UNITED STATES—They always say the worst thing you can do is head to the grocery store on an empty stomach. Oh, I understand that reasoning all too well because when you’re hungry, everything and I mean everything looks tasty or good in your eyes. For example, I had to do a bit of grocery shopping this weekend, after not visiting the supermarket for at least 2 weeks. I made a list because that is just how I role when it comes to spending money for the most part, especially household essentials and food items. Why?

I don’t like deviating from my list because it impacts my budget, but it also adds to making purchases that I probably would NOT have made if it was not on my list. However, food is a bit more problematic. I mean I had not eaten anything the entire day, and as a result I just wanted to ensure my fridge, freezer and cabinetry was stocked with food items. In the process of getting to the store, I did for the most part stick to my list, but I can tell you I easily spent about $20-$30 on items that I did not anticipate spending at all.

Those items included expensive lunchmeat, bakery delights, juices and a few cheeses that were not initially on my list, but I was thinking about dishes I might want to cook at a future date. Maybe the following day, a few days later or in the coming week; do I regret the purchases? Of course not, I think many people rarely regret making a purchase when it comes to food. Why? When you have a craving you want to ensure it is satisfied and when you’re hungry you cannot deny your body that food, and whose going to return food that they’ve already eaten? Um, you can’t America, so once you make the purchase you should lock it in as something you will not turn your back on.

Fast-food, processed food or hot food, notably processed or hot foods tend to be a bit more tempting at the grocery market, especially when you are shopping on an empty stomach. So not only are impulse purchases at the grocery store costly they can cause you to deviate from your list and then you end up NOT getting all the items you expected to purchase or you substitute a few items for cheaper ones.

Wait for it, you might even place yourself in a situation where you eliminate items completely off the list that you intended to purchase. That is a good thing because that is money that can be used to purchase other items, that will not only stack the pantry, but it helps you with your budget as well. Why? You’ll look at your expenses over the past few weeks, past few months or even a few years where when you calculate what was spent, and what you could have saved, it can open your eyes for a ton of wasteful money that could have been used on other items or things.