Monday, February 25, 2008

How to Effectively Use a Grocery List

Using a printable grocery list is a smart way to save time and money. Here are some top tricks for getting the most out of any grocery list.

-- Customize it.

Most printable grocery lists are quite generic so they can be used by a wide variety of shoppers. That's fine, however, for maximum efficiency you'll want to customize your grocery list to include the items you regularly shop for. Do this the first time you use a new list.

-- Keep it easy.

Next, there are a couple of options you'll want to consider.

1. One option is to print off multiple blank copies of your printable grocery list after you finish customizing it. Keep your copies in a folder in your kitchen so you can conveniently grab a new copy whenever you need one.

2. Conversely, you can print off just one copy of yourcustomized grocery list and drop that copy into a clear plastic sleeve. By doing so you instantly make your grocery list laminated. Just use a dry-erase marker and you can use your printable grocery list again and again.

-- Go hi-tech.

Have a personal data assistant (pda)? Then you might like a downloadable grocery list better than a printed copy. A quick online search for "pda grocery list" yields positive results.

-- Train your family (if possible).

The biggest challenge with any grocery list is getting everyone in a household to use it. After all, what good is a grocery list that's not ready to go shopping when you are? If you're like me, you must be the one who must find out what needs to be purchased for each shopping trip. But if others in your family are willing to be involved, have a family meeting. Point out where you are posting your printable grocery list and let people know that if they want things from the grocery store they need to mark them on the list. And just because an item is on your list doesn't mean you MUST buy it. You have a budget (hopefully!) and it's up to the grocery shopper to make any final shopping decisions. Nevertheless, it's much simpler to cross something off a grocery list than it is to read the minds of all the family members. A good grocery list 'rule' can be implemented like this: If you open the last of something, write it on the list or it won't be there the next time you hungrily go looking for it.

-- Make your grocery list accessible.

All the training in the world won't work if the grocery list is not accessible to everyone who has a need to write on it. For example, do you have small children? The list should be kept where they can reach it. An added bonus is that a grocery list is a great place for budding spellers to practice their skills. (For a free printable grocery list, see the end of this blog .)

-- The most important step.

Sometimes shoppers moan that they did fine compiling a list at home but they can't seem to remember to take the grocery list to the store with them. I suspect we've all had that happen to us at some time. This is a point worth pondering. Without the list, your shopping can easily blow your budget as well as take much longerthan it should. So take a minute and think about how you can always insure that your printable grocery list goes with you to the grocery store. Write yourself a reminder note on your calendar or schedule, get a key ring that reminds you of your list, whatever it takes to jog your memory.

A printable grocery list WILL save you time and money, but only if you keep the list handy to use and encourage its usage by all family members. In fact, a grocery list is one of the smartest tools you can use in your arsenal to run a well-managed home.

Visit this website and pick up a free printable grocery list at

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