch.” It was here that my trouble began.

First I chose some pre-fab beef kabobs. And a bottle of wine (for lunch?). Since I had the bottle of wine, I grabbed a hunk of my favorite cheese, which meant I needed a baguette, and then grapes. If I had grapes, why not get pineapple and blueberries and watermelon, too? By the time I'd finished my quick trip, I had spent $67.79 — on a single bag of food.

Here's my haul:

Healthy food at a healthy cost

 

For the record, I came home with:

  • One gallon of organic 2% milk ($4.99)
  • One half-gallon of organic chocolate milk in a glass bottle ($4.99) — why?
  • A loaf of Ezekiel bread ($2.50)
  • A bottle of Giesen sauvignon blanc ($10.99) — tasty!
  • Half an organic seedless watermelon ($3.31)
  • 14 ounces of organic pineapple chunks ($6.99) — dumb dumb dumb
  • 2.09 pounds of organic red grapes ($3.74)
  • A pint of organic blueberries ($4.99)
  • About a pound of szechuan beef kabobs ($9.69)
  • A garlic baguette ($2.49)
  • 0.60 pounds of olives ($5.99)
  • A hunk of cambozola cheese ($6.12) — well worth it

Now, there's no question that this is high-quality food. I had a great lunch on Tuesday, and I've been eating fresh fruit ever since. But the problem is that I spent far more than I had intended because:

  • I went shopping when I was ravenous, which even college students know is a no-no.
  • I went shopping without a list. I had a mental list, but that wasn't enough.
  • I went shopping at the organic grocery store instead of good ol' Safeway. I'm not opposed to the organic store, but it has a role, and impulse shopping isn't it.

In the grand scheme of things, this mistake is minor. I know that. It's not like I bought a new Mini Cooper. But this is an example of how even folks who know better can still fall into the same traps that plague financial novices. And it's very typical of the sorts of errors I make from time to time. (I make them too often, actually.)

Next time I work out at noon? Well, I'll eat before I do. And I'll take something to snack on immediately after the workout. Either option would have kept me from making a mistake on Tuesday. Doing both would have been even better.

Note: Upon reading this, Kris's response was to shake her head at my foolishness. She's always thought I'm a poor shopper. “I can get a whole week's worth of groceries for $68,” she said. “Easy.” I can too. But not at the organic food store.

 

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SB @ One Cent At A Time
SB @ One Cent At A Time
9 years ago

JD isn’t this an adventure? It’s OK to let it go sometimes, else life would be a burden. If you can afford it, you can reward yourself occasionally like this.

For people with tight budget (I know you are not) this is a big splurge, to avoid they could have carried exact cash required to buy bread and milk.

Amanda
Amanda
9 years ago

A conScious splurge is WAY different than an unconscious one.

Mr. Money Mustache
Mr. Money Mustache
9 years ago

If you’re going to splurge, it might as well be on Good Food!

Coincidentally, I had a spendy shopping trip right at around the same time JD was shopping, and I was hungry too. But I cheated by popping open my container of fancy Guacamole and spreading it on a sundried-tomato-and-basil tortilla with my credit card.. right there in the shopping cart!

The other Costco shoppers cast a suspicious eye in my direction, but I had the last laugh as I ate my fancy homemade wrap and completed my shopping hunger-free.

SEinSF
SEinSF
9 years ago

MMM – usually you are my money hero but that is just foul. Credit cards are nasty bacteria magnets. Would have been better to use your fingers, at least you know where they’ve been. Credit cards are touched by so many people, plus every time they’re swiped they’re coming into contact with the germs of every other credit card that was swiped on that machine. Yuck! The guacamole wrap does sound tasty, though.

Lindsay
Lindsay
9 years ago

That’s like my food budget for an entire week! Every once in a while I go to the store hungry (or have PMS!) and I spend a lot more than I anticipated. I will end up buying cookies and doritos, which is unusual for me. It looks like you bought some delicious stuff though!

Gwen O.
Gwen O.
9 years ago

Ha! I can so relate. I like to shop at Whole Foods, although I am budget-conscious and hardly ever buy processed treats or anything special. I love to watch people go through the check out and see their eyes pop when the cashier says something like “Okay, that will be $252.35” It is so so easy to splurge at a foodie store – especially when you love fine foods!

Andrea Travillian
Andrea Travillian
9 years ago

Your purchases look wonderful! I do this same thing when I go to Whole Foods, even if I am not hungry! So I try to only go there once in a while. I think I would be scared if I was not making mistakes as that would probably mean I had a denial issue!

Connie
Connie
9 years ago

JD, you may want to think of your shopping in way too
http://www.gsb.stanford.edu/news/research/khan_shopping.html

I know that this study definitely applies to me!

cherie
cherie
9 years ago

I’m just laughing at the chain of thoughts . . . wine needs cheese, cheese needs baguettes, baguettes need grapes and on and on

Been there, done that . . . glad you’re enjoying your haul!

Amy
Amy
9 years ago
Reply to  cherie

I loved the logic too! I’ve used that plenty of times myself. I even quote from the kids books “if you give a mouse a cookie” or “if you give a moose a muffin”….. But let’s face it, wine needs cheese (or chocolate)! Enjoy your food – and thank you JD for being ‘human’ like the rest of us, and not always being the frugal puritan that PF Blogs seems to extol. I’m sure that more cost effective purchases could have been made, but I bet even Kris enjoyed a taste or two of the wine and cheese (maybe even… Read more »

Michelle
Michelle
9 years ago

” I’m not opposed to the organic store, but it has a role, and impulse shopping isn’t it.” Great pull quote! I’m a big proponent of organic whole foods, but the problem is that these places often cater to an elite/gourmet/moneyed market and not just a health-conscious market, so the markup is intense. I’m particularly reeling at the cost for your olives (that’s cuh-RAZy). Like you, I enjoy good quality food as a splurge type item. The cheese is fairly priced. The question is just – was this the time and place to splurge? I feel your pain. Shopping while… Read more »

El Nerdo
El Nerdo
9 years ago
Reply to  Michelle

I agree and disagree with this. From my own perspective, sure, I go to my CoOp only for special things I can’t find elsewhere (I used to do most of my shopping there though). However, the same impulse behavior can happen at a cheap place like Walmart: “a pint of ben and jerry’s, an extra box of fruit loops, a case of soda, six frozen pizzas, a frozen cheesecake, more steaks than i can eat in a week, pepperidge farm cookies”. “The organic store has its place” depends on your relative income and it’s therefore not applicable to all the… Read more »

Michelle
Michelle
9 years ago
Reply to  El Nerdo

“The organic store has its place” depends on your relative income This is true, but depending on your organic store, it can have a very helpful place even if you keep a relatively low food budget (I do). The key reasons are two: first, they may have certain ingredients and food categories that are simply not available to you anywhere else. But second and more important for the budget shopper, these are often places which have a bulk section. Buying bulk – which can be everything from shampoo and dish liquid to usually costly nuts, dried rices and grains, and… Read more »

Rosa
Rosa
9 years ago
Reply to  Michelle

I think what El Nerdo meant was, impulse shopping at an Aldi or WalMart can be just as bad, if your budget is that tight.

We can spend $100/week and eat entirely at the coop, if we shop the in-season veggies, scratch & dent, and the bulk bin. Including toiletries.

Or I can drop $300 because we “needed” sour cherries, chips, soda, good bread, cheese, meat, Tofutti, organic cookie dough…

The range at Aldi is just as wide, but the bottom is $30 instead of $100.

Bareheadedwoman
Bareheadedwoman
9 years ago
Reply to  Michelle

actually I’m shocked at how cheaply he got the Ezekiel bread …twice as much on the east coast.

Michelle
Michelle
9 years ago

I was shocked at that too – Ezekiel is much more expensive here.

Bareheadedwoman
Bareheadedwoman
9 years ago
Reply to  Michelle

isn’t ezk bread a west coast entity? then there’s your argument for eating local being cheaper…that twice extra cost most likely covers shipping it cross country. It’s just sneakier when it’s wrapped up in retail cost.

Becka
Becka
9 years ago

Oh goodness, this made me giggle. I love your peanut gallery comments on the list. I run into something like this all the time at school. I’m on campus for 6-7 hours with no access to a fridge or microwave, so I have to bring shelf-stable stuff, and sometimes, man, those fruits and veggies are not enough and the candy bars in the student union shop are SO tempting!

Jason
Jason
9 years ago
Reply to  Becka

I’m kind of in a similar situation… I go to class all morning, and then straight to work, and it is just so convenient to grab Subway (we have one on campus) before heading to work rather than bringing my healthier (and much cheaper!) alternatives with me.

Tyler Karaszewski
Tyler Karaszewski
9 years ago

On Sunday I bought a pickup truck. Not after weeks of research, but after 10 minutes on craigslist. Still I had been thinking about getting one for a while and I think I got a solid deal, so I wouldn’t call it a mistake, but it wasn’t very prudent either.

Jeffrey Trull
Jeffrey Trull
9 years ago

This is a classic mistake that I’ve often made in the past, too. Now, I almost always eat before shopping. But hey, it happens!

chelsea j
chelsea j
9 years ago

Portland has several Trader Joe’s Locations: between that, WINCO, and the farmer’s market(s), there’s really no need to buy more than a few specialty groceries at New Seasons. Unless you’re getting Hot Wok, of course.
WINCO is employee owned, and their generic brands are mostly from the NW, which puts it right on par with New Seasons, as far as I’m concerned.
That being said, we’ve all bought the random stuff while hungry at the grocery store.

Lindsay
Lindsay
9 years ago
Reply to  chelsea j

I moved from Oregon to Colorado and I miss winco so much… especially their bulk section! Groceries (and wine/beer especially) are way more expensive in Colorado! 🙁

Emmy
Emmy
9 years ago

Jeez, is that a New Seasons container I see? I feel like every time I walk in there, even if it’s only for a few things, I end up dropping like fifty bucks. The problem is that I typically only go in for specialty items, but once I start adding cheese and bread to my basket I suddenly “need” olives and wine and tomatoes and, I don’t know, salmon spread. Very dangerous!

El Nerdo
El Nerdo
9 years ago

1) I can think of few things more unpleasant than a heavy workout on a fully stomach. A protein shake is helpful though. 2) Organic store, corner store or food warehouse, the same thing can happen. The fact that this was a $67 is a class thing. It could have been $15 worth of Doritos, slurpees, hot dogs and pizza slices. 3) I can shop hungry no problem because I shop with a list. *If it’s not on the list, I don’t take it home*. Since I do the cooking, I keep an Evernote tab of my pending purchases in… Read more »

Christina
Christina
9 years ago

The pineapple is especially bad. I’ve read that pineapple is one of things in which it’s not as bad to buy not organic. And pre-sliced fruit….
Love this post – of course we all make mistakes.

Jacq
Jacq
9 years ago

I get impulsive when I see things on sale for a great deal. Sure it keeps the grocery costs down overall and I always have a very full pantry, but it drives me nuts because I do lose consciousness of how much fruit and veggies my family can possibly eat in a week. Some things may freeze and that’s great, but I’ve thrown out a ton of lettuce doing that over the years…

Bareheadedwoman
Bareheadedwoman
9 years ago
Reply to  Jacq

that’s my favorite stupid human trick to perform and a farmers’ market/green grocers are my worst temptations. All that lovely lovely produce at $1/lb, a pound here, a pound there, look lettuce is REALLY cheap and the next thing I know, I’m carting more perishables than I can eat in a month of Sundays home to slowly rot.

gpjones
gpjones
9 years ago

Oh J.D.! I’m not familiar with your neighborhood, but I knew as soon as I read “local organic grocery store” where this was going. My husband works for New Seasons and we’ve shopped there since one opened near us 10 years ago. I’m going to come to your defense – it’s damned hard to go in there and get exactly what you need and get out. I know the chocolate milk you got too – that was a special treat for me and my little one a couple of weeks ago ($1.50 deposit for the bottle!). But wasn’t it good?… Read more »

Jacci
Jacci
9 years ago

I love your blog JD. Thank you for not only showing your perfect side. I have recently abandoned a blog whose author is apparently PERFECT! Although she had great frugal and green living advice, the tone of her writing completely turned me off (I really want to name this blog, but don’t want to seem mean). Besides awesome content and great comments, you are a superb blogger. I look forward to every mornings new post!

Miser+Mom
Miser+Mom
9 years ago
Reply to  Jacci

I agree that this blog is my favorite read every morning, and I love that people are so open. I’ve learned a lot. Um, yeah. I’m feeling very, very humility-challenged right now, plus grateful to Jacci for choosing not to be mean.

Diedra B
Diedra B
9 years ago

PBJ sandwiches have been saving me from intense hunger. They’re cheap, pretty tasty, and keep well outside of a refrigerator.

Cath
Cath
9 years ago

I know that “don’t shop when you’re hungry” is a time-honored PF rule, but it doesn’t work for me. If I’m not a little hungry, I come home with aluminum foil and paper plates. And maybe some sour cream. I have to be hungry enough that things sound good, otherwise I don’t buy any food! Not so hungry that I NEED Oreos, but hungry enough that “Ooh, tacos would be good.” If I don’t, we end up eating out way too much during the week.

Becka
Becka
9 years ago
Reply to  Cath

“Don’t shop when you’re stuffed” is actually a rule I’ve heard as well, though with less frequency. It’s definitely a rule I follow, because I have the same experience as you. For someone who loves as food as much as I do, it feels very strange to go to the grocery store and be so full I can’t imagine buying anything!

Wende
Wende
9 years ago
Reply to  Becka

I’ve done the too stuffed thing also where I wander up and down the aisles and don’t buy *anything* useful. Not productive, but funny! Posts like this are awesome cause we’re all nodding our heads with you.

Laura
Laura
9 years ago
Reply to  Cath

I’m with Cath on this one, except I have to be slightly hungry when I make up the grocery list, full when I actually do the shopping, and remind myself that if it’s on my list, it’s there for a reason even if I don’t feel like it at that particular moment. 🙂 I make sure I eat before shopping at Market Basket, but I’ll often eat out at a favorite cafe first ($6 for a breakfast sandwich + soda + tip) – not just so I don’t shop on an empty stomach, but as a reward for facing the… Read more »

Rosa
Rosa
9 years ago
Reply to  Cath

a list! That’s the difference. I have this problem in the winter time – since i don’t buy fresh produce out of season, I can wander around almost any store thinking no, no, no – nothing smells like food, nothing looks promising, we end up buying whatever the 6 year old chooses that’s not plain junk food. So instead we sit down and plan meals for the week, check the pantry for what we already have, and buy the rest of the ingredients. I mean, ideally. As long as I remember not to pick kiddo up at 5 pm and… Read more »

Babs
Babs
9 years ago
Reply to  Cath

Me too! I almost always shop with a list, but if I am not a little hungry I don’t get enough for the clambering hoards at home.

GS
GS
9 years ago

Money well spent, JD! Sure you could have bought 100 loaves of squishy white bread or 210 cans of frozen fruit punch or 4×24 packs of chocolate bars from a big box store, but instead you invested in a whole lot of genuine deliciousness. Many healthy items in there as well. A great splurge, kudos!

sfkiddo
sfkiddo
9 years ago

The “shopping while hungry” issue can be huge. The problem is that everything looks good and gives you a nascent idea of what you could make (even though you never will make this hungry vision). I always end up getting weird stuff like capers.

Mary
Mary
9 years ago

I’m snickering at the wine you purchased!

Seriously though, I had to streamline grocery shopping with a system to prevent the same thing from happening to me. It’s funny how a little relay goes off in the back of our minds when we are hungry in a grocery store!

sheherazahde
sheherazahde
9 years ago

Thank you for sharing this. It’s nice to know that the people we turn to for advice can sometimes make mistakes. None of us are perfect. Mistakes are not the end of the world. We can recover and go on.

Bareheadedwoman
Bareheadedwoman
9 years ago
Reply to  sheherazahde

yeah, it’s great info if someone whose practices we admire show us not only how one can fall into mistakes, but how to figure out what you did, and how not to do it again (or at least in the near future). There is only so much mileage in “past mistakes” and like a commenter complained of before, if you milk that mileage, you risk coming off as self-righteous at worst, or irrelevant (unattainable) at best. thanks JD for still making mistakes and still contemplating new tools to use against old demons. Your readers’ demons are good at shape shifting… Read more »

Procrastamom
Procrastamom
9 years ago

I think “don’t read blogs when you’re hungry” should be added to the list of rules. Looking at all of that delicious food you bought is making me ravenous. Off to raid my own pantry!

Bareheadedwoman
Bareheadedwoman
9 years ago
Reply to  Procrastamom

i soooo want wine and cheese and olives now. In fact, commenting on the article is the only thing keeping me from running out to the store 🙂

Valerie
Valerie
9 years ago

oh man… what a great post! we can all relate, and the humor is great. love it!

Raika
Raika
9 years ago

Am I the only person who disagrees with the normal advice to shop with a list? Maybe it is because I don’t ever have problems with impulse shopping, but I spend less money without a list. If I have a list, I will buy whatever it says, and be less likely to be price sensitive and less likely to catch good sales. For example, if I go to the store with chicken on my list, I will buy chicken. If I go without a list, I will first look at the prices at all meat before buying one. Along the… Read more »

Becka
Becka
9 years ago
Reply to  Raika

I shop with a list not because it prevents me from impulse buys (it doesn’t! 🙂 ) but because it makes certain I remember things. And I’m not a slave to it – if avocados are on the list, and I want them but don’t NEED them, and they’re $2.50 a pop, I won’t buy them. Usually if I have a list (I don’t always), it’s because I have some very specific dishes in mind, and walking up and down the aisles hoping I remember every ingredient in the recipe is just going to mean multiple trips to the store.

Rosa
Rosa
9 years ago
Reply to  Raika

is your list based on a meal plan, or just pantry stocking, or what?

Because if I have chicken on my list, and lamb is on sale, whether I switch depends on what we’re making; stewed meat & gravy, sure, lamb is fine. But if the meal is supposed to be fried chicken I’m not going to substitute.

Raika
Raika
9 years ago
Reply to  Rosa

I don’t really plan my meals ahead of time, mostly because I don’t know what will be on sale. I make meals based on what I have, not buy things based on what I want to make. The only time I plan things out if it’s a special occasion and I want to bring/serve something specific.

I have categories – ‘fruits’ ‘vegetables’ ‘snack’ ‘meat’ ‘grain’ etc. As long as I have some of something in every category I can make up a meal with it.

elorrie
elorrie
9 years ago
Reply to  Raika

The best formula for me is making a list/meal plan for the week while looking at the online circulars. Best of both worlds, but unfortunately I’m usually not this organized. If I go in just looking for sales I get great deals but still can’t put together an actual meal. Typically I go in with my list and try to be flexible if I see something on sale, and if I see a staple on sale I’ll grab that too.

Mary
Mary
9 years ago
Reply to  Raika

I get around that by having my list broken into categories. I also cook simply and have plenty of different spices on hand. My list always has chicken, beef, and fish but loosely translated it means “three proteins”. If I saw a great sale say on a different meat that we normally eat, I’d snap it up in a heartbeat.

shash
shash
9 years ago

I think the real question here is: When are you having us all over for dinner? 🙂

I am so “been there and done that”. Also hard? -Shopping while you are ill. I had a bad cold this week and had to get some items to make chicken soup. In my weakened, “Oh, that’s what I need right now” mode, I emerged from the store with a bit more than I needed, as well.

Jessica
Jessica
9 years ago

It reminded me of a grown-up version of the book, “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.” 🙂

Andrew
Andrew
9 years ago

My supermarket (Roche Brothers) has an olive bar, a muffin bar, a cut-up fruit bar, a chicken wing bar (6 different kinds), a pho bar, a sushi bar, and a dessert bar. I can spend way too much money– all of it unplanned– before I even get to my regular shopping list.

diane
diane
9 years ago

hahahahahaha, this is so funny.

You shouldn’t go when you are sick either, I went home ill and stopped at the drugstore then went to the Genova Deli. I ended up dropping $20.67 and only got clam chowder, potato salad and cucumber salad.

LOL

Sandra
Sandra
9 years ago

A Wegman’s just opened near me, and although they can’t sell wine (state law, grrr), I could do some serious damage in that store…

J.D. Roth
J.D. Roth
9 years ago

We just did a bit of yardwork, and I am hot and tired. Can you guess what I’m eating as a reward? That’s right: pineapple. Very expensive pineapple. It sure tastes good, though!

Belligero
Belligero
9 years ago
Reply to  J.D. Roth

Relax. Food in general is cheap – too cheap, in fact – in the US. You’re enjoying quality food at some of the lowest prices in the world; don’t feel guilty about that.

The cost of cheap food and energy is enormous, and it’s ruining North America. It ain’t cheap in the long run when it creates an obese nation of TV-addicted suburban doofus consumers who can’t think for themselves.

Jean
Jean
9 years ago

Thanks for sharing your ‘mistakes’ with us. Everyone makes them, so I’m hoping you’re not beating yourself up. And at least you overspent on healthy food & not Doritos, chips, etc. On a side note, I LOVE that Geisen Sauv Blanc! Had it on the plane to Germany last summer – and now I have to drive an hour if I want a bottle.

Rosa+Rugosa
Rosa+Rugosa
9 years ago

Haha JD, let’s do lunch!
Seriously, I’m not the only one who noticed that you kept true to your healthy eating goals. And since you’re not struggling to decide how to pay the electric bill, why not indulge occasionally? Now if you had bought a big box of Ring Dings and scarfed them all down, that would be an entirely different matter 🙂

lhamo
lhamo
9 years ago

I also think you should give yourself a little credit. Not all that long ago when you were finishing up your book you were heading to the corner store for daily unhealthy snacks, right? One look at that picture plus the story behind it shows how far you have come. And you have an amazing readership because you give us so much inspiration everyday. Cut yourself a little slack and enjoy that pineapple. And next time eat before you workout and save the shopping for another trip. Or not. A weekly splurge on great, healthy food like that might be… Read more »

lyle
lyle
9 years ago

the “mental list” hit me spot on. I tried writing it down but i still end up buying more than what was written, so frustrating. By the way, kudos to the pineapple. lol 🙂

Donna Freedman
Donna Freedman
9 years ago

Gosh, I’ve never made a mistake. I wonder what it feels like?
Relax, boss. We all still like you.

Nancy
Nancy
9 years ago

We all make mistakes. At least you recognize it and are making an effort to be more conscious. Everything in that picture looks delicious. 4.99 for a gallon of organic milk doesn’t seem at all bad to me considering that’s how much I pay for a regular gallon of milk when I run out and have to buy it from the overpriced liquor store across the street.

Earin
Earin
9 years ago

This looks so damn tasty.

All in all I bet after that lunch you didn’t need anything more that day.

But pre-fab fruit is just a no-go.

And everytime I see those prices for alcohol I’m so clad I don’t drink them. I can’t understand why people pay so much money for some of them. There’s so much better things….

Stellamarina
Stellamarina
9 years ago

As I read this I keep thinking about some study I have read that says men way over shop on unplanned food items than women.

bobj
bobj
9 years ago

I think i spent that on Halloween candy last time I went to the store.

Nicole
Nicole
9 years ago

Impulse shopping at the grocery store is where I get my excitement in life. Without it I might waste thousands of dollars on skydiving, bungee jumping, illegal travel to prohibited foreign countries etc.

Petra
Petra
9 years ago

Thanks for a good laugh. Don’t worry, I do the same sometimes. For example I “suddenly” bought a (good!) book for $15 and a (reasonable and healthy) dinner for $15 recently because I had not taken my $3 bread and a free book from the library with me while traveling by train… I should’ve known better…

kevin
kevin
9 years ago

This strikes me more as a “Look at the healthy stuff I buy when I go grocery shopping” post disguised as a “Let’s examine a financial mistake I recently made” post. But at least you acknowledge current mistakes. If you read the Simple Dollar, ALL of Trent’s mistakes occurred in the past.

Janie
Janie
9 years ago
Reply to  kevin

Amen to that! Precisely why I’ve given up reading the S.D.

J.D. Roth
J.D. Roth
9 years ago
Reply to  kevin

Ha. Not my intention at all, Kevin. I DO try to eat healthfully, but at this very moment I’m munching on a donut while replying to you. And in the trip pictured here, there’s wine, chocolate milk, and cheese, none of which are particularly good for me. Not trying to show off my shopping morality, because there’s none to show off. 🙂

Heidi@pocketchangebook.com
9 years ago

Yep! The way I always say it is that if your “bucket of self-control” is already empty when you walk into a situation that requires impulse control, you are out of luck. By the way, I’ve been there, too.

vince
vince
9 years ago

why not save more money by buying inorganic (lolz, little joke there) milk instead of organic milk. the health hazards of inorganic milk might not be that high

Mike T.
Mike T.
9 years ago

For me, I have the opposite problem. If I go to the grocery store and I am NOT hungry, I don’t buy hardly anything and have to make another trip in a couple of days. Also, I am not a “foodie” either and my meals are very basic like a bowl of Cheerio’s for dinner. Not too healthy, and I am not opposed to healthy foods, its just not a priority for me (although it probably should be!) So for me, I must go to the grocery store hungry or I will end up wasting my time and gasoline making… Read more »

Tanya
Tanya
9 years ago

Hunger is such a primal feeling and it can definitely drive us to overspend in an urge to stop it. At least you bought good stuff; it’s too easy to fall for junk food temptations if you haven’t eaten before you head to the store.

Dr. Jason Cabler (@DrCabler)
Dr. Jason Cabler (@DrCabler)
9 years ago

Always make a list. Always eat before you go. Always have a plan.

This is what I teach in my Celebrate Financial Freedom course and practice in real life.

When people ask me “how do I get out of debt?” one of the first things I tell them is “have a plan”. Works in the grocery store and works with life in general. Always have a plan.

Eileen
Eileen
9 years ago

An actual paper & pen list has helped me, too. Crossing things off moves you toward a feeling of being “finished” shopping, and it changes your behavior. Even if you throw in an impulse item once the list is done, you kind of know you’re doing it. The list makes it harder to maintain a silent justification for anything else you toss in the cart.

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