Organizing Your Grocery List

September 17, 2009 by


Each Sunday night, I make my menu plan for the week.  This helps take the guess work out of wondering what’s for dinner each night.  There’s nothing worse than facing a hungry family at the end of the day, when you are all tired and maybe a bit cranky, and not having any idea what you are going to feed them!  If I have a plan, there is no problem!

Making a menu plan, also, makes the dredded chore of grocery shopping faster and easier.  If I know what I am cooking, I know what to buy.  I have it on my grocery list.  No more wondering around the store aimlessly wasting my time and patience.

How To Make a Grocery List

The items on my grocery list come from two sources: the list on my fridge and my menu plan.  I have a magnetic list on my fridge where I write down any items in the pantry or fridge that I am running out of.  That way, I can just copy that list onto the grocery list when it is time to go to the store.  Next,  I go through each dish in my menu plan and figure out which needed ingredients I don’t have on hand and those items go on the grocery list, too.

The Next Step

After I have all the items on my grocery list, I take it one step further to make my shopping even easier.  I have an excel file that has grocery catagories listed in the order they are found in my most visited grocery store.    For instance, the heading “produce” is listed first, then “deli”, then “meat” and so on.  I take my grocery list and plug all of the items into a category on the excel sheet.  (Lately, I’ve been having my 8 year old daughter do this for me.  It is a great sorting and teaching tool!)   I print out this excel sheet and, now, this is my new grocery list.  When I get to the store I know what I am looking for in each section.  I don’t have to search and sort through my list in the middle of the grocery aisles.   As I find each item, I cross it off my list.  This helps avoid back tracking through the store because I forgot graham crackers.

This is just a little extra step that can save time, aggravation and money.  Do you have any grocery tips that make your life easier?

Comments (6)


  1. Peggy says:

    grab a legal sized envelope, either attach the list to the outside or fold it and put the list in the envelope along with the coupons you plan to use.

    I should talk, I used to do my list this way and stopped, and noticed today how many times I forgot something. I’m going back to listing items by where they are in the store.

  2. […] your menu’s for the week will save you lots of time and money.  You will be able to make a grocery list that will save  you from buying what you don’t need and save you from buying dinner […]

  3. Corrine says:

    Hi, new to reading your blog, but wanted to add a great feature ( I think so anyway) I found. There is a Firefox add-on called Grocery list generator, or something to that affect. You input your menu’s and the ingredients required. You can click which items you plan on making and generate a list, by aisle for your menu plan. I used it this last month and it worked pretty slick. The most time consuming is initially adding all your meals.

  4. Charity Wilt says:

    I thought I was the only one who did that! I got tired of making out a “mock” list (a quickie list of what we were out of and what I THOUGHT we needed, lol), so, I make the general grocery list, and take a sheet of notebook paper, list the isle # and what is in the isle at the top and put the list in groups, ( Isle 3: Coffee, Tea, Bread Isle, etc) and each isle has it’s own group. Once I draw up the group heading, I take my grocery list and go through each item on the list and put it in the isle it belongs. That way, I get to the store I know what I need from each isle without going down a long list of items. No forgotten items.

  5. […] note sheet on the fridge and cross them off as I make them.  I have another sheet of paper for the grocery list.  However, I do like using an organized planning sheet for this process and use various ones from […]

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