My Shopping Habits and Patterns


Have you ever stopped to thought about ‘how’ you shop? No, I’m not talking the simple act of walking, throwing things in a cart, paying and leaving. It wasn’t until I once told my kids, “no, we need to start in this section” that I actually realized that I have specific methods to the way I shop. Ones that are always done, even without thinking.

I have what I like to call a ‘shopping pattern’, I walk through a store and gather my purchases in a very specific and preferred way. Let me take you through one of my shopping trips…

shopping habits canadians

This shop takes place at Real Canadian Superstore {or Loblaws to those that reside in the East}. As soon as I enter the store with my shopping list and coupons in hand, I always glance at the featured sale items on display beside the start of the resisters. While these items and all sales racks might catch my eye, whether it goes into the cart depends on the percentage off as well as my need for the items.

loblaws superstore shop cbias

Then, I have to hit the Joe Fresh section of children’s clothing and accessories before anything else. Always. We may not need any clothing items at the moment, yet I can’t help but to take a look at the new items and the clearance racks, keeping future needs in mind.

lowbalws real canadian superstore sales

Most trips I can find something that catches my eye, that gets placed into my cart. This time, it was packages of 3 pairs of kids’ socks, on sale for $1.97. Score! Though socks for the girls may not be needed now, They will certainly need more in the future. When that time comes, it’s nice to already have them and know that you paid a fraction of what you would have needed to. That is like gold, my friends.

shopping habits patterns

After I’ve satisfied my Joe Fresh curiosity, I always {and I mean, always} shop the store in a horseshoe pattern. First is meats, milk and dairy; then aisle products and last is fruits and veggies. I’m very particular about this.

Why? The order in which I shop is the order from package durability and it lessens the chance that the more delicate items will get squished in the cart. Simply put, I wouldn’t want to try and put jugs of milk on top of my apples and bananas, right? This way, I don’t have to waste time and organize room in the cart mid-way in my shop.

loblaws shop cbias

As well, usually my list is written according to this pattern as well, to hopefully prevent the backtracking if I’ve missed something in a previous section. It does happen, yet not nearly as much when I didn’t make my list in this fashion.

Sometimes when time crunched, I get only the items on my list. Yet most of the time I plan to shop at a more leisurely pace, so I ‘take it all in’. For that reason, I usually purchase more than I intended, only if such items are on sale and when I can combine those products with coupons. Rarely do I spurge on a last-minute big-ticket item, yet that has happened before too. Yet, this is also based heavily on need and what kind of sale is displayed.

loblaws shop cbias social fabric

So, on this particular shopping trip to the Real Canadian Superstore, what exactly caught my eye? I was very surprised at some of the products I spotted and took more time to consider. My socks score is only a small sampling of the items I browsed while on this shopping trip. Make sure to check out my Google+ Album, it’s my entire ‘shopping story’ from start to finish. And yes, done in that horseshoe pattern of effectiveness. You can’t say I didn’t warn you, I really do organize my chaos! 😛

Yep, as you can see, I’m a tad specific on how I shop. Are you the same way?

cbias shop canada


I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias® #CBias #SocialFabric”. All opinions are 100% my own.




  1. That’s really interesting. I don’t think I’ve ever really put much thought into shopping routines or rituals. For me, I tend to have a little anxiety when I go into stores. I think it’s because I don’t get out enough, away from my kids, so when I do go into a store I’m feeling like I should be somewhere else. Crazy, I know.

    I’m also terrible about making a list when I go shopping, even though I KNOW it would help me immensely. I would probably be more successful if I did plan a little! 🙂

    1. Good point Crissy! When i get spare time without the kids, I hate to shop too, like I’m wasting precious time. Much rather take them along like I usually do. That part of parenting, I have down pat. So totally agree, would much rather do other things when I don’t have them along.

    1. I wander a lot if I don’t have a solid plan or list in hand. I never go to a store with the purpose of getting ‘a gift’, that’s too vague! lol

  2. There is honestly NO rhyme or reason to my shopping! I am a list maker – but I find that can be a tad unorganized… I will have fruit up top and remember later I need tomatoes… I am very much a stock up on a sale item kinda gal though! (or in the case of today purchase perhaps too much half price easter chocolate)

    1. Ohhh, thanks for the reminder, I need to get out for some chocolate sales!!
      Your point about being unorganized – when I have to back-track, it makes me anxious and stressed. Like my whole plan was shot out of the water. Odd, right?! lol. I guess I do have more of a shopping pattern than I thought.

  3. I shop in much the same way, I try and not get items that’ll squish until the end. Didn’t think of it until now though. Actually, there’s a grocer close to my house and I don’t shop there since it seems I run in all sorts of directions. Must be why!

    1. Good point Olivia! I have a small grocer near me that I go to if I have 1-4 things on my list. But even a few more, I hit the larger ones for selection, price and a better layout.

  4. If I forget my list, I am all over the place, hate shopping for that reason. Yet I started writing lists on my phone, which goes everywhere with me, so shopping isn’t so bad. Getter more effective with age!

  5. I never thought about a shopping pattern, but you are right- I do have one! I do the same thing depending on the store I visit LOL. With the grocery store, I always start in produce, then meats, work the aisles and finish with the cold stuff last.

    1. But then isn’t your produce squished?! lol.
      Trying to picture myself starting in that section first and I . Just. Can’t – lol

  6. I’ve never thought much about my shopping routines but now that I do, I think I definitely shop the horseshoe pattern as well!

  7. I do have a pattern for going through the store based on what I need. However, I’ve yet to get my shopping list that organized as I often remember something and just add to it.

  8. Wow! I never thought about it that way (though of cause, I did organize my trips somehow) and intuitively over the course of about 5 years and 2 kids I came to the same structure. The only difference is that my horseshoe goes as the store does, because I usually have enough space to organize it as I go.

    1. I have a friend that shops the snacks section last and I mean LAST always, since she has kids and doesn’t want to hear the whining about the snacks for the entire trip. Think it’s kids that shape our shopping habits? Trying to recall if I shopped this way before kids….?

      1. Nope, kids only affect my shopping in a way that makes me more organized to get home in time for feedings, since I almost always leave them at home. I’ll teach them when they are older, but for now I’m not giving myself a headache of trying to think efficiently with such a distraction. So for me the main factor is that I learned about sales, clearances and coupons. And also information from the ingredients lists on the packaging makes me to avoid the middle isles.

  9. I absolutely love your shopping pattern! Ive never thought about shopping that aspect, and even our local stores make us pass all of the soft items first, which means lots of maneuvering once we get to the meat and dairy section. I also love that your store has Joe Fresh items. We have a Joe Fresh store in NYC, but aren’t lucky to have it in our local super stores.

    1. I like this pattern as well, since i get all the fresh good stuff first, then packaged and processed last. If I have a somewhat full cart by the time I hit the aisles, I’m less likely to grab a lot of it… another bonus!!

  10. Yes! I do have an exact method, especially at the grocery store! Dry goods first, then frozen then cold and fresh produce. That way, cold stuff isn’t thawing at the bottom of the card and the more delicate fresh produce it at the top. Also, I don’t squish my bread that way 🙂

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