Grocery Lists Save Time and Money

Every Sunday my husband and I go grocery shopping. We don’t even think about going without a list so we can get in and out of the store as quickly as possible.

Every week we have these same staples on our list:

  1. Milk
  2. Bread
  3. English Muffins
  4. Strawberries
  5. Bananas
  6. Blueberries
  7. Raspberries
  8. Salad
  9. Cranberry juice
  10. Tomatoes

Every week without fail – these foods make the list. So why do we write them down? So we don’t have to remember to remember them. It’s a no-brainer. If you go grocery shopping without a plan – you will definitely spend more time and money.

I know you’ve all done it. Grabbed an avocado because it looked good and then you let it sit and go bad on your kitchen counter. What a waste of money! (And an avocado – one of my favorites!) Having a list will keep you on track as you navigate through the aisles.

If you’re not a natural-born list producer like me – here are some tips:

1. Make a list over several days. Throughout the week my husband and I add to the grocery list as we run out of items or remember things we need. It helps to do it immediately as you realize you need something – so you don’t forget.

2. Leave your list in the same place. I leave my grocery list in a drawer in my kitchen. That way I always know where to find it when I need to update it. I’ve also found that if I like the paper I’m writing on – I’m more likely to use it! I’m also a stationary freak…so this might be just a “me” thing. If it applies to you also – great!

I’ve also been trying out the websites and mobile app ZipList to make my lists on my iPhone.  So far they are really handy and it’s great to be able to link from my desktop to my phone and send my husband my list too.

3. Plan out meals before you go shopping. Before we walk to our local grocery store (we live in NYC – hence the walking) we talk about what meals we might want to make for the week. Then we add the items we need for those dishes to our list. That way we cut down on the aimless walking through the aisles and wasting money on food we won’t eat.

4. Grocery shop is my favorite shortcut of the week.  You can browse their “aisles” and make lists of all the foods you need.  They even have pre-made meals and recipes.  It’s a great cheat sheet.

14 replies
  1. Bruce Chew
    Bruce Chew says:

    As far as mobile applications and even list creation goes using Google Documents works best for me. I can create a Weekly Menu and Shopping list from home over several days, I can access them from any computer world wide (if needed) and also view (and edit) them on my smartphone. Of course using a shopping list saves me lots of time in the store and money!

  2. Dr. Shannon Reece
    Dr. Shannon Reece says:

    Excellent advice, Paula, especially in a time when most are watching every penny. The shopping list not only helps me remember the important things I wanted/needed to buy, but steers me clear of the bright shiny objects most of the time that I could add to a future list, rather than have go to waste. I am just one person, so it’s important that I only buy what I need. 🙂 Thank you! Shannon

  3. Danielle
    Danielle says:

    I shop electronically (shout out to FreshDirect!) and the wonderful advantage of this is that FD keeps my shopping lists forever so I always have a record of what I’ve bought and I can re-order items easily. I love this feature. It’s an automatic list maker, really!

    • List Producer
      List Producer says:

      Danielle – I love that you outsource your list making….hahaha.

      But you bring up a very good point. Online food shopping helps you to stay focused and on budget. You can see the items add up in your cart and see if you are on target with your budget. It also cuts down on time because you can shop literally anywhere! Love it!


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