Last Updated on September 12, 2015 by Stacy Averette

Do you ever get home from the store and realize you didn’t get the one thing you needed most? Or waste precious time backtracking and going in circles using the list you made on a napkin? Or stand awkwardly in the aisle staring into space because you know you’re forgetting something?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, I can help! Read on.

meal planning, homemaking,

The Master Grocery List Solution

Regardless of the size of your family you make regular trips to the store to buy groceries, toiletries and household supplies. And while that list of stuff may vary from week to week depending on your schedule and activities, there are certain things that are bare necessities for any family.

We can make-do a day or two without milk, but toilet paper, well, not so much; and, I’d rather not make a hundred trips to store each week!

My solution is The Master Grocery List. I looked for a ready-made printable version but none of them worked for me so I made my own. You’ll notice that it’s of the pencil-n-paper variety. I’ve gone digital for lots of things but this list needs to be easily accessible to others in my home. I’m thrilled at how well this has worked for me. (I’ll share a link at the end so you can print your own.) This list, exactly as it is, may just “thrill you twist leg-ed” as my mother-in-law used to say (she had a great sense of humor) but for those of you who want to go a step further I want to tell you how I came up with this list. Be prepared to be amazed. Not really.

It’s one of those “sharpening your saw” kind of things that will pay off big once it’s complete. Use mine to get started and take your time making it your own.

master grocery list, meal planning, grocery shopping

How to Make a List That Works for You

1. Make a list of everything you buy on a weekly or regular basis.

Don’t try to organize the list yet. Just get a notepad and write it down as you think of it. I did this over several days and even asked the kids and my husband to add items to the list that I might not think of.

2. Next, think of how the items on your list are organized in the store where you shop and then make a new list with these categories leaving space to add items under each category. For example, “Dairy”, “Pharmacy”, “Lawn and Garden”, “Frozen Foods”, “Electronics”.
.Master Grocery List, Meal Planning  

3. Now add items from the first list of all the stuff you buy on a regular basis to the categories list placing the items where they fit. Depending on your family and shopping needs your Master List could be quite long. Mine is four pages.
Grocery List4
4. Lastly, organize the categories list according the layout of your store and the way you shop. For example, when I go into my store for a weekly shopping trip I like to start in the right front corner (pharmacy/toiletries) and go through the store ending up in the frozen foods/deli section. My list is in that order. This may seem like overkill but I promise you’ll be as happy as Gomer Pyle when you leave the store with everything you need in record time.

Since my list is a word.doc  I can save and edit it as my needs change and print a new one as needed. I reuse this exact list for months! Simply erase the marks after each trip and your list is ready to go again.

Here’s the link:

Open in Word and edit it however you choose.


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