Holiday Planning

With Hannukah already here and Christmas just about, it’s worth looking at this grocery shopping psychology study on “cabinet castaways.” The study, an oldie but a goodie, found that 63% of unused products were bought for specific purposes:

When people buy products for specific recipes or specific occasions, they tend to be overly optimistic…After buying the product, people lack the time to prepare the recipe or they overestimate the amount of people at their party; leaving the occasion-specific product unused…

So what can you do? Don’t overestimate your guests. I know, I know–easier said than done, because you are fighting the “good provider” impulse. But here are three ideas:

1. Recognize that it’s not the worst thing in the world to run out of something.
2. Use e-vites or actual paper invitations with RSVPs (now that’s old school!)photo by kimberlyfaye (via Creative Commons)
3. You can always have reserves on hand, not open the packages and return them if they go unused.

Also, it may be wise to minimize those holiday food impulse buys, like candy cane oatmeal and egg nog pizza.*

* These products may or may not exist…but you get the picture.

On a separate note: donations to food banks around the country are down and demand is up. If you can, please give what you can–food, money or time.

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