Thursday, April 18, 2013

Organization: Grocery Shopping

This afternoon I thought I would discuss how I make my monthly grocery list. For several years now, I've been an "almost once-a-month-shopper". What that means is that I do one BIG grocery shopping trip per month, and fill in the gaps with a couple of smaller trips when needed. I'm not sure how anyone gets by with ONLY going to the grocery store once a month, somehow I always need something that wasn't on my list, and I have to make another trip. However, in January of this year, I revamped my grocery list method, and I have had even fewer last-minute trips to the grocery store.
Here's what I did: I began by making a list of everything in my pantry, refrigerator, and freezer. I then categorized items by likeness.
These are the categories on my list:
Canned (Veggies)
Canned (Tomatoes/Mexican)
Paper, Cleaning, Laundry
Chips, Snacks

After sorting all of the items into the following categories, I walked the aisles of Walmart (in my mind) and listed the items under each category in the order that they would appear in the store. Yes, I'm crazy. But, this totally works for me and makes my Walmart experiences SO MUCH BETTER. 
I saved my new grocery list on my computer and have printed out several copies. I keep a fresh copy available on my kitchen counter, so that as I discover I need an item, I can circle it on my list. At the beginning of each month, instead of having to write out a long list of groceries, I simply look at my pre-made list, circle the items I need and cross out the items I don't need. This has been such a time-saver and has helped to keep me from forgetting more obscure items that I don't think about as often. I usually buy my produce at a local grocery store here, rather than Walmart, and I make a separate list for Sam's, where I purchase meat and poultry.
Here's what my list looks like.
It certainly took me a while to get this list put together, but I'm so glad I took the time to do it. Like I said, I've been using this list since the beginning of January, and it has been great. 
I would love to hear your ideas on making grocery lists/shopping easier. And, feel free to ask any questions. We'd love your feedback.

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