We all know having a list helps us save money when we visit the grocery store, especially when we can stick with it. But sometimes just making the list can be time-consuming, and it’s easy to forget items, necessitating more trips to the store.
To help me stay on track, I created a standardized list for each store I visit. I listed all of the items I typically buy and even items I only buy occasionally. I leave space to add other items I may need. I group them by category – dairy, frozen, produce, etc. I even put the items in order of the path I normally take through the store so I don’t have to go back if I missed an item on my list. Before I do my shopping, I go over the standardized list- crossing off what I don’t need and adding quantities of the things I do.
I used Excel to create my standardized lists but you could use any word processing or spreadsheet program. Doing this has cut the amount of time I spend writing the biweekly lists. Sometimes it also reminds me to check on items I’m not sure about needing before I’m actually at the store. (How much cat litter do we have left?) I also leave a space on the sheet for sale items on the store’s advertising flyers so I can write down the price. If I have any coupons, I just attach them to the sheet.
It took a little time upfront to create, but having the lists on my computer has helped me stay committed to having a list before heading to the store.