Last week I spent some time talking about ways to maximize efficiency when grocery shopping. I ended my post with a short section on lists and a promise to revitalize my own list to share with you this week. Well, I’m happy to say that I was able to work on a new list and even give it a test run when I went grocery shopping last Thursday!
Six ways you can optimize your list
Before I get to my new list, here are a few general tips anyone can adopt to optimize their grocery list:
- Keep your list visible at home so you can easily add to it when items come to mind.
- If you keep your pantry stocked in a particular way, add items to the list to replace those you use right after you use them so you don’t forget.
- Try to arrange your list by common items or by subject to make it easier to flow through it when you’re at the store.
- Bring a pen and even a clipboard when you visit the store so you can cross items off your list and have a flat surface to write on.
- Clearly mark items you don’t end up buying for whatever reason so you can easily transfer them onto your next list.
- Consider making your list digital for easy editing and so you can carry it with you everywhere—try a cell phone or a PDA.
How I revitalized my list
Before revamping my own list, I followed most of those tips above. However, one in particular I knew I needed to work on: arranging my list by subject. That is what I worked on this past week and I’m very excited about my new format! Here’s what I came up with:
Again, I shop primarily at Walmart Supercenter and I occasionally stop by a local supermarket called Trig’s. I have a planned route I take through Walmart each time I go so I thought it would be useful to arrange the items on my list to fit my route. Last time I was at Walmart, I took special note of actual aisles and locations of items I buy so I could make my categories. I also kept in mind aisles I visit frequently, versus aisles I almost never visit.
I decided to hang my new list on the refrigerator, right where I kept my previous version. But this time when I add an item, I add it directly to the section where it can be found in the store. That way when I am actually shopping, I will (ideally) never backtrack or retrace my steps. My first test-run went very well and it felt so efficient!!
Creative lists from around the blogosphere
Since my list is tailored specifically for Walmart, I thought it would be useful to look up other list templates created by fellow bloggers. Not only can you use these lists for yourself, but you can also borrow ideas from them (or mine) to apply to your own special list format.
I would also like to mention here that I had a great comment on last week’s post from a reader, Shannon. She shared:
We keep a running list of items then meal plan and decide the rest of the list. Last month I make a print out of what items are on which isles at the store we frequent most. Now when I need to shop I get a copy of this, circle the items I need and off I go. It saves a lot of time to know beforehand which isles I can totally skip. The other magical thing I JUST thought to do last week is to start on the opposite side of the store from which I’ve been doing it for 20 years! Start with the dairy and end with the produce! Now everything fits in beautifully with the produce on top!
Thanks Shannon! 🙂
Do you use a special grocery list template when you go grocery shopping? Feel free to share here!
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