Monday, February 2, 2009

Kitchen tip -- master grocery lists

This weekend I sat down and touched up my master grocery list. I have used this list in some form or another for a few years now and really helps streamline the meal planning, list making, and grocery shopping process.

I figured I would share my list, although each household's will look quite different since none of us eats the same meals. My main grocery list includes the items that I need to have on hand on a weekly basis to cook my weekly menu. Some of these items I only buy on a monthly basis, but leaving it on my master list reminds me to check for sales on these regularly used items.

I have found that it is much more time efficient to have a master list, even when I cross of half of it some weeks, rather than write out a list for each particular week. I heard this thinking many years ago and it took me a while to actually try it. Now, I wish I had done this long ago. Also, some things I order in bulk once or twice a year so those are not on my list (honey, flax seed, grain, yeast, baking powder). I also sorted the list according to how items are arranged in the store I typically shop in.

This is my main list:






Sweet corn

Fruit & veggies

Lunch Meat

Cheese – cojack

Garlic Bread

Bread & bagels

HD & HB buns


-Ground Beef

3 lb.

-Cream cheese

-Mozz. Cheese



-Bacon or


-Hot dogs &



-Sausage 4








Pancake mix

Rice a roni

Mac & cheese


Canned veg/fruit

-Chix brst

-French fries


-Dinner rolls




Cinn. Rolls





-Pasta – lasga/reg.

- tortillas

-Tomato S&P

-Chix soup

-Beef Stew


- Mashed



I also made up separate lists for the stores that I shop at occasionally. Stores like Costco and Trader Joe's I only visit when low on the particular items that I purchase there, so I have now made up lists for those stores as well. Invariably, I would arrive home from Trader Joe's to realize that I only had one left of another item that I typically purchase there. Now, I will not forget, unless I leave my list at home, which happens now and then as well. . . but, at least it's on the list!

If you haven't already found this site, Donna Young has tons of printable lists and forms to help organize your kitchen and household more efficiently. Why reinvent the wheel, right? I always tweak things to make them work best for me, but I need something concrete to start with and this site provides LOTS to start with.

What about you, do you use a master list? Hand-written? Trust your memory (before children I could do that)? What secrets have you used to help bring efficiency to grocery planning? I would love to hear.

For more Kitchen Tips for Tuesday, check out Tammy's blog.


melinda said...

good tip. i like the idea of making one's meant for different stores :)

Sherry said...

I love my master list. I even have it set up according to the store aisles and put it under a sheet protector so i can just mark with a china marker on it then erase. :D

5intow said...


What a great idea! Then you wouldn't even have to reprint it except when you make permanent changes to your list. I'll have to try that.