Shopping lists: Why do you like (or don’t like) making them so much?

Хороший вопрос: Нужна ли младенцу отдельная комната

The New Year is approaching, and many have either already started purchasing holiday gifts for loved ones, or are planning to do so. Attention, question: will you be making a shopping list? If so, why? If not, then also – why? I bet you never thought that psychologists and marketers have already figured out your personality type based on whether you shop with or without a list!

Corynne pless


Why plan shopping

  • A list of groceries or other items helps save time (guarantee that you don’t have to come back for something you forgot).
  • Helps you avoid buying unnecessary under the influence of emotions, advertising, the clever traps of marketers and a positive attitude towards the brand (you probably have a certain preference between two practically identical brands).
  • Helps to plan meals (it is easier to compose a menu for a festive table or to buy all the products in a store strictly according to the list than to run five times for crab sticks, mayonnaise or sugar in the nearest supermarket). Side effect – you can plan and stick to a “diet”: lists necessary purchases help you lose weight.
  • The list can be shared with your spouse or friends if you are planning a joint camping trip, for example. And distribute purchases.

Sarah greenman

That is, in other words, planning necessary purchases offers its owner some psychological comfort and more control.

These benefits are used by about 70% of store visitors (hereinafter, all statistics from Thomas and Garland, 2004), making real physical lists: on paper or in a smartphone. Psychologists say that fans of lists show some inclination in general to gain control over the world around them.

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domusstudio architecture

Why spontaneity in shopping is important
Reason # 1 among the arguments of those who do not use lists – users already have in their head a list of necessary purchases. Users acknowledge that they do not like any restrictions and rely on their own free choice. They are happy with the special offers of the stores. And this in combination also gives them a sense of control and comfort.

Thus, it turns out that more than 80% of shoppers visit stores with some kind of list – physical or in memory, because they are more comfortable that way.

As Thomas and Garland have suggested, such users seem to be more spontaneous. Freedom, flexibility, fewer restrictions – that’s their motto. Returning to the store is not a problem. To buy too much is also nonsense, it will come in handy on the farm.

RedAgape Blog

A little more fun statistics: almost 95% of those who shop with a list still buy something other than the list. Sometimes, twice as much.

If we talk about demographics, then 70% of amateurs make shopping lists – women. And 60% of those who have no lists at all do not have children (I wonder why?).


Do you need lists? Depends on what to buy
A trip to the store can be, on the one hand, a result-oriented business (to purchase the required number of bulbs or the necessary products), or it can become a pastime in which the most important thing is to get pleasant emotions.

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Just the same in the first case shopping wish list – business is very useful, because it helps to achieve goals quickly and with minimal discomfort.

This is exactly when you need a list: this product purchase planningin food, household chemicals or some kind of global shopping, when you need to purchase many diverse goods in one “go”.

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Morgan Howarth Photography

The second type of shopping (aimed at positive emotions in the process) gives pleasure simply from spending money. Joy is brought by the very process of searching for something new, as yet unknown, that you will like and enjoy. NSshopping and walking with list does not give such an effect. This process is akin to hunting. Lists will not help in situations related to creativity (purchases in an art gallery, for example). But the search and purchase of souvenirs from another country where you are traveling can be equally likely to be on the list (if it is important to “forget no one”) and without it.

Obviously, lists are not required for large mono purchases (for example, if you go to the store for a cupboard). In this situation, you just need not to be distracted by extraneous stimuli.

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Instead of conclusions
As a practicing psychologist, I recommend spontaneous shopping. Let’s endorse shopping trips without lists, because the sudden joy of a “lucky hunt” is important to a person – it’s nice. Finally, it is a great way to deal with stress.

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Provided that you do not suffer from shopaholia, do not go into debt and you do not feel guilty for another statuette like you already have at home – why not take a walk in the malls.

To buy or not to buy: How is interior shopaholia treated?

Do you plan on shopping before going to the store? What do you add to your shopping list: groceries, building materials, or other household goods?

About Leona Smith 115 Articles
Hello! My name is Silke and this is my travel blog. I want to show you fascinating places off the beaten track, give you a gentle introduction to history and culture, and help you get around Berlin. After 13 years in Sydney and Andalusia, I now live in Berlin, Germany. I am a travel writer, translator and book author. Read more about me here.

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