The mystery of the lost shopping list

Updated on 28 August 2012 | 0 Comments

Finding other people's shopping lists sees Andrew Webb turn amateur sleuth. But beyond that, a proper list can save you money.

One of the unexpected bonuses of visiting my local supermarket is occasionally finding other people’s shopping lists still attached to trollies, or on the car park floor. I’m not alone in finding these fascinating. Indeed, there are a number of blogs dealing with the subject (found Magazine, Found Shopping Lists, Shopping List Compendium, and even a book ‘Milk, eggs, vodka’ about found grocery lists. (One of my favourites contains the little extra note - “Honey please get EVERYTHING on this list, or add 'New Wife' to the bottom! KISS”). You can read the top ten here.

'Alimentary', my Dear Watson

Part of the attraction, I’ll admit, is sheer nosiness; that little peek into someone’s daily life and eating habits. And so it is from this that we can, Sherlock Holmes-like, extrapolate the author’s daily life. So let’s deal with the latest list I found, pictured above.

I’m guessing female judging by the handwriting, and veggie as there’s soya mince on the list. They’re obviously having a Mexican-themed meal as there are peppers, tortillas, sour cream and such. Mustard seems an odd addition. I’m also guessing she lives with another female, as the hand that’s added 'cotton wool' is different, and not a lot of chaps buy cotton wool. However, there's shaving gel there... but that could be for either gender... hmmm. Finally, there’s the interesting ‘stuff for lunches’, which could mean any number of things, but probably means items to make sandwiches.

How shopping lists can save you money

When I was younger, I never used to write shopping lists. Perhaps my tastes have changed, or perhaps I’m getting forgetful, but nowadays if there are more than three things to get, I’ll uncap biro. Because there's nothing worse than forgetting a key ingredient for a dish, or worse, buying all the food and forgetting that one other item like washing up liquid or toilet roll. Too many times I’ve got back in the car or had to nip round the corner shop to get things I should have bought. 

Apart from giving us a good laugh if you drop them, shopping lists can also save you money when used as part of a planned weekly menu, according to Love Food Hate Waste. The Australian branch has even produced these handy PDF weekly menu and shopping list templates

Do you make a list, or do you ‘trolly dash’ around the supermarket keeping an eye out for bargains? And have you ever found any interesting shopping lists while at the supermarket? Let us know in the comments below.

More on shopping

Are you wasting money on foodie fads? 

10 things you should never buy again 

10 supermarket secrets


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