When you think of organizing, the first thing on your list is probably not the thing I’m about to suggest. But if you can get this one thing organized, you are going to save so much money on headache medicine! It’s grocery shopping.

Your whole life, your mom has been telling you to make sure you take a list to the store to avoid impulse buys right? Well, hopefully, you listened - it’s going to make the rest of this so much easier if you’re already in that habit.

Roll up your sleeves because this is going to require some work but it will be worth it!

First you need to do a little research. Pick your favorite grocery store and go. Don’t buy anything, just write down the aisle order. Okay, if you must, you can buy that loaf of bread but nothing else - this is serious business! If you want to skip this step, use the following generic order (it will work for most stores): medicine, toiletries, cleaners, dairy, paper/baggies, baking & spices, cereal, canned & jars, condiments, pasta/rice/beans, bakery/bread, snacks, meat & deli, frozen, fruits & veggies, other.

The next step takes place at home. Take inventory of the things you usually buy. What do you have in your pantry, fridge, freezer, and storage right now? Write it all down (categorized in the groups above). Include things you usually buy but may not have right now.

As part of your inventory, take your best guess at what you usually pay for those items, leaving room to prove yourself wrong on your next shopping trip. If you can’t even guess at these prices, don’t despair. Simply track your purchase price for three months and you’ll know what each item should cost.

From now on, every time you write a list, keep it in the same categories above. When you shop, it will save you so much time! Color-coding will make this whole system a thing of beauty.

So, here’s how it works, you’re ready to make your list. You go to your pantry and notice you’re low on oatmeal, so you write it under “cereal” on your list. You write down the other things you are low on or notice you need to replace.

Before you go to the store, check your list against your inventory list. This is vital. One of the biggest shopping problems is that after you write what you think is a comprehensive list; you’ll get to the store later and see something you hadn’t thought of. Checking against an inventory will solve this problem.

If you clip coupons or shop the ads, keep everything together. A three-ring binder is perfect for this. You can keep your coupons in sheet protectors normally used to store baseball cards. Then tuck the ads in back.

 

Don’t want to do all this work? We’ll do it for you... click here for the Grocery Organizer.