Do you want tips on how to make a grocery list so that you will spend less time shopping? I’m going to take you through my grocery list writing process, step-by-step. I wrote a post, How I Make My Grocery Shopping List, and I’m going to break it down more so it’s easier to understand.
My grocery shopping list process takes 2 days. You can do it in 1 day, but I prefer to split it up. When I sub, I don’t always have time to do both in one day anyway.
Day 1 Steps to Make a Grocery List
1. Go through the store circulars and see what’s on sale.
The first day, for me, is on a Tuesday or Wednesday, I go through the store circulars I’ve received in the mail and from the Sunday paper. I look through ads for CVS, Vons, Sprouts, Ralphs and Albertsons.
I’m looking to see if there are any sales on things I would purchase, and if there are, I look to see if they’re really at a low price. (I spent a few months charting prices at those stores and Walmart, so I know when products are at their lowest price and are worth purchasing. You can find the post on how I made those charts in my post, How To Compare Grocery Store Prices).
2. If there are good deals, write them down on your list.
My list is just a piece of of scratch paper where I separate my list by store.
Sometimes there’s great sales at all of the stores and sometimes only at one or two.Do you want tips on how to make a grocery list so that you will spend less time shopping? I'm going to take you through my grocery list writing process, step-by-step. Click here to read it and get a FREE grocery shopping checklist!Click To Tweet
Day 2 Steps to Make a Grocery List
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The second day for me is on Thursday. It’s when I spend the most time getting my grocery list ready.
3. Look through your recipes and cookbooks and choose your meals based on what you had last week and what’s on sale.
This is the biggest and longest step!
My file boxes have recipes we’ve tried before and liked. There’s also recipes I found from magazines or the internet that I think my family and I will like, but we haven’t tried yet.
I’ve previously gone through my cookbooks, and written down the names of recipes and their page number, of things I think we would like. So, I just look through that list for ideas of what to make.
a. The first thing I do is to pick the main dinner dishes for the week.
I choose the meat based on the meat I used last week. For example, if I used chicken and beef last week, this week I’ll use turkey and pork. Every Sunday we always have fish – salmon or tilapia – so that’s easy to pick.
b. Next, I pick the vegetables based on store sales and what we had last week.
c. Then, I see what breakfast items (muffins, pancakes, waffles or cinnamon rolls), snacks, and desserts I need to make for the week.
I write down all of those things I need to make.
d. Next, I will see what dessert I should make for the week.
I have a small paper list on the refrigerator for whatever dessert item I’m making next. I reuse the paper and just cross off whatever dessert I’ve made and then I know the next one on the list is what I’ll make the next time.
e. Last, I record everything I’m making on a whiteboard.
The whiteboard is a huge organization help for me. It is listed by day, Monday – Sunday.
I write what dinner meals I’m making in red, and then the other things I’m making in black.
I look at it every day to see what meat I need to take out for the next meal, or to see what I need to make that day.
4. Print out the Weekly Grocery Checklist.
I print out a weekly grocery checklist from the computer. My daughter came up with that wonderful idea! It’s a list of items that we use every week, and things I need to look at weekly to see if they need replacing.
This list saves me time and also saves me from forgetting to purchase something at the store.
I have that Weekly Grocery Checklist for you, just click on the yellow box below to get it. The first page is my actual checklist so you can see what I put on it, and the second page is a blank one for you to write in what you use every week.
5. Using the checklist and your recipes, look through your cupboards to see what you need to buy (make sure it’s not already on your sales’ list). Write those items down on your main grocery shopping list.
I sit down at the kitchen table with all my recipes and my grocery list.
I look through the recipes and my cupboards to see what I already have and what I need to buy.
If it’s not one of the sales items I already have written down, then I add it to my Walmart list.
6. Organize your list by store aisles.
When I’m done writing my list, I organize it by store aisles. Since I’m already familiar with the grocery store, I know what item is in what aisle. So, I organize my list according to that knowledge.
You can read more about how I do that in my post, How to Organize Your Grocery List to Save Time.
7. Cut out the coupons from the Sunday paper and what you’ve printed from the internet.
I look through the coupons from the Sunday paper. If there’s any that I’ll use that week or in the future, I cut them out.
I also cut out any that I’ve printed from the internet.
8. Also go through your coupon file to see what you can use.
I go through the coupons I cut out, and all the other coupons in my coupon file to see if there’s any I can use that week.
If there are, I set them aside. If there are some I don’t need to use this week, I’ll file them in my coupon file.
9. Paper clip the coupons, along with the corresponding store list, to the store circular.
I paper clip the coupons, along with the corresponding store list, to the store circular, so I’m all ready to shop.
10. Put it wherever you’ll remember so that it’s ready to go when you go grocery shopping.
I put it all upstairs on my desk for grocery shopping on Saturday. Then when I look at my desk calendar Saturday morning, I’ll see the grocery lists.
This way to make my grocery shopping list is the best way I know to keep organized and to save as much money grocery shopping as I can. I’ve made this 10 Easy Steps to Help You Make a Grocery List Printable for you, so it’s easier to follow. Just click on the yellow box below to get it, and the checklist mentioned earlier in my post.
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