Snack Time: What’s First?

OK, I made my regular grocery run today and my first stop was at Walgreens. The entire time I was driving, I couldn't help but think, “What am I going to search for first?

Of course, I went equipped with my weekly shopping list and scenario (email me if you want a copy of this too BTW). So, I enter the store and my mind is wandering – I haven't been to Walgreens searching for a really good deal since that Cutter bug spray paid me to take it home! And, my anticipation threw off my strategy – I went for the markers first (since I needed $5 in school supplies for my Pert MIR). As I was over there getting my Bic Permanent Markers, I thought, “No, I need that Pert – without that I don't need those markers. And, the Dove Shampoo is only $.50 with all my coupons…run, Andrea, run!” Obviously, I am being just a wee bit dramatic (or am I?). So, I rushed over to the shampoo aisle and there was tons of Pert and Dove shampoo. I picked up what I needed and felt like I achieved my goal for the day!!

As I was going through that strategic self-discussion, I got all curious, “I wonder where other people go first when they have really good deals?” You know at CVS, if you don't have that one deal, you have to re-work scenarios. So, I've found that as long as I have my one “staple” in my scenario, I'm good. Otherwise, I'm using Scenario B (definitely always have a couple scenarios to use at CVS and definitely have your calculator on hand too). So, for me, that is my deciding factor in where I got hunt first. Obviously, my excitement at Walgreens thew me off because I would have gone for the shampoo first since that was the main item I needed. And, without that Pert I wouldn't have needed those markers for the Pert MIR – see, I was a little excited!

Now, my grocery Shopping Operation Procedure (S.O.P.) is more rigid – I work my way from one side to the other or from front to back. I've found it to be more efficient that way. Most of the grocery items are in stock, I'm not too concerned about losing out on a deal.

I've found in most of my drugstores, they are laid out differently so taking the operating procedure as I do with the grocery store isn't as effective – and since the drugstores tend to run out of stock more quickly, getting that “hot” product does make the difference. So, yeah, that $.50 Dove shampoo was pretty “hot” IMO.

So, tell me – how do you shop and what's first for you? Do you have a Shopping Operating Procedure and where does that take you? Is your first sprint towards that sale you want, or do you just take your casual time and enjoy soaking in all the ads and coupons – as you see, that's my S.O.P for my grocery stores. Or, do you think I'm a complete nut and that I've taken this way too far – it's OK, sometimes my family/friends say that too. Hey, I'm a mom on a mission…it just happens to keep us all entertained :-)

by Savings Lifestyle: Andrea on August 19, 2008


  • Mama Koala - August 19, 2008 @ 9:13 pm

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who talks through all the deals in my head! At CVS I try to get the “big ticket item” when I first walk in (the highest return in ECBs), then go through and get other items, then browse the clearance. I get nervous when I see a “crowd” around the items I want–hoping I’m not too late for the PERFECT deal:-)

  • Michelle Wall - August 20, 2008 @ 12:03 am

    This is so funny – I feel the same way. Isn’t it so disappointing when you find the they are out of the stuff you came to get. I can just picture another person like me who got the items and is doing a dance of joy – and I am so sad. Anyway…I look for the item that is the best deal as well, at Walgreen’s then work my way down to the less desirable items – I swear I walk through the store three or four times when I go!

    Michelle –

  • Mrs. Bargain Hunting Wife - August 20, 2008 @ 2:13 pm

    I either go for whats closest to the door or that crucial “must have” item!

    But when getting groceries, I always swing to frozen foods last.

  • Kim in NJ - August 20, 2008 @ 7:02 pm

    I was laughing while reading your post. I actually get all nervous and amped up as I’m pulling into the parking lot of a store that has a great deal waiting for me. I’m anxious about getting it before they are sold out. Seriously, I have heart palpitations!!
    So, it goes without saying that I head straight for the great deal first. (I did Pert + free school supplies at Shoprite 2 weeks back).
    As for grocery stores, just like you, I meander around the store. Hey, it’s about the only time to myself that I have!!

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