Many of us use some sort of shopping list for groceries and other household items. It is an amazing tool that can cut the time you spend in the store, keep you under budget, and make sure you have the right things when you need them.
I'm seriously considering starting an expanded version of a grocery shopping list at my house. With six people in this house, I am forever hearing requests for new tights or a notebook or soccer cleats or a six inch styrofoam ball for a science project. Unfortunately, I am far from perfect and, therefore, many of these requests come in one ear and rush right out the other. Which does not improve my standings in the Mother of the Year competition.
I have been mulling over a solution for a while, and I think I've hit upon something. I'm still working out the exact details: clipboard, whiteboard, notebook....but the general idea is the same: one place for everyone to list their needs, perhaps even organized by something. Store? Or town? Or priority?
Now, as my children have started helping with this post, I've discovered that I need two parts, or another list: things that need to be done. Missing bed part replaced? New bike tire? Cover up the awful curtains in daughter #2's bedroom?
What does this have to do with money? A couple of things. First, buying things in a panic at the last minute always costs more. Second, planning trips in an organized fashion helps to save money and time traveling between stores and shopping areas. Third, having time to think can often help find less expensive solutions. Fourth, having some extra time gives you the opportunity to comparison shop.
We all know that it is easy to spend too much when you are under pressure. Having the need for things immediately is the worst possible way to use your hard earned money. With any luck, having a centralized shopping list will help save my family time, sanity, and money.