People always ask me, “How do YOU have time to cook so much with all that you do?”  My answer is that I make the time because I feel it’s important, and I am always trying to find ways to get more organized. During this series I will share with you some time-saving tricks that I have learned over the years. I also am not a super organized person by nature, so I’m hoping many of you will share your time-saving tricks with me, too!

First stop- the grocery list. I have struggled with the how to make a good grocery list. If I can get everything I need on a list, then I can make one weekend trip to the farmers market and grocery store and avoid many mid-week trips to the store (which suck up precious time).

I have found that a system that lets me easily add items to a list throughout the week works best. If I can add things I need on the fly, then I’m lest apt to forget when I get to the store.  On Friday and Saturday I can start my meal planning for the next week (another post to come) and start adding more items to my list.

I have tried many electronic list systems and apps.  The two I liked the most are from my own Grocery Store, Wegmans ( and another called “Grocery Gadget.”  Wegmans allows you to have a list of your favorites and then you can add other items as needed.  It then prints your list by aisle with a map of your specific store.  They also now have an app but it apparently doesn’t let you store favorite items (I haven’t used that app myself). Grocery Gadget allows you to store favorite items on your smart phone and check what you need as you go.  You can add other items as needed and all items can be organized by departments.

After trying both systems for a while I have decided that pen and paper just seems easier for me.  When I suddenly remember I need something, I just don’t always feel like logging in to a program.

Paper lists however, just don’t seem that organized and seem to waste time in the store. When I’m shopping with my kids, I want to spend the LEAST possible amount of time and avoid that tantrum on Aisle 14!  To get the best of an electronic app, with the ease of paper, I created a Microsoft Word document with my own list of staples, organized by the layout of my grocery store.  At the beginning of the week I print out the list and tape it to the inside of a cabinet.  As the week goes on, I just check what I need. There are spaces to add items in each department as well.

****Click here to download my list. ****

This follows the layout of the Fredericksburg, VA Wegmans.  Feel free to change the list and add your own items or change the order to follow the layout of your own store.

In the corner is a place for me to add items I need from the farmers market.  On Saturday I can tear off this little corner and take it with me. I then take the rest of the list to the grocery store on Sunday.

Having  a list UNDOUBTEDLY saves me tons of time in the store, and tons of money too.

Do you have a grocery list system that you would like to share?


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