Each Saturday I get up early and head on over to two (sometimes three) grocery stores to stock up on items for the dishes I plan to make, which is typically on Sundays. If you are a home cook, you know that grocery shopping takes time, plus you then have to cook the food, which can take hours. Using a system will help you stay organized. To save time on grocery shopping, create a shopping list. That way, you will be in and out of the store, knowing exactly which aisles to visit. To save money on grocery shopping, you will stick to the shopping list, buying only the items you need instead of grabbing anything and everything you see. I will share the technique I use to help me shop more efficiently.
Start by putting together a shopping list. You can use Microsoft Word (or a similar program) to type it up and then print it, or you can stick to the old school way and use paper and pencil. Either way works. At the top of the page, I write down what dishes I plan to cook for that week. It can say something like “Lasagna”, “Chicken noodle soup”, and “Banana bread”.
If you plan to shop at more than one store, write the name of the store right below the dishes that you listed. For example, if you shop at Whole Foods, write that, if you shop at Publix, write that.
Look at your list of dishes and figure out – or look up online – what ingredients are needed to prepare that dish. Write the ingredients right under the store heading. For each ingredient, write the quantity, for example “Potatoes – 3 lbs”. That way, you won’t buy more than you actually need.
To help you shop faster, you will want to organize the ingredients by sections in the store. If you shop at the same stores you should be familiar with you store’s layout. For example, if I walk into the store and the produce section is the first thing I see, I list all of my fruit and vegetables first on the list. Then, I would move on to the seafood counter, then the dairy section, and so on. Grouping your items under each store section/aisle will allow you to shop faster without walking around endlessly for hours or running back and forth because you forgot an item in that aisle. After you finished with your shopping, hang on to the electrornic version of your shopping list (if you typed it on the computer), so that you can use it as a template for the following week.
This is what my shopping list looks like:
If you have any shopping tips, please list them in the comments! Happy shopping!