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[whitespace] Making a List

Remember that scene in Bullitt when Steve McQueen goes into the supermarket and stacks up TV dinners like a deck of cards? Besides being cool as ice, that man knew how to stock an empty cupboard or refrigerator for the week fast.

In this case, mom's advice is still the best: keep a list. Stick it on the refrigerator and write down all grocery items as they disappear or get low. Second piece of advice: don't forget to bring the list to the store. Inside the store, don't criss-cross the aisles shopping for individual items. Instead, start at one end of the store and go down each aisle, completely crossing out items as you pick them up (this avoids shuffling through the basket to see what you actually have). Don't miss any aisles; supermarkets have a habit of hiding items in the strangest locations, and you'll waste time backtracking. Once you get to the counter, trust to your system and don't look back. Sound too dumb to be useful? Mother's advice usually did, too, until you tried it.

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From the March 5-11, 1998 issue of Metro.

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