A shopping list is an incredibly important resource that can save you both time and money.
In the past, I bet you have run into the grocery store with the intention of purchasing just a few things. As you made your way through the store, you saw some items that you thought you may be running low on. Better get those! And these snacks over here look yummy. Let’s add those to the trolley. By the time you left the store, your cart was overflowing and you had spent a ton of money. Not to mention, you probably forgot a couple of things that you went to buy in the first place.
Don’t waste any more time or money! Use these ten tips to make an effective shopping list every time you need groceries.
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Make Your Shopping List Work For You
1. Make It Ongoing
Attach a notebook to the refrigerator or place one in some other convenient location in the kitchen. As items run out or get close to being empty, add them to your list. This will prevent you from having to remember which groceries are running low and buying what you didn’t need. It’s difficult to make a complete list five minutes before you go to the supermarket. Usually, you forget something if you do this.
2. Meal planning
Meal planning is a great way to save money on food and put an end to wastage. As you select recipes that you will use, jot down the ingredients required that you don’t already have on hand. It’s annoying to realize you don’t have an ingredient as you are cooking meals. By taking this step, you avoid having that problem.
3. List Quantities
Get just what you need instead of too much or too little. Simply make a note of the quantity you need to purchase on your list.
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4. Group Items
Group items on your shopping list according to category. For example, if you need black pepper, cinnamon and dried basil, don’t scatter them throughout your checklist. Write them together because you will find them in the same location of the grocery store. Having items grouped like this, means you won’t leave an aisle, only to have to come back to it two or three times later when you get further down your list.
5. Consider Location In-store
When I make my shopping list, I write the items in the order of which I will reach them in the supermarket. The fruit and vegetables are closest to the door of my grocery store. Therefore, I list those first and put the items furthest from the door, last on my list.
Obviously, you can only do this if you are familiar with the layout of the store you shop at. But, I have found that it saves me a lot of time.
6. Make Your List According To the Store
If you shop at multiple locations, make a shopping list for each place you need to visit. Doing this helps you to know exactly where you will purchase each item.
7. Go Digital
I use Google Keep to make my grocery lists. I love this free digital app because I can view it across devices and I can easily share my list, if I need to. Say your significant other happens to be popping by the supermarket, send him the list and grocery shopping is done.
Also, I can move items around easily and it even makes suggestions while I type. All I need to do is type a few letters and select the correct option after it pops up.
Mark each item on your shopping list that you have a coupon for. Use an asterisk or some other notation. As you grab these items in the supermarket, get the corresponding coupon ready as well. Maybe try putting it to the front of the others you have. However, you choose to do it, when you get to the checkout line, you should have all the coupons you need waiting.
9. Check Off Items
This may seem like such a small thing and it is, but little things can make a big impact. As you add items from your checklist to the cart, cross them off your list. You will know exactly what you already have and what you still need to get. No more sifting through your trolley to see if you already picked something up.
Since I use Google Keep, I hit the little checkbox and the item is relocated to the bottom of my list so I don’t see it anymore.
10. Shop Online
If your store offers this option, take advantage! Select what you need from the comfort of your home. Then, simply pay and collect.
Taking a few minutes to make a proper shopping list is definitely worth it. It saves you from overspending, walking back and forth through the store and you don’t have to rely on your memory to get what you need.