Thursday, June 16, 2011

How to Make an Organized Grocery Shopping List

If that’s not a compelling title, people, I just don’t know what is. Well, you’re still reading, so that counts for something, right?  :) 

About 497 years ago, I posted about how I organize my recipes.  This system has helped me a lot, and although I’ve modified it quite a bit, it still helps me get a handle on meal planning.  I thought I’d share with you today how I’ve streamlined my grocery-store shopping, as well.

I am a total stream-of-consciousness person in real life.  Subjects switch in my head really fast, and sometimes it feels like I have about 3-4 different subjects in my head at any given time.  Can anyone else relate?  I used to through Chris for a loop every time we had conversations, so now I just preface my train of thoughts with “Okay, next subject…” It has really helped both of us out. :)

Anyway, I was doing the same thing with my grocery shopping list: writing down the items as they occurred to me during the week (which is what most normal people do).  But inevitably I would get to the store, get done shopping, and realize there was something in the middle of my list that I inadvertently missed, making me trek back through the whole store to find it.  After I had Luke, I hated this process even more, because I was trying to keep him occupied as well. 

I knew I needed a different system, so I came up with this system and I’ve been using it since last summer.  It works perfectly for me.  {Click on any of the pictures to make them bigger.}

 mostly blog pics june 024

I have a pre-saved template on my computer for my grocery list.  I have ordered this list in the same order my favorite supermarket lays out their groceries, so it follows a natural progression of the aisles.  I keep it up on my fridge, and throughout the week, as we run out of items, I simply write the item in the appropriate category.  EASY.  SIMPLE. TIME-SAVING.  DUH WHY DIDN’T I THINK OF THIS A MILLION YEARS EARLIER????!!!!

 mostly blog pics june 019

Then, as I go through the fliers for the week and see what’s on sale, I add those items, as well.  A little circled “c” means I have a coupon for the item, and a dot by the item means it’s at a different grocery store (one that I shop at for a few sale items but don’t do the bulk of my shopping at). 

mostly blog pics june 020

On the back, I include my weekly menu plan, as well as anything I need at Target for the week.  (I put drugstore deals on a separate sheet of paper; and no, I don’t cook dinner every night – with just the three of us, there’s usually always enough leftovers to cover 2 nights or more). 

mostly blog pics june 021

I absolutely love this system and will never go back to the stream-of-consciousness-way again. 

I’m sure I’m not the only person in the world to make a grocery list this way, but I’m so glad it popped into my head because it has saved me a ton of time and aggravation over the past 12 months. 

Hopefully it will do the same for you, too. :)

{Turning the comment moderation on has resulted in comments not getting posted….so it’s off, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed!}


  1. I order my grocery list in order of the aisles too! I add things to a list as I think of them during the week and then I make my grocery list from that list and put things in order according to the store aisles. It took me forever to figure out Stop and Shop's layout. It was totally different from my Publix in GA. ;)

    p.s. I loved this post by the way! :)

  2. p.s.s. If the item is on sale I always put a little "s" next to the item. Usually that is something I don't need for that week's menu but that I just want to stock up on.

    Great minds think a like I guess. ;)

  3. I love the way you think girlie!!! Wonderful plan!

  4. First, I am so sorry you had nasty comments. That stinks!
    Secondly, I love your idea. Since we just moved I've got a new store to get used to, but once I have it figured out I will probably do the same. Right now it wouldn't do me much good because things aren't where I think they should be anyway.

  5. Love this grocery list idea! It puts mine to shame -- and that's okay -- I think I'm going to have to adjust and adopt your brilliant method!

    Thanks for sharing. I was blessed.

  6. LOVE that idea...I will have to try it when I get my own place!

  7. yes, you're a genius. and yes i totally relate. - not to the genius part but to the million things on my brain part. : ) you have great tips and you rock and you're the best.

  8. I confuse my husband all the time, too. I'll have to use your "next subject" tip. Thanks for the grocery system...I'll have to try it!

  9. Great idea! I've done the backtracking, too or just plain forgotten something. It would also help for those stores that I don't visit often, but don't want to waste time in looking for stuff.

  10. Thanks for sharing the info, keep up the good work going.... I really enjoyed exploring your site. good resource... Best Persian Grocery


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