During this settling process of moving to the country I have had to learn to REALLY adapt to a new living environment. We live 7 miles from town, Ogden, IA which consist of a cute main street and a Casey’s Gas Station – there really isn’t much more to it then that. We live 16 miles from Boone, IA that has a population of 15,000 so there are grocery stores, Wal-Mart, restaurants, small hardware stores. Then you have Ames, IA which is 30 miles away and has the entire Sha-Bang of retailers that I grew up with, a mall (haven’t been yet), Target, Best Buy, Lowes, Panera Bread, you name it they’ve got it.
I have really learned that I can’t just run out and get the items I need. Well, I shouldn't say “Can’t” I certainly can go drive the 7-14 miles for items but that is not an option when trying to save during high gas price and that fact that it is NOT convenient what so ever.
Instead what I do is I start a list.. surprise surprise! Remember my post on my obsession with “The List”. I still have the obsession and it has grown.
Throughout the week I have a pad of paper on the counter that I add items onto that I will need to pick up on my trip to “town”. These list start out as just a need list then before I head out the door I sit down and organize the list into which stores I can get them at.
Grocery items- Fairway in Boone
Paint & Garden supplies – Lowes, Ames (Can’t wait for the super Wal-Mart in Boone to open!)
Home items – Target or Wal-Mart, Boone or Ames
I probably get some looks as I am walking around the store, hunched over my shopping cart with my pen and paper in hand grabbing items and crossing them off my list as I go. If I don’t cross them off then I completely skip over them and think I got them but didn’t then I get home and swear at myself since it was the most important item I needed that trip. I also always write down which items are on sale and the price I saw them for in the paper so I know which to buy. We rarely by name brand at the grocer any more, it’s always store brand bread, meat, ice cream, milk.
So that’s my tip for today, whether you live 20 minutes from town or 5 minutes make a list before you walk out the door and save yourself some grief later by not forgetting what you needed in the first place.