Wildcard Wednesday: 3 Basic Grocery Planning Tips + FREE Printable
I’ve touched a bit in the past about my love for organization, planning, and all things being-ahead-of-the-game. Mostly because I’m usually far, far from ahead. And you know what? Being behind is a really crummy feeling. I’m not good at flying by the seat of my yoga pants. I realized a while ago that I need to set myself up for success. That’s where my grocery list has become a life-saver.
Today, I want to give you my favorite three tips for staying on top of my grocery list. And if you make it to the end, I’ll even have a little printable gifty.
- Schedule time to meal plan and make your grocery list.
To save a lot of time, you have to spend a little time dedicated to your meals for the week. For me, this works best on Sunday afternoons. I have an arsenal of quick, easy family recipes through Pinterest, my Google Drive, and my old-fashioned recipe box at home. I sit down, browse for a few minutes, and pick a few meals for the week. Not more than a few, though. One night is for leftovers, and the weekend is usually hubby’s realm.
- Plan all week. All the time.
This might be counterintuitive to what I wrote above, but hear me out. Have a “list in progress” all the time. And set yourself up for success by pre-dividing the list into specific food/product categories.
The way I accomplish this is through a couple of inexpensive items. I bought a frame at the dollar store. It’s not super high-quality, but it gets the job done. If you invest a little in a frame, it’ll likely last just about forever.
I also bought a few fine-tipped dry-erase markers. Inside the frame, I have a template list I typed up quite some time ago. (Can you see “diapers” is still on that? We haven’t purchased diapers for quite a while.) It is divided by categories, and then I have lists of common pantry/fridge staples. These are foods that I purchase often for recipes or otherwise. With a checkbox next to each item, I can easily mark an item when we need it. I also have blank lines at the end of the list, so I can fill in any random items I may need. Then, when I get to my Sunday planning time, it makes it super easy to…
- Get into the grocery store. Grab only what you need. Get out.
When I have an easy-to-follow list of the items I need, it makes it simple to avoid impulse purchases, stay within budget, and buy mostly healthy foods. I personally feel less tempted to browse and think, “Oh, that Brownie Brittle looks so good…one package can’t hurt. Oooh, wait, look at those Bunny Grahams. Those look good, too.”
After checkmarking all my items, a la tip number 2, I simply add them to my condensed list for the store. This list is also…can you guess?…DIVIDED into categories! I bet you’re shocked.
Again, this makes it easy to head to a certain section of the store, grab each item, cross ’em off, and BAM. No running back and forth across the store to grab those things you forget, and you’re in the checkout line just in time for your kiddo to ask “Can I get a cookie?” for the eight millionth time.
These all may sound like simple things, but sometimes simple things are the most efficient. And I’m a sucker for efficiency.
On a related note, I’ve been playing around with creating my own printables lately, and I decided to share one for the very first time. Go here to download a simple grocery list that will *hopefully* save you a little bit of time! If nothing else, it’s kinda fun colors and patterns and fonts. So there’s that. I’m still working on my skillz. (Let me know if the link isn’t working. Like I said, I’m new at this!)
All righty then. That’s just a brief wrap-up of how I make my grocery list. Do you have any special tips from your own meal-planning or list-making? Let me know in the comments!
Please also let me know if you’re interested in learning more about my other “lists.” I’m always down to share tips from an organizational maniac. After all, the more time I save at home, the more time I can spend
playing Candy Crush running.