It happened again — you came home from the grocery store only to realize you forgot to buy at least two things you needed. It’s never a good feeling. While creating a grocery list might seem like just another chore, it can save you a lot of time and frustration.
But not all grocery lists are the same. You can have a great shopping list or one that will have you circling the store multiple times. Here is why you should make a grocery list and some effective strategies for planning your grocery shopping to make it more efficient.
Why You Should Create a Grocery List
Grocery shopping is something most of us do at least weekly. But how each person approaches their grocery store visit is a bit different. Just winging it will probably result in you feeling overwhelmed or coming home with items you don’t really need. If you’re reluctant to commit, here are just a few of the benefits of creating a grocery list.
- Saves time — You save a ton of time with a grocery list by reducing time wandering around the store and making repeat trips to pick up forgotten items.
- Saves money — You’ll be less likely to overspend when you closely track what you need to buy with a list.
- Reduces stress — Circling the store ten times after work is exhausting and stressful. A well-ordered list can make your grocery shopping trips more enjoyable.
- Improves health — Who doesn’t want to eat a bit healthier? Having a grocery list can help you avoid the temptation to buy junk food and make better buying choices instead.
- Reduces waste — Billions of pounds of food are wasted in the U.S. alone each year. When you avoid buying food you don’t need or won’t eat, you can make a dent in these numbers.
How to Plan a Grocery List to Make Shopping Easier
These steps will show you how to make a list that is so organized it will save you time, money, and stress. It’s going to transform your grocery shopping experience.
1. Meal Plan
Meal planning is an excellent way to ensure you’re only buying items you plan to consume. If you can stay this organized, create a meal plan for the next week and use it to make your shopping list.
2. Take an Inventory
You can reduce waste, save money, and make your shopping go faster if you avoid buying things you already have in your cabinets. As you create your list, take an inventory of what’s in the pantry and refrigerator. You might also notice a few things you need.
3. Keep a Running List
Keeping a running list of items you replenish each week, like milk, butter, eggs, and cereal. Don’t forget non-food items like paper towels and household cleaners.
4. Look for Coupons
One money-saving tip is to look up any specials or coupons available as you create your weekly list. Maybe there’s a cereal or spaghetti sauce you can try that is on special. Or there might be a buy-one-get-one (BOGO) special on items you buy each week, like toilet paper.
5. Organize Your List by Aisles
One of the best ways to plan your grocery shopping trips is to organize your list based on the grocery store’s layout. This ensures your visit is efficient, and you won’t have to zig-zag around the store. Simply organize your list according to the store’s basic sections, like:
- Frozen foods
- Household Goods
- Inner aisles (canned goods, packed food, etc.)
6. Specify Quantities
Quantities are important when creating your list. Make sure you write down how many of each item you need. You don’t want to end up standing in front of the yogurt section, trying to recall if you need one or five items.
7. Check Off Items
It’s just as important that you check off items on your list as you move through the store. If you fail to do this, it can be easy to miss something as you continually scan the list. As you make a line through each item, you can easily see what you still need to add to your cart.
Shop Local at Nick’s of Calvert
Now that you know how to make the perfect grocery shopping list, it’s time to fill up your cart with delicious food. Nick’s of Calvert would love to be your grocery store of choice. Over the past half-century, our family-run business has been dedicated to serving the needs of its local customers throughout Southern Maryland.
We offer the highest quality of meats, deli items, and ready-to-serve food, at some of the most affordable prices. We also have a wide variety of beer, wine, and spirits to complement your meals. Visit us or give us a call today at (410) 414-7105.