Do you enjoy grocery shopping, or like me, with little ones in tow, do you try to hurry through it as quickly as possible? Do you ever make it through the check-out line (after constantly corralling your kids, removing additional items from the conveyor belt and returning them to the checkout line shelves, and keeping little fingers from being smashed by the bagging turnstyle…) only to realize that you’ve forgotten to use your coupons?! Have you come home from a shopping trip, only to discover that you forgot something that you can’t do without?
I have improved in all of these areas, simply by using an organized shopping list.
Using a Categorized Shopping List Saves Time
I created a shopping list template that is broken down into several categories, such as canned goods, produce, dairy, etc. When I plan my meals before my grocery shopping trip, I jot down each of the ingredients needed into its corresponding category. Then when I arrive at the store, I get everything that I need from a specific area before moving on to the next aisle. This saves time because I am no longer jumping from one aisle to the next, then back again because something showed up farther down on my list that was found on a previous aisle. This also helps keep me from overlooking an item on my list.
<< If you would like learn my secret to quick and easy meal planning, check out this post! In it I walk you through how to use my Menu Planning Meal List Spreadsheet, which contains over 90 low prep and crockpot meals, each categorized by main ingredient (Beef, Chicken, pasta, etc) and meal type (Mexican, Italian, American, etc), with a link to the recipe. >>
Using a Categorized Shopping List Saves Money
A great way to save money on groceries is to use coupons and to price match items. (If you don’t know what price matching is, many grocery stores will match the price of an identical item in another store’s ad. So, if another store’s ad shows a lower price than the store where you are shopping, you can show the cashier the ad and get your item for the lower price.) However, this only works if you remember to hand over the coupon or show the ad to the cashier!
I can’t count how many times I have forgotten to do this. To prevent this from happening, I added a box to the left of each item slot on the list to indicate if I have a coupon or price match. If I have a coupon for the item, I write a “C” in the box. If I have a competitor’s ad for a price match, I write an “M” in the box. (If you can price match and use a coupon on the same item, “YAY!” for you! You can write a “C/M” to remember to use both!)
Having these notes jotted down on my list helps me to save more money when I’m shopping. If I don’t have it noted on my list, half of the time I forget that I have a coupon/price match and miss out on those savings. 🙁
Download My Categorized Grocery List for Free!
If you could use some help organizing your grocery list, click on the link or image below to download this categorized grocery list as a PDF to be printed on an 8.5×11″ sheet of paper. Now enjoy the extra time and money that you will be saving! 🙂