Creating A Grocery List

Creating a grocery list can save time at the market and ensure that you don't forget anything while shopping. This is a page about creating a grocery list.


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I need to keep a constant stock of items to avoid extra trips into my favorite discount grocery store in the next town. Most pantry items in my hometown store are just too expensive to get (sometimes a three dollar difference!) After reviewing my grocery receipts and pantry for a month, I devised a shopping list on my computer that lists everything I use in my home, broken down into general categories like Produce/Fresh; Frozen; Pantry; Office; Toiletries/Household.

I saved it on MS Word, and before I go shopping I do an inventory, then open my list on my computer, "delete" what I do not need to buy, and print out the list. When I close the program, I choose NOT to save the changes, so I always have the complete list. Stuff that needs to be purchased at a specialty store is italicized, and if I have coupons, I highlight the item and keep them with my list, so I don't forget them. The list is very easy to read, and I have extra room to write down notes or unexpected items (like car parts!) It takes a little time to set it up, but the time and gas I save from forgetting an item is very valuable!


By Kelly

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To save time and trips to the grocery store, I have a master list of everything I keep on hand. I keep it folded and stuck in a coffee cup in the kitchen cabinet. The items on the paper are listed in the order that it is set up in the grocery store.

When making my grocery shopping list, I pull out the master list. With the master list, it's easy to go around the house and check inventory and see what is needed. After making out my grocery list, I check the list on the refrigerator where I have jotted down items as I have thought of them and add anything I may have missed such as ingredients for a new recipe.

I clip coupons but remembering to use them has been a problem for me. To the master list, I just added the word "coupons". This is a reminder for me to check the coupons I have collected and see if I can use any of them. To jog my memory to use the coupons, once I get them to the grocery store, I staple them to the back of the grocery list and pull them off at the cash register.


Lately, I have saved $10.00 using coupons for items I was going to purchase anyway. That's a big savings with little effort. I'm not going to forget those coupons any more.

To me, my master list is a big help.

By littergitter from NC

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To keep an eye on your budget and create an instant shopping list, keep your grocery receipt from your previous trip. Put a tick mark beside each item you need, and list any additional items on the back. This will also show you how much you paid last time which makes is clear if that sale really is a deal. Paperclip your coupons to the receipt and you're ready to go.

By Becca J from Chicago, IL

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August 23, 2004

Everyone probably knows that it is helpful to put a shopping list on fridge so that you can make note of what you have run out of. Another good idea is to put a list on the inside of your cupboard or panty where you store dry goods. This is especially helpful if you pantry is not near you fridge (ours is in our garage).


You can also put one in the bathroom somewhere to note when beauty and personal items are needed. This way, items are less likely to be left off the shopping list when someone forgets to put it on the list on the fridge.

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We all know sticking to a list is the key to saving money. I live 11 miles from town, so I keep what I call a 'running list' all the time. When I make it down the mountain, I know I have to keep to the list to keep the pantry stocked, especially in the winter.

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April 8, 2005

To keep from over buying at the store I always make a list the night before buying groceries. My husband and I do it together, we make sure all staples are covered and the meat and the veggies.


We then check all the non food items and write them down.

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February 3, 2005

Keep a list of what you usually buy at the store and print it on the computer. You can make several copies at a time. When you get ready to go to the grocery store just glance through and check off what you need.

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I use a system that I learned while I was a restaurant manager and by the nature of my job "had" to control food cost.

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Tape a piece of paper on the inside of the cupboard. Divide it into spaces for lists: cleaning supplies, canned goods, bathroom, other.


When you remove the last bag/can/box of food, write it on the paper in the appropriate space.

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I have one of those clear see- through magnetic frames; the kind that pulls apart half of the way as you insert whatever picture you might like. Well instead of a picture, I put a blank piece of lined notebook paper in it.

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

August 23, 2005

Links to sites that offer free printable grocery lists. Post your favorite links.


February 9, 20050 found this helpful

Hi MommyKelly,

I looked for the list that I had usded from years ago. This isn't the one that I had originally, but it should work for what you need. I hope this helps.

Sincerely, Doreen from Pa

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February 10, 20050 found this helpful

MommyKelly, I don't see the list from the prior post for comparison to the one I've found; did you get it? I'd like to see it myself. Anyway the list I've found I really enjoy and edit often. It can be found at , go to the tabs at the top of the page and click on shopping list. (the whole site is worth checking out). Hope this helps.KCRC

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February 10, 20050 found this helpful

Just a thought, you can in less than a half hour make one yourself and save it to your computer!

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By melody_yesterday (Guest Post)
February 10, 20050 found this helpful


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By Beth (Guest Post)
February 10, 20050 found this helpful

They let you select items in a checkbox and then print out only what you selected. I just copied out the whole thing and wrote on a few things to modify it to my family's use.

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February 10, 20050 found this helpful

I have this one and really like it. It does everything I want it to and it was free to download. You might want to check it out. It is easy to use and prints out the way I wanted it to.
Granny Z

The Shopping List The Item List The Category List
Starting a New List Using the Items List Using the Category List
Opening an Existing List Editing the Item List
Saving the List
Printing the list
Editing the Shopping List

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By Patti from St. Louis (Guest Post)
February 10, 20050 found this helpful

Hi Kelly! Try They have some great printable lists. I love the grocery one!
Also, I did a general search(typed in grocery list) and got a bunch of links.
Good luck!

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February 10, 20050 found this helpful is awesome! lots of lists for EVERYTHING! enjoy!

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February 15, 20050 found this helpful

Thanks to everyone who helped me get one step closer to beeing organized mommy Kelly from wpg

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August 23, 20050 found this helpful

I need a printable shopping list layout/template please. I've been on the computer for half an hour trying to save time from making one myself.

mommykelly from wpg

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August 23, 20050 found this helpful

To save time when trying to decide what to cook, print out a master grocery list (you can find one here: <;), have it laminated or put it in a page protector, and check off the foods that you have with an erasable marker. Then you can hang it on the fridge. No more looking through cabinets/refridgerator/freezer to see what you have on hand!

By Jessica

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September 2, 2005

I'm a single guardian with a little brother to take care of and I am also going to college. It is ust the two of us. We have a decent budget of 150-200 bucks to spend a month for food. Lately, I've been lazy and we have just been eating microwavables, mac and cheese, speghetti, rice w/ (eggs, spam, bacon, etc), and sandwiches....

I've decided it's time for change, so my question is, what does your average grocery list look like and what meals do you use those ingredients to make? I know it's a lot to ask, but i'm clueless on cooking.

So what I'm looking for is some common groceries to buy and common meals to make.



September 2, 20050 found this helpful

this depends upon what you already have at home to work with also.
And what types of meals you like and such.
I have a family of 6 with 2 teens, and 2 under 2 years old!

For our basic week we have:

speghetti and a salad
chicken and rice and a veggie
Sausage and Mac n cheese and mixed veggies
Beef n Broccoli stir fry type thing
Chicken with pasta and a veggie.

Weekends are so hectic, we don't really have sit down meals. But I keep quick things around like hotdogs and microwavable meals and sandwich makins.

So, I guess you need to start with a menu, before you create a grocery list.. and make it things that you both like and will eat and that are easily made.

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By (Guest Post)
September 2, 20050 found this helpful
grocerylist and menu
1 week free trial ... works great, very inexpensive preperation for great

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September 2, 20050 found this helpful

He'll eat whatever I COOK HIM! LoL

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September 2, 20050 found this helpful

I always make sure I have fresh vegetables as well as a few frozen choices so I can serve 2 at each supper. I also make sure there is fresh fruit available each day. Applesauce is nice and not very expensive. I buy a whole chicken and cook it up and get many meals from just the one chicken, making sure I freeze what I will not be eating within a couple of days. Turkey can be treated the same way and makes many varied meals. It is currently recommended that people eat many different fruits and veggies each day, about 1/2 cup each. I wish you the very best and I hope this helps, along with other ideas and suggestions.

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September 2, 20050 found this helpful

make a list of what your little bro likes to eat in the protein, veg and carb areas.
Select one from each list and make it for dinner.
You could also ask him to help you decide what would be a good lunch, breakfast, dinner and write them down for sample menus. Just remember that a green and yellow veg should be served with dinner and that processed food is usually loaded with sodium and preservatives.

You could plan to get 2 meals out of one cooking session by serving the protein on Mon. and Wed. and just having different veggies.
Or turn Mon. meatloaf into an addition for Wed. chili. Turn Tues. baked chicken into Th. chicken salad. Little shortcuts like that make meal planning easier. One you have a two week menu worked out, you have done the hard part.
You could divide each day of the week into a protein.
For example:
Mon. beef, Tues. poultry, Wed. vegetarian, Th. soup, Fri. fish, etc.
I'm proud of you!!

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By Joan in CT (Guest Post)
September 2, 20050 found this helpful

I first check my grocery ads and see what's on sale and adjust my list accordingly. I keep a piece of paper on the fridge and each time i use up a staple i put it on the list so i don't forget. Here are a few simple and inexpensive tasty meals.

Hamburger with Beef Gravy

In a skillet cook 1 lb ground beef - cheap's ok.
Add onions if you desire. When cooked add 1 can beef gravy with enough water to just make it the consistency you desire. Add 1 can/frozen pkg cut green beans. Heat until hot.

Place over cooked, fork mashed potatoes, egg noodles or rice already cooked.

Hamburger with Tomato Soup

Cook 1 lb hamburger same as above. Add 1 or 2 cans tomato soup as you please. Add 1 can/frozen pkg whole corn kernels. Heat till hot. Serve over potatoes or slices of bread even. Some mix elbows in it for a spaghetti like meal.


Cook 1-1/2 hamburg in skillet. Onions if desired. Add 1 lg. Can crushed tomatoes, 1/2 uncooked rice, chili powder to taste. Simmer until rice is cooked. If its too thin add some tomato paste. Too thick add a little water. When suits you put in 1 lg can kidney or white cannilenni beans with juice. Heat till hot again. Eat like this or cook elbow macaroni and serve it over that. Serve with salad or another veggie or piece of fruit.

Boiled Chicken

Cook one frying chicken in a pot into which you can just fit it in. Add enough water to just cover it along with 2 cubes of wyler's chicken bullion cubes (only wyler's brand)

Bring to boil, simmer till chicken is really tender and soft. Make sandwiches for more than one meal. Cook potatoes over which the juice is placed (yummy) and chicken on side. And veggie or salad.

Homemade Hash

Boil potatoes (about 2 lbs). Crush in skillet with potato masher. Add 1 or 2 cans of corned beef (not the already cooked canned corn beef) make sure you pull apart somehow the corned beef as it must be distributed amongst the potatoes pretty evenly. Add a little milk. Cook on med heat till pretty well browned. Not enough milk add little m ore. Too much milk - pour off and cook some more to dry it out some. Don't forget to add salt and pepper while its cooking. Serve with fried eggs and toast. Yummy. Ps i should have said the corned beef is in cans usually near the canned meats and its usually in a rectangular can that has rounded edges. Clerk will show it to you.

Macaroni and Cheese

Cook 1 lb elbow macaroni as directed on box. Pour off water when macs are almost done and rinse in hot water. Layer 1/3 macs in bottom of bowl. Sprinkle evenly on top one 8 oz pkg of shredded cheese. Add 1/2 of remainder of macs. Again add evenly one 8 oz pkg of shredded cheese. Add rest of macs.

Pour milk in until it comes to about one inch from the top. Sprinkle bread crumbs lightly on top of cheese to form a nice brown crust. Cover with foil and cook in preheated oven of 350 till it starts to bubble and cheese and milk have melded together. We love extra sharp cheddar and monterey jack cheeses mixed together and then spread. We like lots of cheeses. Experiment. Can add 1 one pound can of formed ham that's been cubed into the macs and spread evenly before starting to place in bowl. So much better. Serve with salad.

Macaroni Salad - Basic Recipe

Cook and drain 1 lb macaroni. Rinse with cold water to cool. Add 1 can/frozen. Pkg peas and carrots after draining the juice. Add mayonnaise to taste. Additions: add can of tuna fish or sliced hard boiled eggs for protein, or other veggies as desired. Chopped celery is good. Easy to do and tasty

Potato Salad

Cook about 2-1/2 lbs potatoes and at same time cook about 5-6 eggs till hard boiled.

Dice real small one onion (optional) dice 3 celery stalks. Easiest if potatoes are cubed about one"by one"before starting in cold water. When potatoes and eggs done peel eggs while real hot (use rubber gloves) crush with fork like for egg salad or with pastry blender (easier) - add to potatoes while both are really hot and mix a little bit. Add mayo while hot and mix well. Add onion and celery and mix a little bit. Be sure to be adding salt and pepper while mixing to your taste. If you have extra hard boiled eggs, peel and slice on top of potatoes. Best if let to cool over night in fridge to allow all flavor to permeate. Some people don't mind potato skins and don't peel. Up to you. If you do not cube potatoes before hand, you must cut them up while real hot. I don't advise this.

Beef with Onion Soup Mix and Tomato

In oven proof cooking dish, metal or glass, rectangular or square and not too big, place one envelope of onion soup mix. Add I can tomato soup on top. Place sliced pieces of beef (about bite size or little larger) on top. Cook in 350 degree oven till all tender. Serve over bread, potatoes, rice or noodles. Serve a veggie or salad.

I hope this helps you. Took me a real long time to type this and I know you will appreciate it. Right?

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By christi (Guest Post)
September 2, 20050 found this helpful

you should join many_mouths_to_feed group on yahoo groups. we have been discussing this and their have been some wonderful tips and recipes. I am going to put a couple of recipes on here for you to try. I am on a budget of 260 a month for two adults and a teenager.

taco mac n cheese

pound and half hamburger browned and drained
2 3/4 water
you may want to cut these recipes in half for just the two of you though in my house we love leftovers.
one and half to two pack taco seasoning
4 ounce velvetta cheese cut into cubes
2 cups elbow macaroni

mix browned and drained hamburger, water, taco seasoning in skillet bring to a boil, pour in macaroni and turn to medium low. cook till macaroni soft, about 10 minutes. then put in cheese stirring occasionally till melted.

Bacon Baked Chicken

4 slices bacon
4 chicken breasts, deboned
1 pint sour cream
2 10 3/4oz cans condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Wrap uncooked bacon slices around deboned chicken breasts and place the
breasts in a baking dish.

Mix sour cream and soup and spoon the mixture over chicken. Cover dish
with foil and bake for 1 hour.

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November 24, 2006

A few months ago there was a "master" weekly (or maybe monthly) grocery list on this group that listed what items are on sale and which staples to stock up on when; using this plan, you can drastically reduce your grocery bill. Now, I cannot find the list on; anyone know where it is, or how to shopping this way? Thank you!

Glenda from River Falls, WI

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

August 19, 2010

I have a very limited of money to spent on groceries. Since I buy most of my food from Save-A-Lot, I have saved my receipts each week. When I had about a month's worth, I began making my grocery list from these receipts, as they list all the prices.

If I only have $40.00 to spend, I tally the items using the calculator and my receipts. I start with "must haves" like milk, bread, eggs, then secondly with meats and dinner items, keeping track of the total.

Then if there is money still left, I put down chips, snacks, and colas. When I run out of money, that's my list with everything totaled, it even shows the tax. I don't know how many times this has saved me from running over my budget.

By Sandra Mercer from Wilson, AR


Use Receipts to Make a Priority Grocery List

Get a small 3-ring binder and mark all this down for your very own price book. Mark the store, item, price, size, and cost per pound. You'll be surprised that things that you thought were bargains, really aren't. Once done, it really simplifies shopping. Then, when you have money left over, don't buy snacks. Rather, invest it in stand-bys that you use to start your own stockpile. Once established, you only have to shop loss leaders, and will never pay full price for anything again. I often only go to the store once a month (but I do have a garden and freeze and can), and my stockpile doesn't take up too much space. It saves my so much time and money. Good luck! (07/29/2009)

By susan

Use Receipts to Make a Priority Grocery List

I use this freeware. I do the same thing you do but I put it into this shopping list software that I downloaded several years ago for free. It has a place to add items, prices, amounts. You click new to make a new shopping list and just go thru the categories double clicking to add item to grocery list and you can see at the bottom a running total of what you have on the list. If price changes on item on the list just right click and click edit and change price. Right clicking in categories means you can add new category, or in category list right clicking means you can add new item to that category. (08/12/2009)

By christi

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