Create Your menu plan
What will you be eating next week? What will you be having for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks? If you're not sure, go back and review our post on how to create a menu plan. This is the basis of your grocery list.
Where to Keep Your List
Keep an ongoing grocery list in your kitchen, computer or a mobile app and add items as you run out. My family keeps a whiteboard on the fridge, and whenever we run out of something we jot it down there. I can snap a photo of the whiteboard to take with me as a grocery list, or text it to my husband if he stops at the store on the way home from work.
To make grocery shopping more efficient, you may want to list your grocery items in order of where they are found at the store. Typically, produce is first, then canned goods. Dairy is usually found at the back of the store. That way, you're not having to back-track.
Another really cool app to use for your grocery list is Out of Milk. It allows you to scan items when you run out of them and share lists between family members. It also notifies you when items on your list are on sale in your area. There is a desktop version as well, so you can sync between your computer and your phone.
Double Check Your Pantry
Before you head to the grocery store, don't forget things like beverages, snacks, and pantry staples like flour, spices, oils, etc. Running out of these things will result in trips to the store you could have avoided. Double-check your pantry before going to the store.
Stick to Your List
Research has shown that the longer shoppers linger in the store, the more they spend. Make it a goal to get in and out quickly and stick to your list. Some tricks to use: If you can, use a basket instead of a cart. The weight of it will prompt you to want to head to the checkout lanes as fast as possible. Make it into a game. Set the timer on your phone when you walk in the door and see how quickly you can get in and out.