I do make lists and try to stick to it as I think this is a good budgeting tip. That said I'm having a year of blonde moments at the moment (or maybe it's baby brain) and I can't tell you how many times I've left my list at home!! Without a list my grocery bill is always higher than normal as I buy stuff I don't really need.
I find it impossible to shop WITHOUT a list.... I do a meal plan for the week, write a list based on that then buy what is on the list and only what is on the list!
It makes it hard to be spontaneous or flexible if something changes later in the week but I just can't operate "on the fly" so my list and plan are essential for me!
Yes I use a list, I would forget stuff every trip if I didn't. I am not super strict about sticking to it, but I don't buy a lot of extra items either. I usually walk out of the grocery store with one or two extra items. On big grocery trips I will buy a max of ten extra items depending on the sales and our budget.
I certainly have to use a list when shopping, otherwise i get a lot of non essential items and kick myself when i get home to realize the things that really needed. So these days i don't go shopping without one.
My wife is the one that composes the shopping list, then i would get the items mostly on the weekends. I would get the crucial items on the list first then i would probably get one or two other items to surprise my wife and sons. So, i don't always stick to the list very strictly unless i'm really low on money.
Always, as it helps me to avoid impulse buys. I tend to plan what I'm going to cook a few days in advance, and shop specifically for that, as well as any basic essentials (loo paper, etc) that we need.
Yes. Always bring a list so I know the items we actually need!!! Anything above and beyond that would be anything on special. We usually stick to it if I do the shopping, but my husband might buy a few extras. We try to work out a menu for the week and buy accordingly.