Budget Boot Camp Challenge 2 + Giveaway: She’s Making a List and Checking it Twice

90-Day Budget Boot Camp – Challenge #II + Giveaway
This is Challenge #II, sponsored by Ziplist, in the 90-Day Budget Boot Camp. Scroll down to find out how to enter their exciting giveaway! If you’re new, find out how you can join to kick your own budget’s butt!

Are you ready for the next challenge in the 90-Day Budget Boot Camp? Here it is!

– – The Challenge – –

There’s a great reason that the jolly man in the red suit makes a list and checks it twice. Sure, he’s checking for naughty kids. Frugalites; we’re checking for those naughty little purchases that usually happen when we’re listless. You know the kind, the ones that are not scheduled. The “I just ran into the store and walked out with $50 worth of things I didn’t need! Argh!”

Impulse shopping will always put you over your budget and retailers know that and position things in the store so that you’ll have to walk past the “goodies” to get to what you really need. A savvy shopper knows this and is prepared.

First off with a list. A list is a way to cut down on huge amounts of impulse buying. Recent research showed that 20% of what we buy is unplanned but that number is decreased if you write it down and stick to the plan.
Unless I’m going in to look, I make a list and then put the blinkers on, moving quickly past all the week’s sale items, past the candy and snacks and to the food we really need. Research shows that my $50/week grocery bill would be increased by $11.50 if I didn’t consciously make a list and only buy things on the list.

There is 25% less unplanned buying by shoppers who use a weekly flyer to get their information and then compile a list from that which also takes planning but is a good idea and can easily be done each week to plan your meals around the sales items.

One last thing I thought was interesting in the study is that impulse buying goes up by 23% if the shopping trip itself was unplanned but goes down 13% if the trip is part of a weekly or major regular shop.

Your mom always told you never to go to the grocery store hungry and you dismissed it as an old wive’s tale but it really makes sense that when we go starving we buy things to satisfy the hunger and not things we need.

Finally, avoid browsing the aisles. Sometimes I get distracted and wander up and down and during those moments I’m more likely to get off task and buy things I didn’t come for and we don’t need. If it’s not on my list from home then I mustn’t have thought we needed it and we probably don’t. Keep focused on the store layout and know what you need.

So this week’s challenge is a follow-up from last week (yup, we’re nice like that!) Last week we talked about how to meal plan and that you should do it BEFORE a grocery store trip. Part of the Budget Boot Camp HAS to entail some planning. It does take a little time but after reading the statistics above, I hope you’re convinced. It is vital to make a shopping list and stick to it. There are various ways to do it but here’s how I make mine:

1) I take a look at the things we have and plan meals around them. Then I work out what else we need. Most weeks I only need about $30-$35 worth of food to go with what I already have.

2) I pick up the sales flyers and work out where the best deals are for what I need. Although I don’t go to 5 stores a week I do go to about 4 different stores a month. If I’m stocking up on pantry items and snacks I head to ALDI, if it’s fruit I pick a different spot. If we’re out of meat I go wherever meat is cheapest.

3) I make a list. Nothing fancy, usually just a scrap of paper. I try and make it based on the store layout. So usually fruit first and dairy last. That way I won’t forget anything and have to run back wasting time and probably ending in more impulse buying.

4) Then I head out to that store that has the best deals on what I need. The rest of the money is spent on stockpiling. For example if I need meat and the store I’m at also has MacnCheese for $.39 and coffee on sale, I may buy a couple with the rest of the $15-$20 in my budget.

5) I always need fruit and dairy so that’s a given and I just get that where we’re at. Sure the store across town may have grapes for $.10 less per pound but is it really worth the time and hassle of lugging a 2 and 1/2 year old to yet another store? (Lemme tell you, the boy hates shopping! His Daddy trained him well!) Unless you’re buying 100 pounds of said product, saving 10 cents is not worth it. Now that’s good news for you Budget Boot Campers who thought this was gonna be about going to 20 stores per week!

A list based on a meal plan is sure to cut your grocery budget down (and we haven’t even clipped one coupon yet!) because it’s all in the planning. So this week’s challenge is: Make a list and stick to it. If you’re at the store and want something not on the list it cannot go in the cart.

Next week we’ll be following up on how all the challengers did and how easy/difficult it is to avoid those nasty impulse buys. What I wanna know is: Do you make a list? Do you see a significant difference when you do?

My Neighbourhood Store Saved Me a Fortune
The Planning Around the Sales Principle
When Bread is a Buck I Buy a Bunch
Shopping List Creator
Grocery Budget Tracker

Research taken from Unplanned Category Purchase Incidence: Who Does It, How Often and Why by David R. Bell, Daniel Corsten, and George Knox.

Come back on Wednesday to find out how our Challengers do and hear their experiences!

– – Giveaway – –

This week’s challenge is sponsored by Ziplist!

ZipList is a all-in-one site that speeds up your grocery shopping, while helping you save money and meal plan. You can access your shopping list anywhere online or on your phone and easily add to it. You can even share it with others, so your spouse can add too! On top of that, you can keep recipes from all over the web in one place, then add them to your grocery list with a simple click. It allows you to easily customize your lists, sorting your groceries by aisle and store layout, to get you in and out quickly.

As a lover of lists, Beth is in love with this site! I love the ease and convenience for busy Mummies. In fact here are some more features on it:

-Update or access the shopping list anywhere: the web, text messages, email, IM, iPhone.
-Share your shopping list with family members so others can add their own items or even help you shop if they drop by the store since the list is always up-to-date.
-Search 100,000s of recipes and add ingredients to your shopping list with just a click or two. ZipList also recognizes staples so you’re not adding salt, pepper and water to your shopping list.
-Save any recipe you find on the web in a single recipe box. No one else does this and Ziplist also enables you to add all recipe ingredients to your shopping list with ease.


Ziplist is offering Blue Avocado Starter Kits (photo attached). Aren’t they adorable?! They include: one carry-all bag, one produce bag, and one stuff ‘n go bag. The actual color may vary. five (5) lucky winners!

Required Entry:

Are you an impulse buyer? Tell us how often you go off a list or buy things on a whim in the comment section to enter.

Bonus Entries:

Each task below that is completed is worth one (1) additional entry. All are option, but give you more changes to win!

  1. “Like” the 90-Day Budget Boot Camp on Facebook!
  2. Follow @MummyDeals and @InGoodCents on Twitter and tweetI’m kicking my budget’s butt w/ @ingoodcents & @mummydeals! Could your budget survive? #budgetbootcamp #giveaway http://bit.ly/b1UbEu
  3. Add the button for the 90-Day Budget Boot Camp to your website’s sidebar.
  4. Blog about your personal experiences with this challenge and link back, so your readers can start kicking their budget’s butt!
  5. Subscribe to Mummy Deals via RSS or e-mail
  6. Subscribe to In Good Cents via RSS or e-mail

The Fine Print – Entries will be accepted until Tuesday, July 13 at midnight Eastern. Winners will be chosen randomly via Random.org and announced on In Good Cents on Wednesday, July 14. This giveaway was sponsored by Ziplist. We were not compensated for this post, but did receive free products for us . Regardless, as always, all opinions are my own!

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