Back in October 2014, I made a post about a way that we started doing grocery lists.

In summary, we have this clipboard near the fridge, and its got a sheet of paper and a pen. The sheet of paper is folded lengthwise into a number of columns. At the top of each column, we label it with the category of groceries, e.g. Produce, Meats, Bulk, etc...

The way it works

  1. When you need something or finish off something, add it to the end of the list in the appropriate column.
  2. Take the list with you when you go grocery shopping
  3. Cross off items that you buy
  4. Put the list back when you get home

The Results

What you effectively create is a grocery list that's exactly what you need, sorted by section which should roughly match up with grocery store areas.

This kind of list is great for us as we both have different schedules. So we can both be sure that we're getting what we love to eat and it's obvious if one of us is out grocery shopping because the list will be missing from the clipboard.

A neat unintended side effect that we found is that these lists make it extremely obvious what we're eating a lot of and what we're not eat enough of.

Currently, our grocery list is folded up in to 4 double columns (so 8 total) - so that we can start back up at the top as some columns fill up faster than others.

Our 4 sections are:

  • Produce
  • Meats, Eggs, Dairy
  • Canned, Frozen, Bulk Bins, Juice
  • Household, Personal, Etc.

It's totally ok to change up the columns as needed. We've found that with the change of seasons and locations, our diet changes as well - and so do our columns.

After a year of doing our grocery lists this way, it's become automatic and we've found that it vastly simplifies food shopping - it's really quick, easy, we don't forget things - and we always have our favorite foods in stock!