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. ...


Give Your Dog a Dry Bath

Even if you bathe your dog regularly, your dog will pick up dirt and get dirty in between (hence the regular bath times). ...

Discover More

Homemade Oreos

Oreos are one of the best cookies that you can buy in stores. Now there's a recipe so you can make them ...

Discover More

Clumber Spaniel

The Clumber Spaniel is the easiest to train of the Spaniel family. He has an excellent nose and is ideal for leisurely ...

Discover More

Find the Right Tool Right Away Finally, a homeowner's set that includes all the tools needed to complete basic DIY projects at an affordable price! The tools are stored in a molded case for security and portability. Check out Stanley 65-Piece Homeowner's Tool Kit today!

More Organizing Tips

Simple Kitchen Organization

The kitchen has long been said to be the heart of the home, and as such it is one of the most used and abused rooms in ...

Discover More

Organizing Kitchen Cabinets

Have you ever gone into your kitchen cabinets looking for that garlic powder that you know you just bought last week? ...

Discover More

Organizing Food Storage Containers

No one really likes to throw away good food at the end of dinner, and in these days of financial hardship this is even ...

Discover More

FREE SERVICE: Receive an e-mail several times each week with a featured organizational tip. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."


If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 9 - 2?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


FREE SERVICE: Receive an e-mail several times each week with a featured organizational tip. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)