I love lists! What can I say, there is nothing better than the feeling of satisfaction you get when you're crossing things off your to-do list (well, there possibly are a few better feelings, but none suitable for here!). Writing a shopping list is a mundane job that helps us remember everything we need, and hopefully, stops us from spending more money than necessary. And often getting everything written down in a list can be a stress reliever – I certainly find noting down ideas before I am about to drop off to sleep, helps clear my mind and prepares me for a good night's sleep.
Making a new list to merge all my other lists into one super list, is a magical thing. Well, it is to me :) Some may think that this is weird, but at least I don’t forget things! I only ever forget where my lists are, especially as I haven’t yet managed to move forward into the 21st century by keeping them on my phone; I'm an old fashioned pen and paper guy, ideally written on the back of an old Christmas card or receipt for my asparagus peeler.
So here are our handy tips when it comes to those mischievous lists…
Never go shopping without one!
Yes, even we know this is easier said than done, however a trick is to photograph your list on your phone. It may sound silly, but I always seem to have my phone with me even when I forget the list! And you'll spot me as one of those annoying people standing in the aisle of Spinneys, leaning on my trolley, looking at my phone :)
Don't go shopping when you’re hungry
I am guilty of this on occasions! In my head, there are about three different options for lunch, and five different dinners planned. And then I’m so hungry so I end up buying a samosa from the deli and promptly wishing I hadn’t!
Plan the week’s meal
Subscribe to Oscar & Jemima’s and we can take care of that for you! However, you’ll still need to buy the food, for now (hint hint!). When planning your week’s meals its good to keep in mind what you can do with the leftovers – keep your eye out for blog posts on leftover ideas.
Avoid last minute list writing
Instead, try having an ongoing list at the ready or keep a chalkboard in the kitchen. When you’re running low on some tabasco, pop it on the list! If you suddenly get insipid by a new tasty dish make an instant note of the key ingredients, pop it on the list!
Check your fridge
This is really important to avoid waste – so many times I have come back from the supermarket adding to my collection of tins of kidney beans, coconut milk and tinned tomatoes, and my fresh salad and veg that have been hiding in the veggie draw.
Create a recipe album
I always find having a recipe album on my phone, with pictures of recipes I have taken from magazines, helps too. And if you do forget your list, I’m sure you'll have your phone with you to easily find what you need.
It’s easy to get carried away with bargains and special offers. But it’s not always the best idea to buy a sack of potatoes because they are cheap, only to have them sprouting in the cupboard weeks later because you're fed up with all things spud-like. (However should this happen and shoots are beginning to develop on your potatoes simply plant a piece of the sprouting potato in a large pot covered with 3 inches of soil - within a couple of weeks green shoots should emerge and these will grow into bushy plants, and 3 months later you can have your own home-grown spuds!
Know the supermarket layout
Most supermarkets are laid out the same way, so make sure your list is too! Don’t sneak in some baking soda amongst the fresh veggies otherwise, you’ll be covering more aisle miles than you need too - great if you're part of a Fitbit challenge, but not if you’re in a rush!
Need a list? Download our lovely list here for free!