Once again, it is time for that daunting task of bundling up the kids (or hopefully leaving them with daddy) while you go wander the aisles at the local store wondering what you will feed your family next week. You spend your time dodging carts and going back to the same aisle twice, and then finally getting home and realizing you spent more than you should have and forgot multiple items you need, you begin feel overwhelmed. Does this sound familiar?
Maybe there is a better way… You do know you will have to go grocery shopping regularly… right? Food doesn’t just appear when you close the fridge door and open it again. What if we organized our shopping list, maximizing our efficiency and time while minimizing headaches and emergency meals? Sounds amazing! I wanted to minimize my time wandering around the store and make sure I got everything I needed for my week, so here is what I did.
You will need:
- Map of your grocery store (you can usually find this in the front of the store by sales flyer)
- Knowledge of your commonly bought items (this will vary for every family)
- Document software (Whatever your computer has, Word etc. I like google Drive)
- A printer
- To make life easier… a place to hang your shopping list that is accessible, mine hangs inside the door of my kitchen pantry
Using your grocery store map and your knowledge of what you generally buy, break your items into categories based on how you shop. Do you start with produce or canned goods? Whatever you start with should be first on your list, then work your way through the store as you create your list. I like to give each item a check box (to be checked if needed) and a line (in case you need 2 or more of the item it can be written in).
Once your shopping list is typed up and looks good, print it out, hang it in a location where it is easy to find. I hang mine by 2 clothespins hung on the inside of my pantry door. Let your whole family (at least those who will be using it), know where it is. If they need something i.e. cheerios, they need to check the box on the list.
Your shopping list should have 2 functions:
- Ensure that you NEVER run out of anything… well usually never. I try to always keep an extra item in my pantry. For example, when I run out of vanilla extract, I get the extra in my pantry, then I MARK THE SHOPPING LIST! Now I will refresh the extra supply.
- Ensure that you get all the necessary ingredients for that menu you created for next week. Once your menu is created for next week, use your recipes to “shop” in your pantry, any items you don’t already have mark on the shopping list.
- Now you and your list are ready for the store, hopefully it will be a short and efficient date!
Find the shopping list I use here: grocery-list-sheet1