Creating a grocery list for your weekly trip to the grocery store is one of the best time (and money) saving tools there is when it comes to getting food in your house. Even if you shop online, pulling together a well-thought-out shopping list before adding items to your online cart will make the whole process go more smoothly.
However, so many of us skip this step. We either have no list when we enter the store or we scribble out a list five minutes beforehand. Of course, this leads to time-consuming (and often frazzled) shopping trips, a second or third trip to the store during the same week, or resorting to take-out or less healthy meals because we are not prepared. An organized grocery list designed to save you time can actually make your shopping trip pleasant and keep you eating healthy.
Below we have five easy tips when making a grocery list that will help you shop more efficiently and might save you some money too:
Five Easy Tips for Making Your Own Grocery List:
- Create Categories: Instead of creating a long running list of items, construct ayour list with the names of the departments you need. On the shopping lists we create for our members this includes Dairy, Seafood, Grocery, Produce, Frozen, and Other. You could add other categories that makes sense for you such as paper goods or cleaning products. Then, slot your list of ingredients into each section. A long list of items with no organization is a major time waster. No one likes darting back and forth between aisles and departments in a busy grocery store, especially if you have young children in tow.
- Know the layout of your store: As we mention above, having categories for your grocery list will save you a ton of time while shopping. Does your store have the produce section first or dairy? Or, depending on how long your list is, maybe you prefer to shop the non perishables first and add dairy and meats/seafood last. Either way, having your grocery list reflect how you move through the store will make your shopping trip quicker.
- Keep a “running out soon” list: Whether you use your phone or a simple notebook on the kitchen counter, keeping a list of items that are going to run out soon will save you time when it comes to making your grocery list. No need to look in the fridge or pantry to do a universal scan of what you need since you have been keeping track all along. And we all know how frustrating it is to start cooking dinner only to realize we are out of olive oil or a needed spice.
- Review the sales flyer online or before you shop: Planning your meals around what is on special at your grocery store each week will save you money. However, the time to look at the flyer is while you are making your shopping list, not when you arrive at the store. If you do not receive a printed version in your mail box, check out the store’s website. Almost all stores will post the flyer online and often in advance of the sales. Picking up the flyer when you walk into the store, and then trying to plan purchases while you shop will just take longer. Also, many store flyers are not organized by department or to mirror the layout of the store.
- Have a Plan: We talk about the importance of having a meal plan all over our blog an in numerous other places on the site. The reason we talk about this so much is because it is just so fundamental to making your shopping easier and quicker, along with a whole other list of benefits. The key to a good list is to have all your meals planned out for the week-breakfast, lunch and dinner. Also remember to check your pantry for any needed staples that you made need during the week. The goal should be to shop once a week and to do this, you really need a solid plan.
We do know so many people hate putting together that weekly list. It is such a common comment we hear from our members prior to joining us: “I used to avoid putting my list together before I went to the store” or “I just can’t get my head around making a list. Ugh!”
It is no surprise then that they when they become a member, we often hear this comment:
“I just love that you put together my grocery list for my store. It is such a huge time saver!”.
Want some help? Making an organized shopping list does take some time. We hope you are able to use some of these tips on your next grocery run. And if you still cannot deal with putting together that list, we would love to help you. Just click here to join us for two weeks free (no credit card required), and you will be treated to a super-organized grocery for your next trip to the store.
Looking for some more tips? Here are some other articles related to saving time and money you might also find useful: