I was standing in line at the grocery store watching a couple ahead of me.

The guy put his food up on the counter and the cashier rang it up. Then the guy turned to his girlfriend and said he didn’t know what else was his and what was hers. She glanced down into the basket and just stared at it. She finally just said, “I don’t know why I grabbed all of this stuff.” He replied that he didn’t know why she did either, but wanted to sort his from hers.

So he just started putting stuff on the counter he thought was his and she would make comments here and there about what might be hers. He asked for a subtotal and that’s when it got interesting. She flipped out!

I don’t want any of this stuff, I don’t know why I got this in the first place!” And she kept saying that over and over. Her boyfriend gave her the strangest facial expression, then stared at the cashier with a look of helplessness.

The cashier seemed to keep her cool through all of this and suggested they void the transaction and start over with just his stuff and then she could get want she wanted after she decided. This caused the girlfriend to go off and she stomped off toward the door, waving her hands around and repeating over and over, “I don’t want any of it, I don’t know why I grabbed it!” I was trying to keep my mouth shut so I didn’t laugh out loud, it was funny, in a sad sort of way.

In the end the boyfriend bought his stuff and ran after his girlfriend and I got to the register. “Typical day?” I asked. “More than you know.” She answered.

The Moral to this story is: Write a list and stick to it when you go grocery shopping or impulse buying will taking over, and your wants always exceed your needs and the price you pay will be tremendous.

Impulse buying is what stores rely on to bump up their revenue. And with a shopping list you can take the control out of the stores hands and put it into your own. One thing I might point out on a way to cut down on the impulse buys is to keep a calculator handy to to the total doesn't hit you like a ton of bricks as it seemed it did with the above girlfriend in the checkout line.


  1. Earl // Monday, May 10, 2010 8:38:00 AM  

    Hehe, the girl was lucky. Most of us don't realize that we don't want the stuff we impulse bought until it's home and not returnable.

    BTW. Is your text black on black for the webpage? I only see it when I highlight the text on IE7.

  2. April // Monday, May 10, 2010 11:39:00 AM  

    I wonder how much of what you saw was relationship issues--was she hoping he would "help" her "decide" what she really wanted? Or get embarrassed by her "I don't know!" routine and just tell the clerk to put it all on one bill and he'd pay for it? Maybe they'd had a fight about "our bills would be lower if you'd stop buying stuff you don't want!"

    That aside, I agree. Do a list, shop with it in your hand, and try to stick to it!

  3. Soft // Tuesday, May 11, 2010 7:51:00 AM  

    Really great and simple tip this one. I feel like with a lot of these things it’s a very simple thing to do its just difficult emotionally.

  4. Dawn // Tuesday, May 11, 2010 9:45:00 AM  

    It is amazing what kind of frame of mind shopping puts us into.

    Oh I'm sure of that. Money is one of the, if not THE biggest issue in relationships

    I like things simple too. :D

  5. Alexis // Tuesday, May 11, 2010 4:45:00 PM  

    I think you may be referring to my husband & I...haha, I hate impulse buying & sometimes I even have my list! :( I have been doing the meal plan week by week & that has limited the opprotunities to impulse a bit. Thanks for sharing!

  6. finallygettingtoeven.com // Wednesday, May 19, 2010 7:27:00 AM  

    A couple of other tips to curb the 'monster':

    don't go shopping tired and don't go hungry...oh yea, and leave the family members at home too...