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We have all heard that you should make a list before heading to the grocery store, but that list needs to make sense, or you'll spend your whole time running back and forth through the store. I make my list according to the pattern I follow while shopping.
I start on the perimeter of the store, usually in fresh produce. I follow the perimeter and than go up and down the aisles. I am able to focus on my list and not on all the stuff I don't need to buy. Than when I get to the checkout, I try and place like items together while unloading the cart, so that when I get home I can easily put things away. Put your coupons in order the same way so you don't forget to use one.
By Lydia from Silverdale, WA
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No need to know what aisle an item is in when making out your shopping list. Just keep like items grouped together in separate areas on your paper. The following would be groups to use: All fresh veges and fruit ; all bread and buns ; all meats; all refrigerated cheeses, oleo, yogurt; all cereals, breakfast bars, etc--you get the idea. Then I take it one step further by using the back of my list to write down only the following items: paper goods, soaps, toothpaste, cleaning supplies and the like. Next to each item on my entire list I write down the value and brand of any coupons I plan to use so that I can quickly determine which product is the best price for the size. And of course don't forget to check out those weekly advertisements before choosing where to shop.
Source: My own tried and true way to get organized when grocery shopping
By Pat V from Roseville, MI
Next time you go to the grocery store, take a little extra time to write down the main items of each aisle, and area. When you get home, type it out in the order you shop in the store. Make copies of this and you can just check off or highlight the items you need each week. This will save time on making a list, and it will be easier to read. If you shop at several stores, make one for each store.
By kmcb59 from Leavenworth, WA
Some stores have preprinted "maps". Just ask the manager. (06/09/2009)
This one sounds good on paper, but at least in my area it would never work for many reasons.
#1---Most people around here don't do all their shopping in one store. Most of us go from Dollar Tree to Dollar General to Wal Mart to Food Lion and some go to other places as well. So we'd have to have a list for each store.
#2---Almost all the stores around here rearrange on a regular basis so the stuff is not on the same aisles every time you go in. About the only things that don't change are the deli and the refrigerated aisles. But even the things in the refrigerated aisles get moved around.
But I do use a version of your suggestion. Instead of arranging my list by aisle, I arrange it by type. Meats, fresh fruits and veggies, frozen foods, sodas, snack foods, canned veggies, pet supplies, cleaning supplies, and so on. That way it pretty much works for all the stores and for however they have rearranged the stores. (08/07/2009)
This is a great idea and 10 years ago I did type up a master list, but before you do that, check with the grocery store to see if they don't already have them printed up. In Virginia, most of your major chains have them now. (05/18/2010)