The Shopping List System that makes you go "Ahhhh!"

November 02, 2011

One of life's little frustrations has to be the moment you arrive home from the supermarket only to realise that you've forgotten to purchase something you really need. And almost as irritating is that phone call you receive from your other half asking you to pick up 'just one more item'  just as you're arriving at the check-out, or even worse as you're already loading up the car!

One way to significantly reduce these moments of "grrrr" is to set up a Shopping List System whereby whenever an item is about to be finished and needs replacing, it is immediately added to your Shopping List. Sounds simple and yet so many of us rely on memory, just jot down a list right before departing for the Supermarket, or decide that wandering the aisles and choosing whatever items grab your attention is the way to go. These methods invariably lead the shopper to arrive home without obvious essentials like bin bags or milk and to the purchase of a few non-essentials such as that DVD on special offer that you'll probably never watch.

You can create your own shopping list really easily in Microsoft Word or Excel, using categories that are most suitable for you and your family. Here's the list that we use, that has proven to significantly reduce our supermarket shopping stress levels! (Click the link "Grocery List" to download this Shopping List as a Word Document using Scribd - you may need to create a free Scribd account). You can adapt the categories to best suit you and your family, for example, other categories could include Pet Food, Organic Produce, Pharmacy and so on.

Another advantage to this Shopping List System is that you can categorise items to help you plan your Weekly Menu and organise your shopping list according to the order items are stocked in the Supermarket, thus eliminating that feeling you get when you arrive at the last aisle of the store only to realise that your final item is stocked near the entrance. This method can also help you save money by encouraging you to only buy items that are on the List thus cutting down on the unnecessary items you might otherwise be tempted to buy.
Grocery List

I used to print these out in batches but to save on recycling I've recently laminated one using my Bonsaii L407-A A4 Document Photo Thermal Laminator, and fill it in with my EXPO Low-Odor Dry Erase Markers, You can then wipe away each item as you shop and clean the entire page with a baby wipe once home. Now the only thing we need to remember is to take the multitude of used plastic shopping bags that we always say we need to recycle and almost never remember to bring with us to the supermarket (I think we've managed it once in the past two years but I've now added a reminder to the bottom of my shopping list so here's hoping!).

If you can think of any other categories that would be particularly useful, have any other suggestions or would like further help with setting up your own grocery list then please leave comments below!

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