Shopping is like writing. If you do some planning, it will make things much easier. Before you get to the list, there are a few supplies you’ll need.
Envelopes—for receipts. Make one for each person you’re shopping for. Put their name on it.
Pen—always need one. There’re several reasons for this. One is because you don’t want to use the store pens. You wouldn’t believe where those things end up or who used them last. Yuck!
Paper clips—Take one for each list.
Coupons—sorted by store and paper clipped to the list for that store.
Something to put everything in—preferably something hard-covered so you can write on it. Keep it small. You’ll have enough to carry.
- Don’t leave home without a plan. Nothing wastes more time than making a list that has no plan to it. That’s especially true when you go Christmas shopping. If you have an idea what you’re going to get each person use a color code. No, you don’t have to do this on the computer. That’s why we have highlighters. Assign each person on your list a color. Clump like items together, then highlight them appropriately. That way when you get to the store, you don’t back-track—it takes up a lot of time.
- Never leave home without a list. This is not only important for getting exactly what you’re going after, but for staying on task. And it will ultimately save you money by not straying off when you see something bright and sparkly. Look through the ads and make a list for each store.
- Grocery shopping. Take the recipe with you. I’ve been known to scan the recipe into my computer and print it off. That way I can highlight what I need. I paperclip coupons to the back of my list. If I don’t, I forget to use them and end up with a purse full of expired bits of paper.
- Clothes shopping. There is nothing harder for a sales associate than to have someone come in and say, “I have a pair of brown pants I need something to go with.” People think, it’s just brown, so anything will match. Colors change every year and every season. They go from cool to warm and you can’t put a cool color with a warm one. I know that sounds so logical, but hardly anyone does it.
- Cell phone. This way you can split up in a store and get more done. Note: Don’t walk around with the phone planted in your ear. You not only miss what’s going on around you (great stuff you can use in your WIP), sales associates won’t approach you. Don’t walk and text. If you do, you run the risk of walking into a wall or a fountain. Never a good shopping experience.
- Take your own bags. The best way to losing something is to try to keep track of a zillion bags. With a nice wide strap on your bag you can throw it over your shoulder, lessening the odds of losing it. If they are all the same color or pattern, they’re easier to spot if you do leave one behind. Last, put your name and phone number in the bag. If you misplace it, someone can call you. I can’t tell you how many bags are left in stores with no hope of being returned to their owners.
- Take time for breaks. Shopping is even more hectic this time of year, so take a few minutes every couple of hours to sit down and have something to drink.
With a plan, you can get your shopping done and still have time to write.
What are your shopping tips?