Create an Effective Grocery Shopping List

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Are the majority of the items on your grocery list the same week to week? If so, take a few moments to create a grocery shopping list that can be used on a regular basis. The tips below will help you get started.

Review past receipts

Before you make your grocery list for the week, review the receipt(s) from your last shopping trip. This will help you quickly identify impulse purchases and areas where you might need to cut back.

Highlight budget busting purchases

Highlight any items on your grocery list purchased on impulse (items that you did not intend to purchase before you entered the store) then highlight any junk food that you purchased (potatoes chips, donuts, soda, etc.). If you can live without these items, you are on your way to reducing your bill. Add the remaining items to your list for next week.

Create a customized list

Create a customized grocery shopping list for the store you frequent the most. Type your normal shopping list. Add to it any essentials you would normally need when trying to stock up. Save the list on the computer and print it out. Bring a pen/pencil with you to the store. As you put items in the shopping cart, write the aisle number next to each product on your list.

Update the list

Before your next trip to the store, update the grocery list to include the aisle numbers and the names of any products that may have been missing from your original list. Include a category for “Other” with a few blank lines for the times when you want to purchase a special treat. Save the file and print out several copies for future use.

Post the list

Use a magnet to post your grocery shopping list to the refrigerator door or tack it to a bulletin board. Add asterisks next to items with a coupon. Keep one coupon attached to the list so that you do not forget to take them with you.


Match the coupons you’ve clipped or downloaded with the items on your grocery shopping list. Take only the matching coupons with you to the grocery store. This will help you refrain from buying an item that you don’t need just because you have a coupon.


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