Randy Dean's Timely Tips

You may have read Timely Tips on Randy Dean's web site, but now you can interact with it here on Blogspot.com. Please feel free to add comments and tips of your own, and thank you for your continued interest.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Timely Tips© Volume 3, Issue 5; May 2006: Save Time (and Money!) on Groceries and Shopping

I would guess that most of us make anywhere from 5-20 unexpected and possibly unnecessary trips to our favorite grocery/general merchandise stores each year, usually because we forget to add needed items to our list when we do our weekly shopping trip. Now, if you love going to the store, this is no big deal - you might be looking for a reason to shop. But for me, I'd prefer to be at the store as little as possible so I can use my time for other things.

Now I've figured out that my local shopping trips to Meijer, Kroger, or Target take no less than 45 minutes to an hour on average, even if I'm just running in for a few items (figure 10-15 minutes each way, plus 15-30 minutes shopping and getting through checkout). And, each trip probably burns a gallon of gas (not to be forgotten in these days of $3.00 a gallon gasoline!) If you figure an average of 10 extra trips a year, that's 10 hours and $30.00 cash lost from your life each year. Over five years, that's a full week's vacation, including budget airfare! It adds up, and it is time and money that I'm sure many of us could better use in other places.

So here's the two things I do to reduce the number of extra trips made:

1. My wife and I keep a large-sized "sticky note" pad on the counter next to our refrigerator. Whenever we see that any grocery, personal, or cleaning supply item is running low or is out, we simply add it to our "fridge" grocery list. Then, whenever we are heading to the store, we make sure to grab that list! Often, it acts as our primary shopping list.

2. I also keep a second version of this list handy on my PDA (it would also be easy to keep one in your notebook or planner too!), in case I happen to think of something I need when I'm not at home and it isn't convenient to add this item to our "fridge" list. Then, before the next shopping trip, I make sure to transfer my PDA items to the master "fridge" list. (One other quick idea - sometimes I just call my home number and leave a voice message to myself with the needed item.)

I've expanded this idea to more than just groceries & personal/cleaning products. I've also created lists in my PDA for any clothes I might want or need, office supplies (a good idea for your admin assistant?), electronic equipment, yard/home maintenance repair supplies, etc. Then, I just have to bring my PDA with me whenever I'm heading to the mall, office supply, electronics, or home goods store, and I can guarantee I'm saving myself several trips a year, and money for that bonus vacation!

Until next month, Stay Timely!


At 2:16 AM, Anonymous MansTouch said...

Planning a trip ahead of time can help lessen the stress. Researching on airfare promos will be great especially if the budget is limited, it is usually during off peak season.
Lifestyles of Paris


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