Making a List and Checking It Twice

The time of year for writing Christmas lists is rapidly approaching. However, that’s not the type of list I’m talking about here. The list I’m talking about is important all year round. It’s your grocery list! I’m going to give you some tips for making the most of that little piece of paper.

A well-organized grocery list can help you save time and money at the grocery store. Download a FREE printable template.

Tip #1 – Stay organized.

Your grocery list won’t be nearly as helpful if it is a scribbled list of words in no particular order. I like to organize my grocery list by where to find the products in the store. My list is always organized into these categories.

  • Produce
  • Meats
  • Canned/Boxed Items
  • Dairy
  • Frozen
  • Other

This is the path I travel through the grocery store. I’m able to find the products in order. Organizing my grocery lists this way makes my grocery store trips much quicker. I don’t have to go back and forth across the store, because I know where all of my items are ahead of time.

Download a printable copy of my grocery list template. Just “Make a Copy,” and you will be able to edit it with any categories that work well for you.

Tip #2 – Use the weekly circular to make your list.

The weekly circular is my best friend. It has saved me so much money! Each grocery store publishes its weekly circular once a week. You can either pick one up at the grocery store or you can go to the store’s website.

Every Thursday night, I go to Giant’s and Weis’s websites and check out the weekly circular. I look for good deals on items I need for the week. The front page of the circular usually has some of the best deals. Then, I look through the rest of the circular for items I need that are on sale. Some circulars even have coupons in them. At Giant, I always pick up a paper copy of the circular as soon as I enter the store. That way I’m able to tear out the coupons I want to use that week.

 

A well-organized grocery list can help you save time and money at the grocery store. Download a FREE printable template.

Tip #3 – Include the price on your grocery list.

If you printed my shopping list template, you probably noticed that there is a spot for the price of the item. I didn’t always do this. However, now I don’t make a grocery list without the prices. Here’s why. First of all, it helps when I’m making my list. When I’m looking at two different circulars, I like to compare the prices of items. Before I started recording the prices, I had to go back and forth between the circulars to see where the products were less expensive. Now, I write the price down when I find the item in the first circular. Then, I can check and see if it’s more or less expensive when I’m looking through the second circular.

Having the prices on my grocery list also helps when I’m at the store.  Before I got in the habit of doing this, I would find an item at the store, and the sale price wouldn’t be marked. I knew it had been discounted in the circular, but I didn’t remember how much it was supposed to cost. I paid full price for a lot of items because I wasn’t sure if I had made a mistake. Now, I can just look at my list to see what the price should be. If it doesn’t match the listed price, I can ask a store employee.

Having the prices written down has also saved me when items didn’t ring up correctly at check-out. I’ve been able to tell the cashier the price it should be. Usually, they just verify it with the circular and correct the mistake.

Tip #4 – Attach your coupons to your grocery list.

Another way I stay organized when I’m grocery shopping is by using a paperclip to put my coupons with my grocery list. When I prepare my grocery list, I also take out all the coupons I’m using that week. Paperclipping them to my list keeps me from forgetting them at home, and I remember to give them to the cashier.

Find out if couponing can really save you money.

Tip #5 – Stick to your grocery list.

If you’re taking the time to make a grocery list, stick to it when you get to the grocery store. It’s very tempting to buy things as you walk up and down the aisles. However, those items just add to your bill. If they’re not things you need, pass by them. I try not to look at anything that’s not on my list. I go directly to the aisles where I can find the items I need. As soon as the last item is in my cart, I head to check-out.

I used to dread grocery shopping. It took forever, I didn’t know what to buy, and I ended up paying hundreds of dollars for items that didn’t even feed my family for the week. Making a grocery list has helped me get organized and save money at the grocery store. Now, I look forward to my weekly grocery shopping trip. I love to see how much money I can save.

If you don’t make a grocery list before going to the grocery store, I challenge you to start. The small amount of time you’ll spend making your list will be worth it when you save time and money at the grocery store.

If you decide to try my tips, let me know how it goes in the comments below.

To learn more tricks for saving money at the grocery store, check out my post on saving money with the SavingStar app.  Happy shopping!

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4 thoughts on “Making a List and Checking It Twice

  1. I have a few rules for grocery shopping because I loathe it. 1. Have a list and stick to it. 2. Don’t go there hungry. 3. Buy ONE treat as a reward 4. Get out of there as fast as I can.

    I never thought of adding prices to my list from the flyers. Great idea.

  2. I took an extreme couponing class a few years back and got pretty good in finding good buys. It takes quit a bit of time going through all the stores ads, but I really enjoyed the challenge. Now I stay so busy I just don’t have the time to put into it like I use to.

    1. Hi, Linda! Couponing does take some time, but I love seeing how much I can save. I’ve gotten it down to 30 minutes each night, so I’m ready for my weekly trip to the store. It’s easier when I clip and search the circulars while watching a TV show.

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