Top Shelf Rule

With three children under four, going to the store is a major event and I hate having to go more than once a week because I forgot something or we ran out of something before shopping day. The "Top Shelf Rule" has helped out tremendously.


Buy one extra of everything nonperishable that your family uses regularly (ketchup, rice mix, soup, cooking spray, ziploc bags, etc.) and devote your top pantry shelf to just these items. The top shelf rule is that no one in the family is allowed to take something down from the top shelf without first writing it on the grocery list. This way, we never run out of things before grocery day. It has worked so well, that I have started a "top shelf" with my cleaning supplies too.

July 30, 20070 found this helpful

What a GREAT idea. Wish I had heard it 40 years ago.

I too tried to have at least one extra of nonperishable items on hand. However, I had three boys, plus a husband, who were supposed to tell me when they took the LAST of something. You can guess how that worked! LOL

Wis. Judy

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July 31, 20070 found this helpful

I love this idea

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April 25, 20120 found this helpful

I have been thinking about this lately too. Usually I shop at Costco and stock up but have run out of some things lately so will be making a master list. Good idea.

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April 28, 20120 found this helpful

Good idea. I have had teens and now young adults in the house and this is what I've done with them.

I have a magnetic note pad on the fridge. Everyone knows that it is used only for grocery items. The rule of the house is " if we run out and you want it Write it down" OR " if you want it Write it down" It works great because I will not buy it unless it's on the list. Things like katsup, cereal, juice ( I won't buy soda) etc. It doesnt bother me if we don't have these items. And since I do the shopping I always have what I want.

It works really well.

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