March 18, 2011

Grocery Lists

This is a short article that I typed up for the Home-makers in Training book group that I belong to on Shelfari.
I thought I might as well share it with my blog readers to:)
Hello, ladies!
For this month’s 101 I thought I’d talk about grocery lists.
I’ve only recently begun to realize how important lists are.  Not only do they help you to remember what you need to buy or do, but they’re a time saving device.   A nice, orderly list can save you a lot of time which might have been wasted wandering from one end of the store to the other.  Lists can also aid you in saving money – if it’s not on the list, then you probably don’t need it…unless, of course, you forgot to write it down on the list in the first place;)  Also, if you live far from town like we do – we’re 30 minutes from the store – then you won’t have to make as many trips to town to buy forgotten items and you’ll save on gas money.
I have four tips for making grocery shopping and list making a wee bit easier.
1) The Master List
Ever since I can remember, my mom has had a master grocery list typed up on the computer.  It includes all of the items which we buy on a regular basis.  Bread, milk, vegetables, laundry detergent – you get the idea.  All of those items are categorized as to type, such as “fruits and vegetables”, “bathroom supplies”, “breads”, “dairy” and others. Leave space in each category for you to write additional items down that you don’t normally purchase.   When we need to go shopping, we simply print off the list, and then go down the rows highlighting the items that we need to buy as we come to them. 
2) Write ‘em Down
The master list is great, but what if you forget what you've run out of?  Don’t wait till right before you go shopping to make your list.  You’ll probably wind up forgetting most of the things you’ve run out of by then.  I keep a piece of scrap paper and a pencil in our kitchen for jotting down stuff down when I notice we’re running low on something.  You could also print off your master list ahead of time and highlight items as you run out. 
3) Categorize
When I don’t categorize my list according to where in the store everything is located, I spend a lot of time backtracking.  Not only is this a waste of time, but it sure makes me tired:)
There are lots of ways to categorize your list.  On your typed master list, as I’ve already said above, categorize everything according to type.  For a hand written list, you can put a number in front of like items.  Let’s say #1, for example, represents milk, eggs, yogurt, and other dairy products which are generally in the same area of the store.  Simply put #1 next to all of those items on your list.  It won’t matter in what order you write everything down that way.  You could also use highlighter pens and assign a certain color to each section.  
4) Check It Off
I highly recommend checking things off as you add them to your cart.  You’ll be less likely to overlook something or think that you’ve already got it. 
In summary, a well organized grocery list can save you time, money and energy, and you will seriously cut down on forgotten items and extra trips to town.
Thank you for reading!
P.S. BTW, I'm addicted to list making - it's an "illness" that my cousin and I share;)

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