If you’ve ever gone to the grocery store without a list, you know the dangers of making decisions without a roadmap. Generally, you wind up buying yet another can of green beans to add to your dusty canned goods collection while forgetting to pick up the one thing that you really needed. You make an impulse buy that undermines your diet, or you go way over your monthly grocery budget, using money that might have gone to something even more valuable, like a vacation.
A smart shopper takes time to look in the fridge and in the cabinets to get a sense of what’s running out before going to the store. They make some hard decisions about supply and demand, questioning, for example, whether anyone is ever going to eat all those canned green beans. They consider what they’ve budgeted for and what their dietary needs are.