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Why I Make Lists

Today I decided to do a little grocery shopping after I finished volunteering at the book fair at K’s school. I had two primary goals: get ingredients for pulled pork, and get ingredients to make carrot cupcakes. 

I didn’t bother making a list like I usually do, because I really didn’t need that much. Why make a list for just a few items?

As I usually do when I grocery shop, I went to Aldi first, because just about everything I need will be cheaper there. I bought carrots, honey (not for any of the aforementioned items, but because I need it to bake bread), sugar, and butter. Sadly, they did not have root beer (well, they did, but in a 12-pack of cans, which was too much) or pork roast. 

In my car, I looked on my phone to see where I might be able to find the best price on pork roast. Amazingly enough, Food Pyramid (which is normally way out of our grocery budget) was selling pork roast for $1.89 a pound. That’s basically a steal, and better yet, it’s very close to Aldi, so I wouldn’t have to go too far out of my way to buy it. 

Bought the pork roast. Was trying to decide the best place to buy the spices (Aldi didn’t have the spices I wanted, and I wasn’t about to buy them at Food Pyramid because I knew they would be overpriced) when I realized: I had forgotten to buy cream cheese at Aldi. You can’t very well make carrot cupcakes without cream cheese for cream cheese frosting!

I had planned to buy spices at Dollar General, but they don’t sell cream cheese at Dollar General. At least, not at ours. 

I didn’t want to go back to Aldi just to buy cream cheese, not when I knew they didn’t have the spices I wanted. So I decided to go to a third grocery store called Homeland. It was on the way home, I could run in and out and buy the cream cheese and needed spices, and then go home. 

The silver lining was that at Homeland, the spices I wanted were on sale. Yay! 

I was in the parking lot and about to drive away when I remembered: I still hadn’t bought root beer. 


I thought about going back into Homeland, but then I noticed the Dollar General beckoning me tantalizingly across the street. Yes! I would go across the street to Dollar General, buy some root beer, and go home. 

This actually does end well because not only did Dollar General have root beer, but they had it in a little 16-oz bottle. I had planned to get a 2-L only because that seemed my smallest option. (We don’t normally drink root beer at our house, and I knew if I had a 2-L my daughters would attack what was left after that small portion used for pulled pork.)

But, even though this story ends well, there is the small fact that I had a handful of items to buy today, and I had to go to 4 different stores to buy them all. 

The moral of this story: if one is cheap (either by necessity or by choice — I am both), and one is forgetful, one should never, ever go grocery shopping without a list. 


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