Stocking your house: the grocery list

Some people adore lists, and some hate them. The one place where I see people using lists the most consistently is at the grocery store. Most people seem to have one, whether it is paper, electronic, or mental.

If you are in the habit of keeping certain foods in your kitchen (such as mild, butter, eggs, flour, salt…) it is very helpful to have at least a piece of paper on the fridge or bulletin board, so that when you notice that you are using the last quarter of that product, you can quickly add it to the list. Trying to remember how much milk is in the fridge, while you are standing in the grocery store, is frustrating (and rarely works out well.)

If you have ideas for the meals you would like to prepare in the coming week, or if you like to search the flyers for sales, the list is even more important. Grocery shopping rarely scores well on the list of chores people enjoy, and if there’s one thing worse than the shopping, it;s getting home to find you forgot a crucial ingredient. Aaargh.


If you want to get all fancy and speed up the chore, print yourself a blank grocery list divided into sections that you would find at the store. A piece of paper divided into eight sections is a good start.

  • meat
  • dairy
  • fruits & vegetables
  • bakery
  • cans & bottles
  • frozen
  • cleaning and personal supplies
  • other

This will help you move through the store logically, gathering what you need without too much backtracking and zig-zagging.

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