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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.
Save a lot of time and money by organizing your grocery list the the location of the item.
Before I go to the grocery store (Meijer), about 1 time a week, I write out my grocery list. Having been to Meijer many times, I pretty much know where to find each item in the store. So, when I write out or type my list, I list the items that I need based on my entry to the store and their location.
Since I've done this over the last several months, I have saved SO much time and money. I've probably cut my time to shop in 1/2, since I don't normally find myself back at the front of the store and then realize I have to wheel all the way to the back of the store to get an item I forgot.
It's also saved an unknown amount of money, as I do not need to go down an aisle with items that I do not have written down. As another side-tip, if an a aisle that I do need to go down is full of other carts and people, I will usually park my cart at the end/or side of an isle (out of cart traffic), then walk down, grab the item I need (without looking at other non-essential items), walk back to my cart...and on my way I go!
And, now off I go to the store. :)
By go2jared from Blacklick, OH
Sometimes when life gets hectic, it is difficult to keep track of pantry and freezer contents before setting up a grocery list. Instead of going through them to see what I need, I purchased a cheap (dollar store) magnetic dry erase board and keep it on the fridge. If something is low or gone, I mark it on the board to make my grocery shopping plan go much faster. Also, it helps enough that I don't have to make another trip for the one thing I forgot.
By Dottie from Tonawanda, NY
I use the "note" section in my cell phone for my grocery list. I carry my phone everywhere so I am certain not to forget my list.
If you have audio recording on your cell phone, you can also remind yourself what lot number you parked in.
By Tanya from Harbor Beach, MI
I usually grocery shop at three different stores in one day. My grocery lists were getting confusing. I had a hard time trying to keep track of what to buy at what store.
Now I use one list, and use different color highlighters for each store. I jot down what I need on the list and then highlight with the appropriate color highlighter. I also mark with a star if I have a coupon for that item.
Like most people, we get so many sale circulars from different stores. It's hard to keep track of what store has what on sale that week. When we read through our sale circulars, we immediately circle the sale item and then jot the item and the price on the front top portion of that circular. Now at a glance, we can compare and then decide what is the better price.
Be aware that a lot of the stores are now offering sale items only when you spend a certain amount of money. Or an item may be on sale for a certain amount of days. It is usually written in small print.
One of our supermarkets will advertise an item at a reduced price when you use a manufacturer's coupon. It is written in small print. I feel this is very misleading. How do they know if a person has that particular coupon? Also, most stores sales will end on a Saturday, but some will end on a Thursday.
It seems more often that some of the stores change their sale tactics to draw in customers. Shoppers have to read more carefully about any bargains that have sale prices. It's getting to be more of a challenge to save money while grocery shopping.
By mkymlp from NE PA / USA
In between shopping trips I jot things down on a list, then the day before I go, I organize that list. When I make my grocery list, I divide it into sections the same way the store is laid out where I am going.
I sometimes forget my shopping list when I head out to do my shopping. I discovered my cell phone has a notepad on it. I have started keeping my liist on my phone now. We always have our phone with us so no more forgotten list.
I made up this shopping list and found it to be very helpful. It separates the items I need so I don't walk all over the store needlessly.
I keep a small memo board on the side of my fridge to write down those things you run out of that are not normally on your grocery list. Kraut, capers, special spices, brown sugar, molasses, cranberry sauce, the sort of thing.
I make out my grocery list with the store ads in front of me and I also cut coupons. When I write the list, I got through the coupons and beside the item I write (VC) for vendor coupon, same for store coupon only I write (SC).
I make several lists long before my actual food shopping week. First, what items I can get at the dollar store? I am always amazed at how many name brand foods are sold at the Dollar store.
In order to save money on my weekly shopping, I go to several stores. But I was always having trouble remembering if an item was cheaper at a store.
With the escalating cost at the grocery, we need an accurate list to conserve time, gas and, most of all, not buying something we already have at home! Hang one of those market lists with a magnet on the back right on your fridge.
I am always losing my shopping lists. Since I always have my phone with me, I put my list on my phone's notebook. As I collect the groceries, I delete them off the list. It also helps me to stick to the list, with less impulsive buying.
I keep my grocery list on the "notepad" of my cell phone, so that when I go to the store, all I have to do is check on my phone to see what I need. No more forgotten grocery list at home.
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This is a guide about using your computer to organize your shopping list. Having a convenient list of the items you need will help you stay within your budget and save time.
This is a guide about organize your shopping list by aisle. You can save time and even money if you organize your shopping by the aisles in your favorite market.
A small chalkboard in you pantry or kitchen can be an easy way to compile a shopping list. This is a guide about using a chalkboard for your shopping list.
ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.
By Monica Resinger
Making and using a grocery list will help you buy only necessities and/or
sale items so will help you save money. It will also get you out of the store
An unorganized grocery list can actually keep you in the store longer; here's
an example: I used to make my grocery list by writing the first item at the
top of the list and working my way down in no particular order. At the store,
I'd be in a particular area, read my list over in a hurry and miss one or two
items in that section. I would then have to run back to that section later when
I noticed I missed items. Every time I went shopping I'd spend a good part of
the time running back to a particular section to pick up something I missed.
I decided there had to be a better way.
What I came up with is a pre-printed sectioned list made on my computer. The
list has headings for each section of the grocery store such as 'produce',
'meats', 'breakfast foods', etc., just like you'd see in a coupon organizer. Now,
as I'm making my list, I just go to the section on the pre-printed list and
write in the item. Then, when I'm grocery shopping and in a certain area, I can
see at a glance ALL the items needed in that section. Another benefit is that
it's very easy to search for coupons since the list headings match the coupon
I made this list by opening up a new document in my Wordpad program; any word
processing program will work. Then all I did was type in the following
headings three across in a row, then four or five returns down to make the next row
of three across. The returns provide space for to write in items later. These
are the headings I used:
After the list was finished, I printed out a few to keep with my grocery ads
in a binder. When I need more, I'll print more.
I took my list shopping and found out, an organized shopping list does make
all the difference.
About The Author: Monica Resinger is the creator of 'Homemaker's Journal E-Publications' where you will find many fun and informative home and garden related e-books, tip sheets and how to sign up for her FREE home and garden newsletter! Click here to visit: http://homemakersjournal.com/
I, too, have a pre-printed grocery shopping list. But I have mine in the sequence of the store aisles. So the list flows in the same order as my walk through the store. I also have pre-printed items on my list, not just headers. Then I only have to circle things, not write them in. And having individual items listed reminds me to see if we are low on things that we buy only occasionally. (02/01/2005)
Make a shopping list and stick to it. List your items in order of how they are stocked in the store. This will save time and money.
By Cindy (03/02/2005)
I have made my list in Excel and have all of the items I buy regularly pre-printed and listed by the aisle for the store that I shop at. I leave a couple of lines so that I can write in things that are not regular items in my house. I have been doing this for years and it really helps! (03/02/2005)
If you tend to visit the same store, you probably have a pretty good idea of where products are located in the store. One way to save time at the grocery store is to organize your shopping list by what aisle the item is likely to be located. This is especially useful if you send another family member to do the shopping, they won't have to wander around looking for products. (03/19/2005)
This is the ONLY website I found which actually gives a written list of categories to organize your coupons and grocery list. Every other site on the entire internet just give suggestions, way to go! (08/05/2005)
I would use pre-printed grocery lists if I would not love my system of making lists on post-it notes which I love to attach to the shopping carts when shopping. What I do is I keep my list growing during the week in no order (whatever needs to be bought, I add to the list), then, just before the shopping, I quickly rewrite the list on a new post-it note in the order of aisles in my store. I know the order by heart. I also start with no refrigeration needed items and the last aisles I visit are the aisles for dairy, meat and other refrigerated or frozen items.
By elena f
I usually grocery shop at 2-3 different stores in my area. I use one list but I highlight items needed in a particular store by colors. I use a pink highlighter for Wal-mart, yellow one for Aldis, blue for others. On my grocery list, I can note any items when it comes to mind, in any order. I then highlight the item so I know what store I will have to make the purchase. This makes shopping so much easier for me. Also, on top of each sale circulars, I write what I have interest in plus the price. When I am ready to shop, I check out what I had written on the circulars during the week to give me a general idea of what the prices are and what stores I have to shop. (04/17/2009)