using a grocery list template

I find things like grocery list templates exciting. Just me? That’s ok.

What motivated me to create a grocery list template?

Over the years, I’ve often struggled with a meal-planning rut. I dreaded making a grocery list. One year, I made a New Year’s resolution to try at least one new recipe each week. I actually did it. In fact, it’s become a habit to regularly try new recipes. Have we loved everything we’ve tried? Absolutely not. But we all are willing to make and try new things.

I started noticing that, even though we were making an effort to try new recipes, we still used a lot of the same groceries week after week. We just used them in different combinations. It made sense to create a master list of items we buy at the grocery store so we don’t have to start from scratch every time.

The grocery list is organized according to the aisles at my store.

I tend to shop at the same grocery store all the time. Over the years, I’ve learned which items are where. Of course, occasionally they reorganize, and it frustrates me until I learn their new system (understatement). When I shop, I start on the pharmacy side, then move to the back of the grocery side, and then work my way up to the front. That way I end with the frozen items, bread, and fresh produce.

I’ve organized my grocery list the same way; the listing of items matches the way my store is organized. It’s set up with five columns. It starts on the left with the items from the pharmacy side of the store. Then it goes to dairy, cleaning products and paper goods, baking items, canned fruit, world foods, condiments, pantry items, meats, drinks, frozen foods, breads, and finally the produce and deli area. I still occasionally have to backtrack (I’m easily distracted!), but this has saved me so much time.

How does it work?

I keep a copy of my template in a kitchen drawer with a highlighter. As I notice things I need to replace, I highlight them on the list. I add more when I do meal planning. Occasionally I think of an item that isn’t on the template, so I just write it on my current list and add it to the template for the next time I print. Now that I’ve been using it for several weeks, I think I have a fairly complete list. Of course, there are a few things that I rarely buy. Rather than type them into the list, I just make a note in a margin on the list I’m using that week.

For some items, I’ve listed a general term like “vinegar.” When I need a type of vinegar, I highlight it on the list and specify the type next to it. I use “B” for balsamic, “WW” for white wine, “R” for rice, etc. It saves me from listing every type of vinegar on the list.

free templates you can download

Here’s a pdf of my list: grocery list template.

If you prefer to have an editable version, try this: editable grocery list template. Your store may be organized differently than mine, and you may want to adjust the items on the list. Download the file and make it your own.

Note: You probably need to be on a computer to download the files, but you can view them using a mobile device. For the editable version, the download option is under “file” in the menu.

I hope you find it useful. Let me know what you think!

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