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Survey: Do you decide your shopping list before or after getting in the stores?

Do you usually know what you want to get before you shop? Do you have a recipe of what you want to make before setting your foot into a supermarket or a street store? Or do you decide after you get to the stores?

A) Most of the time, I know what to get before entering the stores
B) Close to 50:50
C) Most of the time, I decide after I get there

My answer is: C

Long answer: Yes, sometime I know exactly what I want to get, especially when I want to execute a recipe, and yes, I often know what meat I want to get before I step into the stores. However, most of the time, I improvise my shopping list in the stores. For example, today I went to Chinatown, and I walked into a street market. I saw some very fresh okra and decided that I will definitely get the okra, and then based on that I scouted for celery, onions, bell peppers, and they all looked good. Finally, I bought my shrimps to make my gumbo. In other words, the vegetables dictated my recipe. This may be a slightly extreme case, but this behavior is common for me. I usually (not always) decide my shopping list after I get to the store and seeing the produces, sometime because of freshness, sometime because of price cut....etc

What about you?

Thank for sharing your experience and your thought.

P.S.: I am talking food shopping, not clothing or toy...etc.

 
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  1. I don't know if I could break it down into your A B and C choices. Closest to B I guess but I wouldn't go as far as saying it's actually 50/50. I always have some specific things I get from my list, but I do like having the option of changing direction from what is or is not available in the market(s).
    This is one of the reasons I don't currently belong to a food coop or a CSA - I live in an area with excellent food shopping choices and I don't like being stuck having to work with what I pre-ordered no matter how sub-optimal it may turn out to be.

    1 Reply
    1. re: ratgirlagogo

      Yeah, I totally understand what you are saying. For many items, they don't change much, like milk and egg, so I usually know before hand if I want to get milk or eggs. The supermarket eggs do not get "fresher" or "less fresh" for all I know. I do change my mind base on price though.

      For many items, like fishes and vegetables, I usually make up my mind after I get that. Even in a few occasions that I decided that I want to buy certain vegetables, I had changed my mind to NOT buy them after seeing them in person.

      It is just that I averaged out to be more close to C.

      1. I shop very similar to you. I like to get in the store and see what meat looks good, is marked down or on sale and I go from there. Then I think of at least two applications and call my sweetie and he makes the final decision. Say I decide on cubed steaks... I see if he wants chicken fried steaks or salsbury. The same holds true in the produce dept. What looks good determines what ends up in my basket. I also shop nearly every day to get everything fresh.

        1 Reply
        1. re: suzigirl

          <is marked down or on sale and I go from there>

          Yeah, I definitely do that too, especially for geek yogurt :)

        2. My answer is somewhere between A and B.
          I peruse the flyers for my local places and us that to decide where I will go, based on where what I need to get will be on sale.
          Then, at the store, I get what I need as well as a few other things that may not be "needed" but still a good deal.
          Just today I spied a deal on pickles that DH likes, as well as one on tapioca, which it turned out I was out of anyway.
          I also make produce/meat subs based on how good it looks when I get there.

          1. I keep a running list on my computer re: what I need to buy to stock up, what leftovers I have on hand, what's in the freezer, what's in the fridge, & what menus I have planned for the week. Thus my weekly shopping list is easy peasy.

            I not only know exactly what I have on hand & what I need, but it also makes it easier to change plans mid-stream if the market has an un-advertised special, or some other type of fish looks better than what I had planned for.

            I'm sure this not only saves us money, but allows us to eat what's at its best.

            1. I don't do the bulk of my shopping in a regular grocery store. I only go there maybe once a month or less. When I do go there, I have a list of specifics that i know will be there (but I also watch for sale items). So, I guess I would be "A" most often. I always know what I need from a regular grocery store.

              The other places I shop for most of my foods and cooking ingredients, I am more flexible to what they have in season and don't always even take a list with me.

              2 Replies
              1. re: sedimental

                So what happen if you average your bulk shopping from regular grocery stores with the other places? Close to A or B? Thanks.

              2. Mostly A. ~ We shop with a list of needed items... Basics and menu specific. Sometimes I see an item(s) that are really extra special and call out my name! ~~ Yesterday I saw rib-eyes that were awesome (I'm hard to impress), and some baby bok choy that almost didn't look real. Menus will be adjusted for those.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Uncle Bob

                  <Yesterday I saw rib-eyes that were awesome (I'm hard to impress), and some baby bok choy that almost didn't look real.>

                  Sound nice. Thanks Bob. No, I am not going to you Uncle. :)

                2. I always have a shopping list. Part of it is basics I need to resupply--milk, eggs, etc. Without the list I always forget something. Then I have the list for that night's dinner. If one of the basic ingredients is not available or doesn't look its best I'll make my selections based upon what will make the best meal not necessarily adhering to my original idea.

                    1. I am an A.

                      I am pretty frugal, shop the flyers and meal plan so I have a set list when I walk in. I rarely impulse buy.

                      However that doesn't mean I won't take advantage of a good deal. Foe example maybe my plan was Taco Tuesday, Chicken breasts on Weds, Pasta Thursday, etc but when I got to the store pork butt was on sale, cheaper than the ground beef. I might decide to sub pulled pork for Taco night. If chicken thighs were value priced I might get those instead of breasts. I do the same with fruits and veggies.

                      I also know my monthly food budget and usually have an idea in my head where I am in regards to it. So if I see an amazing deal on something I don't "need" that week but use often I might take advantage. A few weeks ago I found real san marzano tomatoes on sale for $1.49 a can. This brand is usually $2.99 -$3.99 a can. You bet I bought a ton!

                      1. A - although I do pick up a few things if I see something else I need

                        1. A, absolutely. Invariably, however, the Khantessa finds a bushel of stuff that wudn't on the list.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Perilagu Khan

                            Khantessas do that and we are loved for our whimsical, mercurial natures.

                          2. Thanks. Quick Update:

                            Chemicalkinetics C
                            ratgirlagogo B
                            Jay F C
                            suigirl C
                            iluvcookies AB
                            sedimental B
                            Uncle Bob A
                            escondido123 A
                            EWSflash B
                            foodieX2 A
                            madeliner A
                            Perlagu Khan A

                             
                            1. I am in the "A" group when shopping in local supermarkets: grocery list in hand.

                              If I'm shopping say in an ethnic neighborhood, especially one that I don't visit very often,
                              I suddenly become "B" or "C" group material. Ethnic neighborhoods cause me to buy on impulse oftentimes because I love to experiment and I love to browse while I'm there.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Cheese Boy

                                I'm with you there. Ethnic market or new farmers market, B/C.

                                Weekly shopping, I'm an A that will actually sometimes have three list because I will shop at three stores for the sales. (They are all so close to me.)

                              2. B: I always go with a list but I'm a store browser. So in the mornings on weekends, I'll grab my morning cup of joe and browse the aisles which usually renders my list useless. Though, I have to admit it usually means I get to eat exactly what I want that day vs. what I planned the night before or a few days later. I have very variable food interests it seems so if on Friday night I know for sure that I want steak, when I wake up or get to the store and see something else I now need that instead.

                                1. A, but "mostly" is key - if I see something interesting, I don't pass it by.

                                  1. "C" - but, I do bring a list. The list is for staples that I am out/low on....butter, eggs, salt, etc. When I get to the store or market, I survey what looks good, then my menu takes shape and I make my selections. 90% of my cooking is without a recipe, so it really evolves with the ingredients and the season.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: laraffinee

                                      Very much my method. I keep a well stocked pantry so most market trips are for perishables. My pantry is well stocked because I take advantage when I find a great sale!

                                      1. B

                                        I'm probably a 50/50 shopper. I know the basics of what I want/need to buy when I go in. Most of the time I walk out with at least those items in hand. A lot of the time I will have some extras or some substitutes. I did a trip to costco today. I thought I only needed a couple of items . . . $230 later. Not my normal pattern, usually I'm within 30% of what I expected to spend

                                        Funny you should ask this today, after absorbing the shock of my bill, I was wondering exactly the same thing. Are there people who always (or almost always) stick to the list? The only other question I have is how many of the "A" shoppers have an actual list, either paper or on a 'device' of some kind. Mom was good, she had a list and she checked it twice. One tick mark when she pulled it off the shelf, one tick mark when it was rung up. Pretty sure she doesn't do that any more, but she isn't feeding a family of four including 2 hungry son's most of the time.

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: KaimukiMan

                                          < Are there people who always (or almost always) stick to the list? >

                                          I think so. I think when money is tight. People stick fairly close to their lists. Also I am guessing if you are shopping for a family, it pushes you a bit more close to you list. I am single now, so I can buy whatever I think is best at the moment. I could walk into the store with the intention to buy lobsters, but then walk out with salmon instead. I don't I can do that (easily) if I am married. Just imagine my wife tells me to buy lobster and I came back home with salmon....

                                          1. re: KaimukiMan

                                            I used to be a complete C, but now that we're on a strict budget, I plan my list to the penny and stick to it. That said, I will often give myself some wiggle room, such as knowing that I have the ability to buy $5 worth of green veggies to go into a risotto and then buying what is cheapest and looks best from what I see, figuring I can adapt my dinners to match the food.

                                            I can't wait til we're out of this phase (hopefully in the next 2 years) and I can go back to wandering the farmer's markets, picking up whatever amuses me.

                                          2. B)

                                            I usually go in with a set list of items and then browse around for what else I might like to get.

                                            1. Before and after. Basic household staples go on the list. Menu planning is done at the store based on what looks good and what's on sale

                                              1. A) i go to costco once a month, I better have a list or I'm gonna forget the butter (or soy sauce!).
                                                Otherwise, the corner store for milk.

                                                1. I'm almost completely an A. We live nearly 20 miles from the nearest market of any kind and I often don't have time to shop after work (when I drive by a market). So, I plan my weekend forays carefully, both for food and other errands. I peruse the ads before making my list. There's even a blog listing what will be available at the Farmers Market on Saturday. However, I'm also open to changing it up, if I see something interesting. Bob's baby bok choy would've had me making a change! :-)

                                                  Back in the days when we lived a few blocks from multiple markets, I was almost entirely a C.

                                                  I also tend to be a C when shopping my freezer and pantry.

                                                    1. Supermarket/Weekly Shopping.....A

                                                      Farmer's Market........C

                                                      Shopping When Hungry.........B

                                                      1. Absolutely "C" After I see what looks good, then I decide what I am going to make.

                                                        1. Some of each. I make a list based on the staples that are low or used up each week but some of my list will be generic food types like fruit or vegetables. I do not read the weekly ads before I shop so until I get to the store I don't know what will be on sale. Price plus freshness will be my guide in terms of some of the produce that I buy, although there are certain produce items -- lettuce, carrots, onions -- that I will buy if we are low, regardless. And, there are shelf staple items that I will buy even if not on my list, such as canola oil or pasta, if the sale price is particularly good.

                                                          1. Staples (cleaning, baking, condiments, etc.) off a list.

                                                            Meat I decided in line at the butcher (sometimes I may have a specific idea in mind and I pretty much always know I'm getting some bacon, etc.)

                                                            Produce: again staples (onions, shallots, garlic, etc.) from list; greens/fruits decide when I'm looking at it.

                                                            1. Quick Update. I cannot be sure how to categorize some of the replies, so I made some guesses based on the contents. Feel free to correct me if I assigned you to the wrong answer or I incorrectly spelled your name. I see a momentum shifting toward: B; 50:50.

                                                              Chemicalkinetics C
                                                              ratgirlagogo B
                                                              Jay F C
                                                              suigirl C
                                                              iluvcookies AB
                                                              sedimental B
                                                              Uncle Bob A
                                                              escondido123 A
                                                              EWSflash B
                                                              foodieX2 A
                                                              madeliner A
                                                              Perlagu Khan A
                                                              Cheese Boy A
                                                              Crockett67 A
                                                              fldhkybnva B
                                                              John Francis A
                                                              laraffinee C
                                                              KarenDW B
                                                              KaimukiMan B
                                                              Rodzilla B
                                                              scubadoo97 C
                                                              Chowrin A
                                                              onrushpam A
                                                              Njchicaa A
                                                              fourunder B
                                                              law_doc89 C
                                                              masha B
                                                              hambone B

                                                               
                                                              5 Replies
                                                              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                Not sure you should classify me as 50-50. Probably about 80% of what I buy is on the list, especially if a listing of generic items like fruits/ vegetables counts. And, in fact the range of products within those 2 categories does not vary all that much -- "vegetables," by which I mean green vegetables for cooking is almost always going to involve broccoli, green beans, cauliflower, asparagus, cabbage, or spinach. (Vegetables used primarily in salads or for sauces -- like bell peppers, jalapenos, tomatoes, cukes, green onions, cilantro or radishes -- are always itemized on the list.). Fruit is seasonal, but in the winter it almost always includes Granny Smith apples and then a choice among bananas, navel oranges, clementines, and occasionally berries, melon, or pineapple. 50-50 makes me sound more impulsive than I really am.

                                                                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                    D - None of the above. Or, re-define B to be a "mixture" of both, without a rigid 50-50. (Sorry, I always likes short answer tests better than multiple choice.)

                                                                    1. re: masha

                                                                      <Sorry, I always likes short answer tests better than multiple choice.>

                                                                      Sure, but short answer cannot be categorized into a chart. Thanks.

                                                                      1. re: masha

                                                                        +1. It brings me back to my days from kindergarten straight through graduate school as the kid who always had a question about the multiple choice question because the question and answers could be interpreted in several ways. For most courses, I preferred a short answer test but perhaps OP can include an other category and list the responses.

                                                                1. Definitely B. List is for the basics, but I change my menu 5 times while I'm in the store, based on what I see and the quality thereof.

                                                                  1. Pretty much A.

                                                                    I meal plan a week at a time, and shop once a week for that plan, at 2 different stores. I get most of my produce at Sprouts on Fridays on my lunch break since it's near my office, and the regular big chain grocery store near my house on Saturday mornings. While I enjoy grocery shopping, I abhor having to go to the store more than once a week, especially after work. Occasionally I might add in something else that isn't on my list (like maybe some cheese from the "bits and pieces" basket, or some meat from the manager's special section) but I try not to do that too much for the sake of my budget.

                                                                    1. I'll say I'm closest to A, but I'll qualify. I usually account for availability in my list (I'll want greens, but decide if it is kale or chard or spinach at the store). I do this with produce and meat/seafood/fish especially. I usually shop for a meal and have a good idea of what I'm making but I don't like to be so tied down to a plan that I buy lesser quality or forgo a bargain due to the list.

                                                                      1. For me, it's a mix.

                                                                        There's some stuff that we always buy in a given store (onions, milk, etc) or stuff that we buy when we're running out (soy sauce, cheese, butter, panko).

                                                                        There's stuff that I want to buy to make a particular dish. Say I want to make bolognese sauce that week, I'll buy the ingredients for it.

                                                                        Then there's stuff that I decide after I get there, which is usually for fresh and seasonal stuff, or sales. So I will think "Maybe I'll do seafood tonight" but will wait until I see what looks good, or see that they have fresh broad beans in today, and will plan a meal around that. I always get fruit for snacks, but what fruit depends on what is in.

                                                                        I combine those categories, and then fill it up until there's enough meat and vegetables to make meals until the next shopping run.

                                                                          1. I do for the most part, but there are times (like yesterday) when I just can't decide what to make so I decide at the store.

                                                                            1. I shop A type. 99% of the time, I peruse the food ads before going to the store. If it's a place that doesn't have a flyer (farmer's market or certain stores) I'll have a list before I go. That doesn't mean that something outside of the list doesn't get purchased (it often does) but I never go to the store without an actual "here's what I'm going to get" mentality.

                                                                              1. Mostly C. There are staples I always replenish but other than that I buy what looks good to me within my budget.

                                                                                1. I'll go with B. I almost always have a list of staples needed. For weekly shopping, I usually have a couple of dinner ideas in mind, maybe recipes I found here or basics we enjoy. I will then make substitutions on the fly at the store based on what looks good and/or is on sale. A planned chicken dish can become beef, etc. I keep my eyes open for sales items that can be used immediately, stored or frozen.

                                                                                  1. A) Always before. If I use something up (or the next to last something) I add it to my shopping list. I use my Mom's list method - down the left side of a piece of paper in approximate aisle order and continuing on the right side of the paper (produce at top left, dairy at bottom right, meat items in the middle willy-nilly).

                                                                                    Do I stray? Of course I do if I see something that looks good.

                                                                                    1. A.
                                                                                      I'm mostly a planner, but, if something catches my eye I'll buy it.
                                                                                      It's easier for me to stick to my list at grocery stores.
                                                                                      When I'm at a farmer's market there's so much I can't resist, and I end up closer to a B...

                                                                                      1. A. A A A A A or else it's Impulse Purchase Insanity.

                                                                                        I meal plan, so my groceries are in line with that. I might pick up, say, wine that's on sale over wine that isn't, but grocery store sales don't drive my purchases, I decide what we are eating and that's what I buy. If I went without a list I would buy twice as much and likely have twice as much waste.

                                                                                        1. I guess I'm a "B"

                                                                                          I keep a running grocery list on my phone, but adjust my game plan at the store based on sales, cravings, etc. there are also always a few things that aren't on the list but which I remember as navigate the store.

                                                                                          1. Somewhere between B and C. When we run out of a staple we add it to the list stuck to the fridge. Unless we're planning on making something specific we go by what's on sale and/or what looks good.

                                                                                            1. I'm one of those that lives on a tight budget, so I read the food ads to see what's on sale, usually based on the proteins, but I take into account what I have on hand, make my menu and make a list. I'm good at shopping from a list, but once I get to the store, things can change based on what I see.

                                                                                              I rarely count on a list for green veg like broccoli or green beans, etc., because I buy that according to what actually looks good when I get there. I've often changed my buying and menu plans when I find the perfect veg ~ eggplant, okra, swiss chard, etc. ~ to take advantage.

                                                                                              Guess it's 50/50 for me.

                                                                                              1. During the week, mostly C. I just go to the store and check out what looks good, what's on sale and build a dinner. On the weekends it's mostly A. I have a speicifc dish I'm going to make, one that usually takes more time, I head to the store with a list and 99 out of 100 that's what I get.

                                                                                                jb

                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: JuniorBalloon

                                                                                                  What's up, buddy. Should I take it that your average behavior is close to "B"?

                                                                                                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                    Yes a B. Not much, cooking and wasting valuable time on CH. :o)

                                                                                                    jb

                                                                                                2. I'm a C.

                                                                                                  I'll only make a list if I'm throwing a big party that will have a lot of dishes or if I am making a specific recipe that I'm unfamiliar with or which has a long ingredient list. Neither of these situations occur too often for me.

                                                                                                  1. I guess I'm probably a B. For the regular grocery store/Whole Foods, I go in with a list and a plan for what I'm going to cook for the week. I like to do the majority of my shopping at farmer's markets during the summer/fall, and there I will buy what looks good and improvise my menus and recipes while shopping.

                                                                                                    1. This may be the last or second to the last update. We are at a point which the distribution is fairly stable. Most people either decided most of their grocery items before entering the markets or at least half of them, and less than one-quarter decides on the spot.

                                                                                                      Thanks for your participation. It is very insightful for me.

                                                                                                      Here is the list. If your answer is not accurately counted or not counted at all and you would like it to be tabulated, then please enter your answer. Thanks.

                                                                                                      Chemicalkinetics C
                                                                                                      ratgirlagogo B
                                                                                                      Jay F C
                                                                                                      suigirl C
                                                                                                      iluvcookies AB
                                                                                                      sedimental B
                                                                                                      Uncle Bob A
                                                                                                      escondido123 A
                                                                                                      EWSflash B
                                                                                                      foodieX2 A
                                                                                                      madeliner A
                                                                                                      Perlagu Khan A
                                                                                                      Cheese Boy A
                                                                                                      Crockett67 A
                                                                                                      fldhkybnva B
                                                                                                      John Francis A
                                                                                                      laraffinee C
                                                                                                      KarenDW B
                                                                                                      KaimukiMan B
                                                                                                      Rodzilla B
                                                                                                      scubadoo97 C
                                                                                                      Chowrin A
                                                                                                      onrushpam A
                                                                                                      Njchicaa A
                                                                                                      fourunder B
                                                                                                      law_doc89 C
                                                                                                      hambone B
                                                                                                      pine time B
                                                                                                      juliejulez A
                                                                                                      corneygirl A
                                                                                                      babette feasts C
                                                                                                      JerryMe A
                                                                                                      inaplasticcup C
                                                                                                      tcamp B
                                                                                                      LindaWhit A
                                                                                                      eviemichael A
                                                                                                      rockandfoller1 A
                                                                                                      jujuthomas B
                                                                                                      tardigrade BC
                                                                                                      Terrie H. B
                                                                                                      JuniorBalloon B
                                                                                                      MonMauler C
                                                                                                      cath B

                                                                                                       
                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: hyacinthgirl

                                                                                                          Thanks for the reminder. I will include it in the next update. Appreciated.

                                                                                                      1. A. I plan ahead and tend to cook in bulk - so write detailed shopping lists. I am not averse to buying extra or replacement items, but I don't wander round looking for inspiration.

                                                                                                        1. I think I fall under A. I generally have a list when I get to the store, but come home with some things that weren't on my list. I don't come up with/rewrite my menu in-store, though.

                                                                                                          So A, I'm pretty sure.

                                                                                                          1. B
                                                                                                            And now and again, C. I generally have a partial list, because I love to browse recipes online and plan my dinner that way. Then while I'm there, I'll see something interesting and new, or some nice produce or meat and pick it up to plan another meal around that. And lunch items are always a snap decision.
                                                                                                            On the days when I'm a C, I take forever in the store mostly because I'm a scatterbrain :) And if it's at Central Market (my city's general grocery, hard to find, and gourmet goodies place) you may have to send a pack of sherpas in to find me and make me leave.

                                                                                                            1. I'm a B, due to where I shop. When I go to Costco, I'm an A 99% of the time - they have very specific staple items that I can use in large quantities and I go there specifically for those things. Occasionally I'll pick up something that's not on my list if they have an interesting looking new product, but most of the time, I stick to the plan.

                                                                                                              However, at my neighborhood stores, I'm more of a C - I generally buy what looks good or just stop in for an impulse buy. I usually have an idea of what I want, but if produce X looks bad that day, I'll buy Y instead.

                                                                                                              1. Thanks. This should be the final update. I hope this is as enjoyable for you as it is for me:
                                                                                                                (Let me know if I make a mistake and I will correct it).

                                                                                                                Chemicalkinetics C
                                                                                                                ratgirlagogo B
                                                                                                                Jay F C
                                                                                                                suigirl C
                                                                                                                iluvcookies AB
                                                                                                                sedimental B
                                                                                                                Uncle Bob A
                                                                                                                escondido123 A
                                                                                                                EWSflash B
                                                                                                                foodieX2 A
                                                                                                                madeliner A
                                                                                                                Perlagu Khan A
                                                                                                                Cheese Boy A
                                                                                                                Crockett67 A
                                                                                                                fldhkybnva B
                                                                                                                John Francis A
                                                                                                                laraffinee C
                                                                                                                KarenDW B
                                                                                                                KaimukiMan B
                                                                                                                Rodzilla B
                                                                                                                scubadoo97 C
                                                                                                                Chowrin A
                                                                                                                onrushpam A
                                                                                                                Njchicaa A
                                                                                                                fourunder B
                                                                                                                law_doc89 C
                                                                                                                hambone B
                                                                                                                pine time B
                                                                                                                juliejulez A
                                                                                                                corneygirl A
                                                                                                                babette feasts C
                                                                                                                JerryMe A
                                                                                                                inaplasticcup C
                                                                                                                tcamp B
                                                                                                                LindaWhit A
                                                                                                                eviemichael A
                                                                                                                rockandfoller1 A
                                                                                                                jujuthomas B
                                                                                                                tardigrade BC
                                                                                                                Terrie H. B
                                                                                                                JuniorBalloon B
                                                                                                                MonMauler C
                                                                                                                cath B
                                                                                                                hyacinthgirl A
                                                                                                                Peg A
                                                                                                                Kontxesi A
                                                                                                                alliegator B
                                                                                                                biondanoima B

                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                  Could you list them according to their letter? Then I'll know who my fellow list-birds are and we can flock together. :o)

                                                                                                                  jb
                                                                                                                  PS. It's never too cold to bbq.

                                                                                                                  1. re: JuniorBalloon

                                                                                                                    No problem. I will do that later when I get home. I used to do that because it is easier for people to check. The reason I did it by time of the answer submitted is that it is easier for me to double check.

                                                                                                                    Edited. Oh I see. You mean by the letter of the answer, not the letter of the names. Got it.

                                                                                                                2. Usually an A but sometimes a B. I always have a recipe in mind but if something else catches my eye then I will be going off list.

                                                                                                                  1. So, is this the result you were expecting when you initially posted?

                                                                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: tcamp

                                                                                                                      Actually, no. I have been doing a few survey posts. Most of them are slightly to very different than what I thought. For this survey, I was expecting that "B" will be the most popular choice, and that "A" and "C" will be even, possibly more "C" than "A".

                                                                                                                      My yogurt fat content survey is here:

                                                                                                                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/887998

                                                                                                                      That one I really expected that most people will like nonfat and low fat yogurt, but vast majority of the responders prefer unaltered full fat yogurt.

                                                                                                                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                        Interesting. I actually expected this response from CH'ers. Everyone here seems to be so organized, diligent and devoted to their cooking. I imagine you'd get a wildly different response from the general public.

                                                                                                                        1. re: MonMauler

                                                                                                                          I agree. I find that when I'm in the supermarket, I seem to be the only one with a list in hand.

                                                                                                                          1. re: Bacardi1

                                                                                                                            Who needs a list when you're buying frozen pizza? :o)

                                                                                                                            jb

                                                                                                                    2. Final Update (yes, I think I said that before).
                                                                                                                      Per requested by JuniorBalloon

                                                                                                                      Cheese Boy A
                                                                                                                      Chowrin A
                                                                                                                      corneygirl A
                                                                                                                      Crockett67 A
                                                                                                                      escondido123 A
                                                                                                                      eviemichael A
                                                                                                                      foodieX2 A
                                                                                                                      hyacinthgirl A
                                                                                                                      JerryMe A
                                                                                                                      John Francis A
                                                                                                                      juliejulez A
                                                                                                                      Kontxesi A
                                                                                                                      LindaWhit A
                                                                                                                      madeliner A
                                                                                                                      Njchicaa A
                                                                                                                      onrushpam A
                                                                                                                      Peg A
                                                                                                                      Perlagu Khan A
                                                                                                                      rockandfoller1 A
                                                                                                                      Uncle Bob A
                                                                                                                      vttp926 A
                                                                                                                      iluvcookies AB
                                                                                                                      alliegator B
                                                                                                                      biondanoima B
                                                                                                                      cath B
                                                                                                                      EWSflash B
                                                                                                                      fldhkybnva B
                                                                                                                      fourunder B
                                                                                                                      hambone B
                                                                                                                      jujuthomas B
                                                                                                                      JuniorBalloon B
                                                                                                                      KaimukiMan B
                                                                                                                      KarenDW B
                                                                                                                      pine time B
                                                                                                                      ratgirlagogo B
                                                                                                                      Rodzilla B
                                                                                                                      sedimental B
                                                                                                                      tcamp B
                                                                                                                      Terrie H. B
                                                                                                                      tardigrade BC
                                                                                                                      babette feasts C
                                                                                                                      Chemicalkinetics C
                                                                                                                      inaplasticcup C
                                                                                                                      Jay F C
                                                                                                                      laraffinee C
                                                                                                                      law_doc89 C
                                                                                                                      MonMauler C
                                                                                                                      scubadoo97 C
                                                                                                                      suigirl C

                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                      1. Closer to 50:50. But I have a list in my head of the necessary stuff. Having to learn new grocers has produced a bit of difficulty recently, but I usually know what stuff I stock.

                                                                                                                        Mr. Sueatmo also has memorized list of things he shops for which are usually things he likes for himself.

                                                                                                                        If I am planning to make a certain thing, I like to write the needed ingredients down before I hit the store.

                                                                                                                        1. I am mostly A. If I'm in a hurry, I'll stick to my list. If I have time, I'll peruse and I might buy extra items.

                                                                                                                          Side note: I never appreciated the idea of a "running list" but I was making a list today and thought to myself: I buy some of these things *every single time*, why don't I make a running list?

                                                                                                                          I'm thinking of laminating it so I can check off the things I need in wipeable marker like a dry erase board and have some blank spaces so I can write it something unusual. But maybe it would smear off in my bag?

                                                                                                                          Also, I'm thinking of having a "Recipe Specific" section of my list. Eg, Cook's Country recently published a recipe for Butterscotch cookies I'd like to try that calls for butterscotch chips. I only need a half cup. If I can buy them in bulk, that would be ideal.

                                                                                                                          Ideas/thoughts on this? Maybe I'll make this a new post. TIA.

                                                                                                                          1. I am an A. But like you if I get there and something is fresh and pretty or they - say - have veal shanks or something they usually don't have, I will snap it up and rearrange the menu on the fly. I usually buy the same things all the time and what is on sale. We have lots in storage, freezer and yard.

                                                                                                                            If I go to a specialty shop out of town I may have a few thing listed I must get, but usually I go in there and buy on a complete whim. More like a fugue. CHACHING!

                                                                                                                            1. A. I have a list and mostly go from that. BUT what I buy will change depending on availability and freshness of meat and produce.

                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: LMAshton

                                                                                                                                Yes, I do that as well. But since my list also has a constantly updated list of what's in my freezer & fridge, what's nice is that I don't forget about fresh stuff that really needs to be used. I'm no spring chicken anymore & my memory is like a colander sometimes, so having a hard copy of what's already on deck keeps me from not only buying unnecessarily, but enables me to buy sales stuff & switch meals around without ending up having to toss out food.

                                                                                                                                1. re: Bacardi1

                                                                                                                                  I wish we had sales here. Alas...

                                                                                                                                  We have a very small kitchen with a small fridge, so I do an inventory of everything we have on hand in the five minutes before we leave to go grocery shopping. My memory isn't that good, either, but so far, it works for me. Mostly. :)

                                                                                                                              2. Well my winter cravings now not only have control over my waistline but my shopping list as well. I went in this afternoon to grab a quick few things for dinner this week and all of sudden came up with tons of dishes I wanted to make that I've been craving and walked out with nearly 1/2 a push cart.

                                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                    Me too, as well as my unexpecting bank account. Though, I must admit I got some pretty great stuff and the meals will be delicious this weekend so perhaps it all ended well

                                                                                                                                1. B

                                                                                                                                  For years, my wife would show up with ingredients, and I would make dinner out of whatever she got. Made for some real surprises when she thought "this" and I made "that". Now I have more time to "run the pantry" but I am a "B" shopper.