Shopping with Intention

Today we talk about shopping with intention and why it is crucial to a smooth-running, waste-free kitchen.

Intention is the opposite of impulse. Impulse buying is what you do when you don’t have a clear idea about your meal plans for the next several days. You just pick random stuff from the store shelves and fridges. Maybe several types of cheese and some cold cuts. Perhaps some grapes and some tomatoes and also lettuce salad.

Psychology describes impulse shopping behavior as “spontaneous and without much reflection”, whilst the consumer is said to be experiencing “a sudden and strong urge to buy”. The findings of the Wageningen University report suggest that people who have a greater tendency to make impulsive purchases, waste more food.

We see several main reasons for this consequence.

First, when people buy on impulse, they do not take into account how much they really need or can eat, which results in overstocking. Secondly, not having a specific dish in mind when choosing the ingredients, and doing so on the spur of the moment, leads to buying random stuff that may not work together as a meal well or not at all.

If the items one has purchased do not add up to a concrete meal, it is very likely they will be partially left lying around in the fridge until they perish. The third main reason is that impulse often happens when shopping hungry, for e.g., after work before getting home.

Hunger is a bad advisor, so one is tempted to buy food that one is normally not prone to eat or at least not in excess quantities, once the hunger spurs have been curbed. Last, but not least, having a plan and a list to match will make you vulnerable. Brand merchandisers count on precisely that – tempting you into purchases when you don’t have a clear intention in mind.

The only way to avoid all these pitfalls is to shop with intention by sticking to a shopping list of what has been deliberately planned as needed.

CozZo app shopping planner (‘To Buy” screen) lets you build an ordered list with well-described items and you can choose from a bunch of other apps(AnyList, Out of Milk) if you’re using an Android device.

You will be fast and you will be efficient. When you are light on your credit card and on your grocery bags, you end up with less stuff to waste.

Shopping with intention is a food habit with a direct link to less food waste at home. The less random food you purchase, the less random food you will have to eat up or alternatively discard.

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