Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Mom Tip: Shopping List

Kind of random but here's how I do my grocery shopping list. I keep a magnetized paper pad on the fridge and write down things as I run out or as they occur to me. Then Saturday or Sunday when I make my menu plan for the week I write down everything else I'll need.

But the list is all jumbled, not in categories - RECIPE FOR SHOPPING FAILURE!

Between scolding, wiping noses, giving snacks, and issuing nonstop threats with one or both kids at the grocery store, I'm lucky to get anything on my list, much less read through and double-check it in every aisle.

So on my computer I have an excel list divided into categories. I take my handwritten list, enter it into the computer and print it out - makes life much easier!

But since moving to Virginia, with it's overwhelming shopping choices, I shop at four or five different stores, depending on the sales, or what area I'm going to be in for other errands. And of course all stores are arranged differently, and it's hard to keep track where things are in each one. It makes me crazy to have to backtrack when I've got ticking time bombs in tow.

So for the stores I frequent the most, on the back of my list I've written down the aisle numbers and what they contain. Then I've come home and made a custom list in excel for each store, not just with categories but with aisle numbers so I can really hopefully get what I need in each aisle:


I guess it kind of sounds obsessive but grocery shopping with kids is a science and takes as much preparation as possible. And even then it can be harrowing. Since preschool has ended I've taken both girls a few times, and usually come home in a deep sweat and having forgotten several things anyway. And in a bad mood to boot. So I'm back to my NY routine, which is getting up at 6am to shop before Ed leaves for work. Even so, the shopping list thing helps a ton so I'm not searching like crazy; after all, who likes to think at 6am?

9 comments:

esodhiambo said...

Wow! You are a pro. You would hate the way I shop. I would be embarrassed to tell you. I bow down to your organization!!!!

My grocery store (Wegmans--it is local to here, but I know they have expanded down to NOVA now) has a printout at the front of the store to help you plan--it has all the aisles listed and stuff there. They also have a computer where you can enter specific products, then it will organize that into aisles and print out for you.

I should take advantage.

Kudos!

Kelsey Carreon said...

I love this.. I thought I was one of the very few who was so obsessive about grocery lists and well just lists in general! I do suggest a trip to Wegmans.. I think it is over in Fairfax over by the Costco ... near Fair Oaks Mall... we visited my parents and went everyday we were there... we still talk about it and it is been 4 years later. lol (yes we are nerds) I have been doing my lists on Word but I do think it is time to switch to Excel.. thanks for the great ideas. Once again Kari... you are the good idea queen.

Shells said...

We use a magnetized list that we bought at Target which is divided into categories with specific things listed as well as plenty of write-in space. I love it and it helps a ton. I don't do aisle numbers, but sections like "Dairy" usually get you to the right place. There are some items that could be anywhere that it would be good to know aisle numbers for. Then when Dave and I go grocery shopping together, we tear the list apart and each shop for our "half" of the list. It becomes a sort of game. We always end up with some duplicates though...

Shells said...

To add to the Wegmans thread - when we were still living there, we would enter our groceries online in the Wegman's tool and it would print out your list with the aisle numbers on it. I forgot about that, it was AWESOME. And it would save your list so you could change/update it the next time and not have to double type it all.

Disco Mom said...

Emily, you should be ashamed - to have Wegmans and all its tools at your disposal and not use them!!! A crime. Especially if you can do it online, since doing it at a kiosk while the kids "wait" wouldn't work for me.

I do love Wegmans but it's not practical to go there for regular shopping. But when we go to Fairfax for the day sometimes we go there with my mom - shop, get treats and sometimes lunch too. If it was closer I'd shop there always, always.

Michelle, awesome to split the list. I don't think Ed and I have grocery shopped together since we were dating.

Kelsey, besides grocery lists I'm disorganized with my lists - I make to-do lists on post-its and then lose them typically. Less effective.

dave said...

A piccie of the one we use is @ http://www.realsimple.com/home-organizing/organizing/organizing-products-00000000007024/page3.html, but apparently as Michelle mentioned you have to actually buy it at Target.

Still it combines what you're doing on the computer in terms of organizing by grocery type with the convenience of having it on a magnetic pad in the kitchen so you only have to record things once.

Disco Mom said...

heck yeah, dave, that's perfect! too bad i don't have marketing connections, i could've made my million. this magnet pad saves a whole step! i'm looking for it next time at target.

Just Katy said...

I am in awe.

kat said...

what i want to know is the secret to actually planning out meals ahead of time!

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