After years of haphazard lists—often writing the same items week after week—it finally occurred to me that I could create my own Master List, based on the stores I frequented, and further, based on the items I usually purchased, and leaving room on each line to put a checkmark next to if I need the item that week.
The list has evolved over the past few years and will continue to evolve, no doubt. It’s a Word doc, so it’s easy to alter as needed.
The upper lefthand corner has the spaces for the menu items, including side dishes and desserts. Finally, I organized it by order of the stores I go to.
I usually do my grocery shopping as early as possible on Saturday mornings, so beat both the crowds and the heat (in the summer). By organizing the list in store order, if something isn’t available at the price I want at the first store, I transfer that item to one of the other stores I’ll be stopping at that my be likely to carry the item.
If I’m really organized that day, I keep a copy of the recipes I plan to make that week just under the list on my clipboard. Each store has a number of blank spaces after the ‘usual’ items for sale items or unusual ingredients.
I’ve had many store personnel ask me if they can see my list, and they always express admiration for it, exclaiming how organized I must be! Truth is, without a tool like this, I’m anything BUT organized! It’s my sanity saver.
I always keep blank forms beneath the current week’s list and as I use up ingredients, I add it to the next week’s list so I’m not scrambling trying to remember what it was I ran out of or was low on.
Not a perfect system, but works better than anything else I’ve tried over the years, and it’s completely customizable!