Making a master grocery list takes a little time initially, but you’ll save lots more time while preparing your weekly shopping list, while shopping (you won’t have to run back to aisle 2 for something you missed), and most of all by avoiding extra trips to the store for things you forgot!
When I was a teenager we used to do this with pen and paper. Doing it in your computer is much better. You can print out a new copy each week, and easily rearrange your list every few years when your grocery store rearranges everything.
Here’s how to create your master list:
1) Make a staples list. Include every thing you normally want to keep on hand. List everything you buy at the grocery store, food and non-food.
2) Get a printout of the grocery store products by aisle. If they don’t have one, write your own list. You don’t need to include every item, just the general sections, in the order in which you normally go through the store. For example: Aisle 1: dairy, eggs, deli; Aisle 2: canned vegetables and beans, imported foods; Aisle 3: paper towels, napkins, cleaning products. . . etc. (If you get something the store keeps in an unusual place be sure to put it on this list even if you don’t get it every week. )
3) Rearrange your staples list in the order of the sections in the grocery store. (If you live in a two story house, make a separate staples list for upstairs, and write this list first each week. It’s probably shorter, and easy to incorporate these items as you make your big list. )
4) Print a copy and put it in your kitchen. This will be your master list. Or print several at a time and check off the items you need each week, and toss the list when done.
5) When it’s time to make your grocery list for the week, get your master list and check each item to see if you need more. If you do, put it on your written list as you normally would. Be sure to include ingredients for any recipes / menus you’re planning for the week.
When you’re done, you’ve checked everything you’re likely to need, and your list is in the same order as the store!
Randi Kuhne is the owner of Kids Party Supplies (http://kids-party-supplies.com ), a resource which helps parents find character and theme-related party supplies and gifts for their children. The site also has party planning ideas and other helpful information for parents.