Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Household Tip: Organizing Your Grocery Shopping Trip

I confess. I hate grocery shopping! I try to get in and out as fast as I can. I believe this tip has shaved 20 minutes off of my grocery run each week (over 17 hours per year). If you tend to do one main shopping trip each week, and shop at the same store most of the time, this will work wonders for you.

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1. Visit your store with pen and paper in hand and make a list of what type of items the store stocks on each aisle. Just note general categories and note the aisle numbers. For instance: #13 baking/canned beans, veg & fruits/soups

2. On the computer make a one page, aisle by aisle, blank shopping list that you can print off. In addition to the aisle by aisle list you'll have all those items that can be found around the perimeter of the store such as "seasonal/holiday," "deli/bakery," "produce," "meats," and "dairy." Put those on your list in the order that you come to them in the store. Leave extra space under each category that you buy a lot of items in. I have the biggest space under "produce."

3. If there is another store that you almost always visit on the same trip, make a category for that store on the end of your list.

4. Print copies of your list (scrap paper that has already been printed on one side is great for this) and attach one to your refrigerator each week. Instruct your family to mark down any items you need under the proper category on the list as you discover you need them. No more "I didn't know we were out of ketchup . . ."

5. When you get to the store you can glance quickly at what you need in each aisle or section of the store, you won't have to stop to mark things off your list. You can see which aisles you don't need to go down at all which saves a lot of time and frustration--especially if you shop with young children.

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Additional tips for your grocery trip:

* Plan weekly menus and mark all the items you will need down on your list--don't try to guess at the store.
* Sort coupons before you go.
* Wipe out your refrigerator shelves before you shop when they are at their emptiest for the week.
* Grab your reusable shopping bags, or better yet, put them back in your car after you unpack your groceries so you always have them handy.
* Will you need a cooler or insulated bags?


  1. Great idea! I do something not quite this organized that works well for me. I think I'll include some of your ideas, too!

  2. Thanks for sharing these wonderful tips with us. It'll definitely help.