How To Create The Ultimate Time-Saving Grocery List

If you know me, I am all about efficiency. I despise wasting time. Reinventing the wheel is not something I like to do and try to avoid it at all costs. But one day, I noticed a pattern when it came to my grocery list. I would grab a scrap piece of paper and hand write everything I needed. (I have noticed other grocery store shoppers writing their grocery list on the back of a used envelopes, card board box tops, and even post it notes).

There were problems which posed from this strategy. If I was in a hurry, my hand writing was not legible. The ingredients I needed were sporadically written down and not organized to the location of the store. I didn't have a "menu" as to what I was going to eat on which day. Not only would I forget what I was planning to make that week, but it was also a real problem when trying to prepare certain meals on certain days and forgetting to thaw the meat in time. The last straw for me to cause change was noticing I was writing down the same ingredients at least 1-4 times per month.

I decided to make a change.

I sat down and created a Shopping Excel spreadsheet. I organized it in groups that seemed logical for me: fruits, vegetables, meats, vinegar and oils, spices, frozen, refrigerated, etc. I typed out the most common products I would purchase under the groups. I even added blank spaces for seasonal items. To the left of every product was a small box. When I decided what product I needed, I simply put a diagonal line across the box indicating I needed it. When grocery shopping, I would place the item into the grocery cart and draw another diagonal line in the box forming an "X".

At the bottom of the grocery list, I listed each day of the week typed out and I hand write what the "menu" for each day. The "menu" is put up on the refrigerator so I can plan accordingly as to what foods needs to be pulled out of the freezer in order to thaw and be ready the appropriate day. It is amazing how many times the family will see what is on deck for tomorrow's dinner.

I have had many clients tell me, "You have way too much time on your hands to create a spreadsheet like that." The comment is based on the "invested time" it took to create my Shopping Excel spreadsheet. While initially, it took about 30-40 minutes to do, It takes me only a seconds to mark my ingredients I need for my grocery list. If I have a conflict, I can ask my wife to pick up the items. All the products are legible, organized according to the store, and I even have a menu. Contrary to what my clients think, I do not have much free time on my hands and use my spreadsheet to make my life more efficient.

What are you to do?

Take 20-40 minutes out of a day and create your own Shopping Excel spreadsheet. You will be amazed how much time you will save. Not only in preparation for the grocery shopping, but also during the grocery shopping experience. Your list will be organized according to the store's layout and will make life more efficient for you!