a bench with a view

a bench with a view

Sunday, January 15, 2017

This works for me


I am at the age that I need a list to go grocery shopping. I used to be able to remember everything in my head, but those years are long gone. Except for routine things we buy, if anything is needed for a recipe or household supplies, I need to write it down.

I start my grocery list with meal planning for the week. It really does go smoother if I know what every day we will be eating.  Friday we go out to eat. Below is our meal plan for the upcoming week. 




Usually Sunday nights the young family come over for dinner, but this week son is working and due to different schedules, we'll be watching the kids so we're taking them to Peter Piper Pizza (think on the order of Chuck E Cheese) for a little variety. Usually the family comes over on Wednesday and sometimes I'll send leftovers with them or keep them and use them on Thursday when we watch the wee one. Like to keep Thursday very simple with meal preparation.

A few months back I got the brilliant idea (thank you God) that when we watch the kids Saturday afternoon, we would take them grocery shopping with us for the week. It would serve two purposes. We would get the job done and still have some of the day to do what we wanted and it would help teach our step grand daughter about grocery shopping. When I was her age (11-1/2 years old) I was going to the store alone for my mom or with my brother or sometimes my sister. My mom knew what items cost and she knew how much would fit in a bag of groceries. She gave us a list and the money and we took care of what needed to get bought. We didn't have a car when I was growing up, so oftentimes had to go to the store several times weekly to get what was needed.

To make it seem like "fun" to take our step grand daughter to the store, we decided to "pay" her for her help. We gave her the option of either $5 a week in cash or buying something at the store that cost up to $5. If she purchased an item that was $2.30, then we didn't give her the difference of $2.70.  It was either or. Cash upfront or item(s) up to $5. Most weeks she chooses items to buy. 

She helps by getting items off the shelf, looking for items, etc., and we are teaching her how to comparison shop, look for the best prices, things on sale, etc. The wee one enjoys sitting in the cart and looking around.

Before I would write my list randomly of what was needed and I could keep track of it as we weaved through the aisles of the store. But having to keep an eye on the wee one and the step grand daughter got to be a bit too much and I found myself having to go back to make sure I got everything on the list.

So I devised a "shop by section" shopping list (which I am sure is very common, I just hadn't searched for one).

And made something similar to this below. Listing the different departments in the order we would "hit" them. Up until this past weekend, I would weekly hand write the categories until I realized I should write one out, print it and be "good to go."  So as I'm getting together the list, I write down in the various departments what is needed.



This week's finished list looked like this. There were other things we bought, but things we routinely buy or check out the aisles, like the chip aisle for instance. 

As we shop, I cross off the items. It is always a good feeling to get to the end of it :) And I'm always grateful to have the money to be able to by what we need and want.

In case you read the list, under baby when it says "protein x2" it means baby food that has some type of protein (chicken, etc., in it). We keep a supply of baby stuff here, formula, diapers, baby food, wipes, etc., so when we watch the wee one, they don't have to bring stuff with them for his care. So protein x2 would mean two packages (two to a pack) of baby food that would be considered a meal.



This system works for me. A few years ago I wrote a post "the list works if you work the list". I'm too lazy to search it out and highlight it here. But basically if you write down things on the list and use it for shopping, you'll get what you need.

I still believe the list works if you work the list. As long as it is written down, it is purchased. There are still those times when I forget to write something down and think I'll remember it.

And you know that rest of that story.

Do you use a list for grocery shopping?

47 comments:

joeh said...

My wife writes a list and puts items in the order youfind them as you go up and down the aisles. Unfortunately I can't read it.

TARYTERRE said...

Lists work, I agree. And no DEVICES needed. Just a good old fashioned list.

TARYTERRE said...

PS) And making it a learning experience for the granddaughter is PRICELESS.

Eileen T said...

Yes, I always do a list to save me having to shop again for everything I forget the first time! I've always organised my list by aisle so that I can get around the store as quickly as possible - shopping is my least favourite activity!

Sally said...

Lists work better if you give it to your husband and send him shopping on his own - he only gets what is on the list! It works out much cheaper that way. I often write my list and then leave it behind!

SweetMarie said...

we do use a list and I put it by categories, just not listed under categories. I really like how you are teaching your granddaughter, I bet your son and wife appreciate it. :}

Joanne Noragon said...

I cannot walk a huge grocery store any more, so my granddaughter does the shopping, We each make lists, and combine them before we shop. I can walk around our produce/meat store, and it's such a treat to buy such good vegetables and bacon.

Jo said...

I have always made a list for grocery shopping. We write stuff down all week long. Not, as you said, the things we get every week, but the things we don't get regularly. I think the section idea is a good one though, I might try that.

Pat Hatt said...

A list sure can do the trick, I still remember at the moment though. Not at that age yet lol great you are teaching her too.

Bijoux said...

I plan my weekly meals at home with recipes and write out my initial list. Then, I go back and write a new list in the order of how the store is arranged. Then I get mad when the store changes its aisles and product location! Ha! Maybe I should do it by section like you.

Tanya Miranda said...

I must use a list, there is too much craziness in my head to waste space remembering grocery items. My list is on my phone, so I can add to it throughout the week as I notice a short supply of something. It's very useful to have it on my phone.

Sometimes, but not all the time, I take my 9-year-old son shopping with me. I have him race down the aisle for cereal or milk or whatever, and he makes a game out of it. It's also a way to show him how much work it takes to feed a family, clip coupons, carrying groceries and help put stuff away. Sometimes he gets restless, and I take his best friend with us to make it more competitive. Boys love racing to see who gets what first, and who got the most items on my list. It's pretty fun.

Maria Zannini said...

That is so smart to teach your granddaughter how to shop. These are valuable lessons, things she'll keep with her for a lifetime.

I always carry a to do list, which also has my grocery list. The sad part is when I forget the list at home. Oy.

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

One of the two outings I make each week is to the grocery store. I don't and it at all and always write out a list . I never thought about doing it in sections though, that is a great idea! Nice you can spend time with your grand children and teach the older one a few things too. This time spent will be remembered for man-years and hopefully appreciated too. Hope you have a wonderful week ahead. Happy Monday!

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

Sorry for the typos above...I meant I don't mind grocery shopping and the time will be remembered for many years...not man years. Auto correct is not a good thing sometimes.

Joanne said...

I use a list and still forget stuff. I hate when a grocery store rearranges their aisles because I tend to be on autopilot. Don't make me think, folks!!! or play hide and seek with something simple that I buy weekly. Sounds like you are working out your system - good luck

jack69 said...

Okay I will confess. I read the first line and laughed! I read the lists before reading the blog and told Sherry Imma get Betty she has baby on the list! Then I read and you explained. LOL

Also I commented on the grocery list being categorized, then you explained that also. So now I got nothing to comment on. hahaha!

Great entry, loved it. BUT BUT I have been at the age I needed lists forever!! :-(

Mac n' Janet said...

Absolutely have to have a list, one for me and one for my husband, we divide. He gets the heavier stuff, plus eggs.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I make my list by how the store is laid out though once in a while I have to backtrack. I also organize my coupons in the order the store is laid out. Makes everything faster. I have to write down things too.
Great idea teaching the youngsters how to shop.

Debby@Just Breathe said...

I've always used a list for as long as I can remember and I like checking the list off as I shop. I've never planned meals for the week but it is something I want to do when Mark retires. Looks like you have come up with a good plan!
Debby

Intense Guy said...

I definitely need a list.

http://viewsfrombenches.blogspot.com/2013/09/the-list-works-if-you-work-list.html

Sheena-kay Graham said...

No list. At 32, I still think too much of myself. :p

Mevely317 said...

That's so neat how you continue SGD's consumer education ... and she gets paid, to boot!

Yes, I'm a compulsive list-maker (LOL)! I close my eyes and try to write everything out in the order in which items are located which is good -- until someone gets the bright idea to move things around. Your method looks like a better idea.

Question? Do you happen to do this? I'm pretty sure Tom thinks I'm nuts, because before we get to the check-out, I try to arrange all the nontaxable stuff on one side (taxable on the other), then group the stuff that needs chilled. OCD much?

Have a great week!

Denise said...

I make a list. Then I forget to take it to the store. If I do forget something I need, I can usually improvise.

Saleslady371 said...

I do use a list, every time because we live a ways from town so I have to be vigilant and keep a list going or I'll forget! I like your ideas of training the children too. Never thought about that but it makes sense and isn't it the wise thing to involve them in the chores too. Our wee one, 2, helped me with laundry when she visited over the holidays. I still get tickled thinking about how we created that assembly line at the washer and dryer and worked together so old grammy here wouldn't have to bend to the laundry basket so much! I send leftover home too ... every time!

Wendy said...

You're a gal after my own heart. I do that category list too: Produce, Meat, Dairy, Spices and General Cooking/Baking, Cleaning, Snacks, etc. This is especially helpful when I need specific items for a new recipe. What I need though is to be better about planning meals for the week.

Our local Kroger store has an online shopping program. Order today; pick up tomorrow - $5 service fee. My daughter has started doing this now that her 1-year old has gotten more difficult to contain in the cart (she gets antsy and starts climbing out). My daughter says she's saving about $30 a week because she no longer is impulse-buying. Plus seeing the items online is easier for price-comparison.

Juli G said...

I use lists for EVERYTHING. Tony put Post it notes in my Christmas Stocking. Currently, I have a post it on the back door for the pledge sheets and photo moneys due tomorrow for the boys, a recipe ingredient list in my purse, and a "fish filter" not to remind me to stop at the pet store.

When the boys were little and I was introducing Tony to them (I think they were maybe 3 and 4) he would meet me at the grocery store and grab a cart. Once in the first aisle, we'd rip the list down the middle and "race" to see who could get done first.

The boys loved it. :) It probably helped that got to make race car noises all over the store.

Plowing Through Life (Martha) said...

I LOVE what you are teaching your step granddaughter. It is such a wonderful and practical life lesson. She will really appreciate all this when she's older and puts those skills to work regularly.

We also didn't have a car when I was growing up so frequent smaller loads of shopping were very common, although my mom did have one big delivery to the house per week.

I always have a list with me when I'm shopping. I can't remember everything, particularly something out of the ordinary. Sometimes I even forget the common things like milk and cereal and butter because I didn't notice if we'd run out or not! So I write everything down before I head out.

Birgit said...

I have used lists for years and I stick to it for the most part. I look at flyers and get coupons. The other thing is, make sure you are not hungry when you go shopping because you can veer away and buy the darnedest stuff.

Liz A. said...

I don't write a list anymore. I did when I was shopping for others besides myself. But when I plan to shop, I kind of think of the store layout as I think of what I need, so I plan my trip through the store. Kind of like a memory castle.

baili said...

found this system very nice and interesting friend!
it's been many years that we write the down the all things we need for the monthly use .
Here my husband is the one who does shopping except my clothes and he asks me write everything which i need and when he brings all the stuff he also brings back the list marked by shopkeeper for each item he packed .
when i go with my husband for my personal shopping i mostly get my memory back after returning the market that oops i forgot to buy this or that and it irritates my hubby a lot lol!

glad your grand kids help you in shopping my boys are too naughty to do so .

www.roughwighting.net said...

When my kids were young and up through their teenage years, I grocery shopped weekly. I planned the dinners for the week and had a list of all ingredients needed. I took my two children with me and taught them at an early age how to (1) behave in a store, (2) look for items (3) look for the best priced items (4) stack them neatly in the cart and check off on the list (4) be polite to others in the store and to clerks and the cash register person. I think they learned a LOT of lessons. We also enjoyed each other's company in the store. Now, my guy and I are empty nesters, and I go once a day to the store, it seems. I don't want to think ahead for just the two of us. But I do shop every once in a while with my young grandchildren, and their mom (my daughter) has them so well-trained, they fill up my cart for me and I barely need to do a thing! :-)

lyndagrace said...

How brave of you to grocery shop with two kids. I haven’t done that in a long time!
Ross does most of the grocery shopping. And he does a list, on his phone. His phone has that dictation capability, so he doesn’t even have to type the list.
When, back in the day, I did the grocery shopping, I never used a list. I kept it all in my head. I probably wouldn’t be able to do that now either.

Linda said...

Love it, the 3 L's - lists, learning and leftovers! Take care (:

Ruth said...

I also make a list. I put the items in order of what aisle they are in. I have to cross things off or I end up forgetting something. I do not shop well without a list.

Paula Kaye said...

I used to make the list on my phone. An app called Out of Milk. I love that app. But now, since I no longer grocery shop, I just keep a running list going at the Clicklist Site. I love not grocery shopping!!! I am glad you are teaching your granddaughter about the grocery store. Isn't it interesting that she would rather get something than get the money? Harley would take the money. And she would save it for a rainy day!!

Bobbi and Gracie said...

This is a great idea! Fortunately for me, Gary does the grocery shopping and I just write down what we need. He has his own formula I suppose... I am not a good grocery shopper because I rarely check prices. I see it. I want it. I put it in the basket. And now you know why HE does the grocery shopping! It's one less argument we have.. lol

yaya said...

I always make out a list. I do a weekly menu also. I almost never have to go back to the store during the week when I do this. I do it by hand weekly but I might make up a list and print it out and then just check off the boxes. I love running a line through the items as I put them in the cart. Jack and I go together every Saturday morning. I always find some weird item in the cart that he manages to find and slip in! (This week was pickled beets...really Jack?) I have some funny memories of taking my kiddos shopping when they were little. My favorite was the time my youngest (about 2yrs.old) saw one of the Greek Monks from a monastery near us. He would shout out "It's Jesus" every time he saw him in the isle. The monk had on a long robe, beard, and I guess he thought it was Jesus! Embarrassing!

Victoria Zigler said...

I'm glad you've found a method that works well for you, and think it's great that you're teaching your step-grandaughter to shop, and encouraging her to enjoy doing so.

We make a list for our monthly trip in to town to the petstore and such, seporated by store, but we don't make a list for actual groceries anymore, since we don't make a weekly trip to the supermarket these days. Where we live now is close enough to the local stores that it's easy to just grab what we need when we need it, especially since we don't have a car.

Nick Wilford said...

I do the grocery shopping for my family and I don't tend to write a list as we get similar stuff every week, except for occasional changes when the kids' "tastes change" and they don't like something they used to eat all the time (anyone else know about this? It never happened to me and it gets me quite irate!) I have the problem with a list of forgetting to get stuff and having to go back, which happens unless I scan the entire list in every aisle. This idea of organising it by aisle sounds smart - I'd never thought of that!

Danielle L Zecher said...

I like your list template idea. I may have to borrow that.

I shop at Harris Teeter a lot, but only the sales. They have great sales, but otherwise they're too expensive for us. I get the sale ad emailed to me every week (something I set up when I registered their VIC card), and it automatically organizes everything by section.

I mostly shop Ingles the same way, and their list gets organized the same way. I tend to have a few extra things to add onto the Ingles list, and I just write those at the bottom of the printed list. It would make a lot more sense to add them to the right section, though.

I also shop Aldi a lot, since they have such great prices and cool stuff. I have to take a list, but I usually also do a lot of browsing.

I love grocery shopping so I usually spend more time than I really need to in the grocery stores.

Secret Agent Woman said...

I make a list, and even then I sometimes forget to get soemehing on it. I do try to organize it by the store's layout.

Alicia said...

I too find that now that I am older I need a list. I haven't quite gotten it down to an art form as you have, but I'm loving your idea!

DMS said...

I definitely use a list for grocery shopping. I don't have one that is as organized as yours- but I write down what I run out of or need during the week t make things easier when I get to the store. I love the idea of writing everything down by section- but my local store keeps changing up the aisles every few months.
~Jess

Sandra @ Thistle Cove Farm said...

I use lists for my life...lol. Seriously, 3-ring notebooks are my BFF and have them for every area...financial, farm, house, studio, Poppet (Scotty canned ham camper), etc. It's the only way I can keep my life in some sort of order.

Aneta said...

How great that you are using shopping as a teaching tool for your granddaughter! I do my best shopping when I have a list, but sometimes I wing it. I used to use an app on my phone for groceries, but lately I am using paper again. I sometimes lose my list and then I have to rely on my memory...yikes!

Elizabeth said...

I realized back in college that I needed a grocery list in order to remember what I needed to get :) I have an app on my phone for my list, it's called "ShopShop". I just add in the items whenever I see I'm almost out and I arrange the items in order of the sections I visit. It's simple and I like it like that.

Thea O'Brian said...

I use a list as well. If I didn't I would forget what I went for. Isn't that awful? I blame it on age. Ha!
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