Remember the old American Express commercial with the tagline, ‘don’t leave home without it’?
Great advice, but the thing I never leave home without isn’t my credit card, it’s my grocery list.
In fact, I’m adamant about not even entering a supermarket unless I have my list with me. If you’re currently trying to cut your grocery budget, a list is a must.
I try my best to stick to mine, and am proud to say only one or two items not on my list ever find their way into my cart.
I’ve gone so far as to create a master grocery list that’s stored on my computer. Each time I put my list together I print out a copy and circle items I need on that trip to the store. And I’ll also put the list on the fridge door so if anyone uses the last of an item, they can just circle it.
My list is ever evolving and some items get deleted, others added. And that’s the plus to having it stored on the computer because you can go back and edit it. And it’s divided into sections based on specific areas in the store. Produce, deli, frozen foods, dairy, etc.
I also use my list when I’m checking the supermarket flyer. I’ll put an S next to any item that’s on sale that week, just as a simple reminder to look out for that particular brand. And yes, if it’s non-perishable, on sale, and even if I don’t plan to use it that week, I’ll buy a couple of them and store them for future use.
And if I have a coupon for any item, I’ll put a C next to it, so I don’t forget to use it. Sometimes one item will get both a C and S, which is an added plus.
A grocery list is also a good way to see what you and your family are actually eating. Are there items that are always circled every week? Did you buy foods that sat uneaten in the fridge? Was there some type of food or brand the family hated? It cuts down on wasted food and also gives you an idea about what coupons you should try and hunt down.
Another plus to making a list is it often helps me plan meals and keep the pantry stocked. I’ll run through the list while I do a quick search of items I already have on hand. And check if I need to replenish the cans of tomatoes, beans etc.
If you’ve never shopped from a list, give it a try. I’m taking a guess that you’ll be more organized and save some money. I’ve found some wonderful resources on the Internet that can help you put one together in next to no time.
www.grocerywiz.com don’t forget to check out the coupon section on this site, you can print coupons from your computer here.
www.checkmark.heart.org This site is run by the American Heart Association and gives you a list of recommended products for heart health.
www.lifejot.com, not just for grocery lists, but other types of shopping lists too.