Grocery Time: Making a Master List


So it was our grocery week. We try to do the majority of our grocery shopping once a month. This isn't a "large family" thing for us. It's just something we've always done since we got married. Some of you know from a Facebook post that my baby girl had a cold, couldn't sleep, and woke my husband up, too. Since he couldn't go back to sleep, he decided to go ahead and do our grocery shopping at 4 or 5 in the morning, alone! (Sweet, sweet man!)

Well, I've been trying to make our grocery trips easier. Shopping for 8 is not for the faint of heart. My issue: sitting down each month and writing out a grocery list, taking an inventory of what we need, and making sure it's included in the list. Ugh! But, I know that if I don't write it down, I'll be wandering in the store--I have no time for that sort of thing. And, even when I write the list, I'm still missing something.

I searched through various homemaking blogs and Pinterest and saw tons of grocery list printables, but they just didn't meet my needs. My biggest issues: they didn't have enough lines under each category and the categories were in the wrong "order" according to the way I moved through the store. Plus, I still had to write everything down. I don't have an i-Phone or other cell phone with all the app capabilities (old school here!) so that wasn't an option either. {I did hear that the Anylist app was great if you do use your phone for making grocery lists!}

SOLUTION: MAKE A MASTER LIST
Type EVERYTHING out. Yep, that's it. Nothing fancy. (No printable either because our stores and eating habits are different!)

I just sat down and literally typed out EVERYTHING that I EVER get on a REGULAR basis, sorted by category, in order the way I move through the store. Then I print it up, and go through my fridge, freezer, and pantry, highlighting the items I need to purchase. I can easily write in quantities next to the items if need be. I shop at Wal-Mart and Aldi, so I can use 2 highlighters to indicate which items I'll be getting from which store. I also left some room at the end to write in any add-on items that aren't a part of our normal shopping, but we may need to pick up. Another benefit: I can price compare. I can quickly note the price of an item at one store and since I'm using one list, I can check the price of that item at the other store. (I'm trying to buy more at Aldi if I get enough quantity at a lower price.)

Over the next couple of months, I'll probably have to add a few things to my master list to make it complete. But, preparing for the store now is SO much simpler. My husband got to have a first go of our new system and it worked well for him. Plus, he brought the list back home so I could use it to go get the rest of our grocery items from Aldi. I really wish I'd done this a lot sooner. I got the idea a long time ago from another homemaker who no longer blogs anymore. What took me so long?!

I hope this tip helps you out. Next "grocery" related item on my to-do list: make a running inventory list on what is in the deep freezer. I want to post it on the outside of the freezer so I'll know exactly what's in there without having to dig in it. Yeah, you should see this barely-over-5-feet woman digging around in a deep freezer! I promise, it's straight comedy!!!


Any grocery shopping tips you'd like to share? What makes your grocery shopping easier and more enjoyable?


Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth

10 comments:

  1. What a great idea! I too dislike grocery shopping very much! We go every two weeks, but once a month sounds nice. I am terrible at meal planning which makes it a struggle to do a grocery list! Thanks for sharing your tips! It's the best I've heard yet!:)

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    1. Hello there! I'm always glad when you stop by! I may be a once a month shopper, but I'm a terrible menu planner. The whole idea is new to me as my mother wasn't a menu planner either. I'm trying to figure out how to fit it in because I do understand the efficiency behind it.

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  2. This is exactly what I have...a master list of what I normally buy at the grocery store, organized into categories as I would move through the store, with extra lines added in case I need to buy something I normally wouldn't, and I highlight what I need! Only difference is that I have a separate master list for Aldi!

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    1. Bridget, I can tell this will be a lifesaver for us. I could see having a separate master list for Aldi, too. I might just do that, especially as more of my purchases shift from Wal-Mart to Aldi. Right now it seems to work because our Aldi is so small. There are only 4 aisles in the entire store. Thanks for the tip and I'm glad you stopped by!

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  3. Great tips! Thanks for sharing.

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  4. I have a master list too - a great time saver and ensures nothing is forgotten. Then I do my meal planning for the week and add the fruit and veggies and anything extra that I don't normally purchase. It really does make it easier.

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    1. Yes, Jayne! I can tell this will be a huge stress reliever for me. Now, I've got to get menu planning under control. I like you idea of doing it weekly. Do you plan all 3 meals per day, or just dinners?

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  5. I love that...why didn't I think of it, lol? You must have a huge storage system, though, for once-a-month shopping for your large family!

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    1. I know! Lol If you try it out, let me know how it goes!

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