Grocery Lists 101

Does grocery shopping and making grocery lists intimidate you? Don’t worry, you’re not the only one!  When I was in high school I would go to the grocery store a lot (sorry ma and pa) but it was very random and I just picked up a few things I needed. And to be honest I was really bad at getting a bunch of stuff that just looked good but I definitely didn’t need, which I’m still working on LOL. And then freshman year of college I was in the dorms and went to the dining centers all the time so I didn’t ever really need to get groceries! Well, this school year I am living in a house, so I obviously have to plan ahead and go to the grocery store on a regular basis. I have learned a lot about when and where is the best time and place to go grocery shopping, which you can read about in our previous post Tips for Cheap Grocery Shopping. But in this blog post, I wanted to talk about making the grocery list itself because it’s definitely a key component if you want to be successful. And by successful, I mean being efficient in the store and saving money!

Meal plan BEFORE you make your grocery list! This is what I personally do and I think it makes it way easier. I think about what I want to eat for the next week and what food I already have on hand that I can utilize. Then I write out my meal plan. And THEN I make my grocery list. If you just randomly make a grocery list you’re going to be writing down things that just sound good and don’t really have a rhyme or reason to them. It is extremely helpful to at least have an outline of what your meals are going to look like so you can be somewhat prepared.

Another topic I wanted to talk about is what you’re putting on your grocery list. Groceries, duh. But what kinds of things? Are you going to use it more than once? Will you be able to utilize it for various meals? Is it worth $8 for only 3 servings? Is there something else you should use up first before you buy something else? Sometimes we find these awesome recipes but they require us to go buy a bunch of new ingredients for it. Is there a way you could create the same concept utilizing things you already have on hand? So what I’m getting at here is make sure when you’re making a list of the things you need, you’re actually making a list of the things you NEED. This was definitely something I struggled with big time when I was living at home, but now since I share fridge/cupboard space with two other people I have to think more efficiently when it comes to groceries!

And lastly, a very underrated concept (in my opinion). And that is organizing your grocery list! How many of you put thought into how you organize your grocery list? Well, I’m about to rock your world and make your trip to the grocery store take half the time. The way that I organize my grocery list has definitely been a game changer. So I’m sure by now you’re on the edge of your seat begging me to tell you how I organize my dang grocery list?! LOL, I highly doubt it but I’ll tell you anyways. The key is organizing it by the path of the store! So when I make my grocery list I create two columns, one for outside aisles and one for inside aisles. You could even take this a step further and do more specific categories like dairy, meat, frozen, etc. By putting some thought into the way you organize your grocery list you can save some serious time! Because your list will already be in the order of the store and you won’t waste time going back and forth. This is extremely helpful, especially if you go to a larger store!

This is a great grocery list to help with that!

I hope you found these tips to be helpful! I know a lot of people, especially younger adults (aka my generation) can feel intimidated or overwhelmed by making a grocery list and having to meal plan, but it honestly doesn’t have to be complicated! Do you have tips?! Share them in the comments!

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