Before having children, there was rarely a time when I’d forget something on my grocery list. Remember the good ol’ days of relaxing strolls through the market? Having a peaceful moment to read labels and ingredients? I may have even had time to compare prices! Ha! Now as a mother of 3, I’m lucky to survive a grocery store or Target experience with my children in tow. Not to mention one that doesn’t leave me (or them) in tears.
On too many occasions when the kids were with me, I’d find myself rushing through the market in order to get in and out. Of course, in the frenzy, items were forgotten. And those items were inevitably the one or two required for a meal I had planned that evening…or for school lunches the next morning.
My tough lessons paid off eventually when I decided to create a grocery list that worked with the flow of my local store. Lucky you, my years of agony will pay off because I’m sharing my secret for getting through the market without forgetting anything.
The Simple Grocery Store Game Plan
A few years ago I created a simple grid using Pages (I’m on a Mac – you can use Word, Excel or any word processing program, of course). I walked through my grocery store the way I always do (we tend to be creatures of habit) and wrote down the departments I hit, in the order I hit them. I started from the left side of my store and worked my way to the right and only wrote down the departments I frequent.
My list is also meant to be followed by rows, not columns. For example, as you see in the image below, I start on the top row from Deli to Frozen, then move to the 2nd row from Pet to Shaving / Hair. With my departments in place, I left enough space in the squares to write in items, then printed several copies to always have on hand.
Generally, I keep my stash of printouts in the kitchen and hang one on the side of the fridge each week. When an item comes to mind or we run out, instead of writing a long, running list, I add the item to its category / dept on the grid. When it’s time to shop, everything is organized on my list in the way I walk through the store.
Nothing is forgotten this way! And equally as important, I’m not zig-zagging the store with kids trailing behind me.
Grab Your Free Printable
To help you, I created a printable download with ideas and tips for creating your own Grocery Store Game Plan…
This plan works for any store you shop at frequently. And I included my sample grid in the download as well!
Another great tip is to grab a map of the store from customer service. Most stores offer a map to customers who ask for one. When we lived out of state, our local market did a major renovation and changed the entire store layout. I didn’t want to zig-zag my way through the enormous, Costco-sized market with 3 small children, so I asked customer service for a map. So be sure to check in with customer service to see if they have one for you.
Ready to dominate your time spent in the grocery store? Ready to get in, get out and get home and not forget anything? Be sure to grab my game plan and sample shopping grid right here!
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Happy marketing, friends!