Have you ever come home after a long day of work, dreaming about having that last something in the refrigerator only to find that someone had already gotten to it? No one mentioned that you were out of whatever it was, the only way you knew was that you went looking for it and discovered it was gone. There are systems you can put in place, where you always know what needs to be added to the grocery list. Keeping your shopping list organized will help you know what to buy and keep you from overbuying when you go to the store.
A running list using either a pad of paper that magnetically attaches to the front of the refrigerator, a blackboard on the kitchen wall or a clipboard with check boxes can make your trips to the grocery store much easier. Make sure everyone in the household knows to make a note when they use the last of food items or supplies like foil or plastic baggies.
Create your shopping list in the order of how the food is arranged in the store, and you will find you are less likely to forget things. For example, if the fresh fruits and vegetables are the first things in the grocery store, put them at the beginning of the list. Avoid putting lettuce at the end of the list because you may end up backtracking while you are shopping and that wastes time and can be aggravating.
Using a list while grocery shopping saves time. Have you ever heard someone say they had to go back to the store to get the things they forgot? That will not happen if you keep an updated list at all times.
Another way to keep organized in the kitchen is to plan meals ahead of time. Add the items necessary for the planned meals as well as staple foods and supplies to your list and you will go to the store less often.
A big time saver is shopping when the store is not busy. A Saturday evening shopping trip may take less time than after work on a Tuesday evening. And we all know that shopping while hungry is not a good idea. You are more likely to buy impulse items.
There are some handy apps that will help with your shopping list. Some are very detailed and some are as simple like Shop Shop. Look in the app store under shopping lists and you will see there are several from which to choose.
You might want to try Grocery Pal, an app that lets you know where the sales can be found. This app will probably send you to different stores for different items. If your time is tight and the stores are not close together, you will end up saving gas money and time by just visiting one convenient grocery store.
There are apps for coupons like Coupon Sherpa, online coupons and old-fashioned clipped coupons that can help you save money. Organize your coupons the same way you organize your list and you will be able to find them more quickly. Keep coupons in envelopes, a file box or an accordion file. Regularly go through the coupons to weed out the expired offers.
By keeping a running “need to buy” list, you will keep your kitchen well stocked. Organizing meals for a week or two ahead of time will save you time shopping because you go less often. Less frequent trips to the store will give you more time to spend with your family.