Organize Your Shopping List

by Doris Donnerman
(last updated October 11, 2016)

If you have lived on your own for more than a month, then chances are you can attest to the usefulness and necessity of a shopping list. Most people in the world know what it is like to try and rush around a grocery store and find the one item that that they absolutely must have, all the while collecting more and more things that they really do not need at all. How does someone avoid this? How can someone make their shopping list absolutely the best they possibly can?

The answer is really quite simple—a shopping list. All that it is going to take is a little organization and preparation on your part. With this new and improved list in hand, you are going to be able to tackle the monster chore that is grocery shopping. Keep in mind, though, that there is really no possible method of ever totally eliminating the need to go grocery shopping, all that anyone can do is to make it as painless as possible.

  • Organize. Prior to actually starting your shopping list, you are going to need to do a little bit of "homework." I know, homework really is not an enjoyable experience, but believe me this homework is really simple and won't really take a whole lot of your time. All you need to do is go to your regular grocery store and take a look at the signs that are at the beginning of every aisle. This sign is basically a list of all the items that are in that particular aisle. For example, one of the aisles at my favorite local store has this as the list in one aisle (I think that it was aisle 12): spices, shortening, baking needs, sugar & flour, cake mixes, peanut butter. Write down or use a digital camera to record what is in each aisle, and take that list home.
  • Prepare. After you have copied that list, you are now prepared to begin tackling your list. Get a small whiteboard (otherwise known as a dry erase board) and start making it into a checklist. This checklist should be organized in such a way that it reflects the aisles in your supermarket. If you do this, you are going to be able to reduce the amount of wasted time (and money) from having to wander around the store. In addition, by using a dry erase board, you are going to save money by being able to reuse your list each and every week.
  • Plan. Once you have prepared the dry erase board, you are ready to plan you next shopping list. Simply check off on your list what items you are going to need. Feel free to take as much time as you need to do this. In fact, I would suggest that you have a set day to go grocery shopping, and that you spend the rest of the week planning your menu, while marking down what you think you are going to need. You may not think of everything that you need at one time, so don't worry.
  • Follow. Finally, you have prepared your shopping list and it is time to use that list. Just copy down what you have written, and you are ready to go to the local grocery market and do your shopping. Keep in mind that a shopping list is only as good as your ability to follow it. This list is going to do you absolutely no good if you disregard it when you arrive at the grocery store. Be prepared to follow what it says, and you are going to limit your much more expensive, impulse shopping dramatically.

Author Bio

Doris Donnerman

Doris is a jack of all trades, writing on a variety of topics. Her articles have helped enlighten and entertain thousands over the years. ...

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