Eat Healthier, Use Grocery List To Save Time
By Pamela Redwine
Perhaps you’ve heard that it’s a good idea to shop with a grocery list. Yet even when you make a list, you still forget to buy foods you need. Do some types of lists work better than others?
Many organizational experts recommend making some type of list with similar items placed together. Grouping foods by category on your grocery list helps you remember food items and avoid a return trip to the store. Also, by grouping foods together, you’re less likely to double back in the store for a food missed when in a particular section.
To save time, you might develop a form you can photocopy or print from your computer for weekly use. Keep your list in a central location where your family can add to it as needed. Some people keep it on their refrigerator with one of those strong magnetic clips. Other people store theirs in a cupboard drawer. Be sure there’s a pencil nearby. If possible, attach your pencil to a string!
Here are some tips for developing a master list for ongoing use. Consider listing foods by categories based on the My Pyramid Food Groups. This helps assure that your meals include a mix of healthy foods.
Some people like to arrange the categories in their list around the order in which foods are found in the store.
Their master list may include such headings as “canned goods,” “frozen foods,” “fresh produce” and so on. The best way to develop this type of list is to go up and down the aisles of your store and record headings that describe your food purchases. Use the informational signs located in each aisle as a guideline. Or, check if your store provides a map showing where products are located and develop your master list from this. Be aware that stores do change where they place foods. Also, this type of listing works best if you shop mainly at one store.
Add some type of catchall grouping for condiments, staples and other food items that don’t fit anywhere else. Include categories for non-food items that you purchase at the grocery store such as health and beauty aids and household supplies.
Grouping these together has an added benefit of helping you see how much of your “grocery” bill is going for items other than food. In reality, it may be toilet paper or toothpaste rather than tomatoes or tuna that add the most to your “food” costs.