Step # 8
Master Organized Grocery List
Which item are you most likely
to find in the back of the store?
D. Fruit and vegetables
Staples such as milk and eggs
are located in the back of stores to force you to walk past all
the other items for sale in hopes of getting you to purchase
This is the point you begin to
put everything together. You know your kitchen inventory, your
weekly menu is set, the coupons are organized and there is your
trusty Grocery Price Book.
The need for a master-shopping
Number #1 reason, it saves you
time. With a master grocery list, you will not have to do the
same work all over again every time you go to the grocery store.
You do most of the work just once. Beside, it only takes a few
minutes every week for you to mark off what you need on my
master list. It will also help prevent your forgetting things. A
master list is also (slightly) more likely to be used by the
rest of the family to help you stay on top of what's been used
So how do you make your
There are many ways that you
can make a list. I'm going to explain how you can create your
own list and make it work for you.
The first thing you'll need to
do is make a list of the things you normally buy. This is the
time-consuming part. You might want to start with someone else's
master list (I've included one in the Appendix.) and/or your old
grocery-store receipts. Don't worry about perfection. You'll
probably want to make up the list and then improve it over the
next few trips to your grocery store.
Now sort your list. You can
sort it by categories, if you like, (as in Appendix) but you may
choose to sort by aisle in the store you usually shop in. If
it's sorted by categories, you may find yourself going all over
the store and then having to go back and look for things you
missed. If it's sorted by aisle, you can go straight up and down
whichever aisles you need to, and not skip over things by
accident (usually). If you decide to sort your list by aisle, it
will be slightly more time-consuming initially, but it should
save you time in the end.
There are a couple ways to do
this. The first time you make a master list, you should make the
list without aisle numbers, then took a trip to the store to
write down all the aisle numbers. When you get home you can
reorganized the list. You could take your digital camera to the
store. You can take pictures of each of the aisle signs. For
some fine-tuning, you'll find those pictures providing you
with a good idea of what was in each aisle. (Ask the store
manager for permission or check and see if the store has a aisle
layout or map.) Formatting your list is the final step.
(I created that file in my
spreadsheet program. My list is printed on standard 8.5x11-inch
paper, sideways (landscape). I put it into a my Price Book and
both tools while shopping.
Also, you can print a list is 4
columns. This allows you to fold the sheet of paper in half and
work with only half 8.5x5.5 inches at a time. That's much easier
for you to work with in the store, especially if you have your
child with you.
How do you use your list?
When you're ready to go to
the store, you put check marks in the blanks of the items you
need, or the number of items you need, or initials of those who
need the item (in the case of toiletries). In other words, you
might put a check mark beside milk, 2 lbs. beside cheese, and
(for me) a D and/or A beside shampoo.
You can write estimated prices
to the right of each item. Save your old receipts and used to
have to look all of these up, but now I remember most of them.
You can add everything up on my calculator before you leave, and
make sure you're within your budget.
If not, you can decide right
then what adjustments to make, rather than having to do it at
the store, which can be stressful. You want to estimate high and
your bill is never as much as you might anticipate it to be.
Something you may want to do is to print out a copy of the list
when you first get back from the grocery store, and post it on
the refrigerator, with a highlighter nearby. When a family
member uses an item up, they can highlight that item on your
list so you'll know to pay special attention to it prior to the
next shopping day. You can decide how much you need (or if you
really need it).
If there are items you buy
somewhere other than your regular grocery store - for example,
Sam's Club, Costco or the health food store, you can list those
in a separate category toward the end of my list. You don't want
to mix them in with the main part of your shopping list. You
also used to have a set of blank lines at the end of your list
to write in miscellaneous items.
Go to Step 9.