Grocery Store Checklist

Grocery Store Checklist

Plan Ahead to Save Time, Money, and Worry

Whenever we go to the grocery store on the spur of the moment, we're very likely to spend much more than we intend, and we're also likely to forget a few things—not a very pleasant experience! Taking a moment to prepare can save you time and money and also reduce the stress of the grocery shopping experience. Here's a quick checklist to make sure your next trip to the store is a shining success:
  • A list: Obvious, yes, but the importance of a grocery list makes it worth mentioning. Shopping with a list not only keeps you from buying things you don't need and forgetting things you do need, it also makes your shopping more efficient. By grouping items on your list into categories, like “produce” or “dairy,” for instance, you can save steps by planning out the best route to take to pick up the items you need. Without a list, we far too often walk all the way to one side of the store only to remember that we've forgotten an essential ingredient that's located on the opposite end of the store, where we just came from. This small inconvenience can grow into a big annoyance, especially if you're shopping with rambunctious children in tow!

  • Kid distractions: Of course, it's best if you can find a time to do the grocery shopping while the kids are in school or otherwise occupied, but when you must take them with you to the store, plan ahead and bring a few things to keep them busy. A hand-held video game, a notepad and paper, a maze or puzzle book, a dolly, or even a calculator can help entertain your little ones and make it less likely that they make fun with unpleasant behaviors.

  • Shopping bags or a box: Don't forget to bring your reusable cloth shopping bags, or take a more resourceful approach and bring a big cardboard box or plastic bin. You'll be helping the environment by reducing waste, and you'll also save yourself some work. Your groceries will be easier to carry, as you'll be able to fit more groceries into fewer containers. Many stores offer small discounts when you bring your own bags, too, so this tip could also save you money!

  • A calculator: Bring a calculator, and you'll be able to keep a running total of how much money your spending. Being surprised at the cash register by a total that is much more than you bargained for can be embarrassing and stressful. Add it up as you go along, and make adjustments as necessary so you'll know exactly what you're in for before you get in the checkout line.

The grocery store checklist is not extensive or complicated, but the amount of time, money, and hassle it can save you is enormous. Before your next trip to the grocery store, give the checklist a quick run-through—you'll know you're ready to shop like a pro!