A guest post by my mom
I used to write big grocery shopping lists on old notebook paper. I always tried to write items in categories – dairy, frozen, canned goods, meats, household, etc. If I only needed a few things I would write down those items on whatever little scrap of paper I could find. The problem with this was that I would usually lose these lists after the trip to the store. I would not have any record of what I had purchased—or what I had forgotten. This also made it harder to keep track of where my money had been spent.
My list-making was transformed about two years ago when I bought a pad of REAL SIMPLE pre-printed grocery lists at Target. The usual grocery store items are listed in categories and subcategories that cover just about everything one would buy—but there are also blank spaces to write in your own items. Beside each item is a box so you can just check off what you plan to buy. After putting each item in the shopping buggy I just draw a line through it on the list. These lists turned out to be the answer to both my organizational needs and my budget monitoring. I use one list sheet for a two-week pay period; and I keep it with me during that whole time, marking off the things I buy and adding things if necessary. I rarely forget to buy items at the store now; and, although my money may go, at least now I know where it went!
I highly recommend these REAL SIMPLE grocery lists. I should also mention that the pad has a strong magnet on the back and so can hang conveniently on the refrigerator. This item is well worth the money. (I paid about $9 at Target. There are 75 sheets per pad.) Of course, you could also devise your own grocery checklist, type it up, and make multiple copies. This would serve the same purposes and perhaps be a little cheaper.
It feels great to be more organized and in control! Happy grocery shopping!
Note: Neither my mom nor I gets anything for promoting Real Simple products.