Working the Aisles: Making the List
I used to hate grocery shopping before I figured out how to do it right. I would go with a half-list on an index card, or no list at all. I was “that girl” who would come home ready to make a quiche for dinner and realize that I forgot to buy eggs.
Or I wandered through the spice aisle, thought “I really need paprika!“, came home, and already had 3 jars on the shelf.
Or, shopping would take an hour as I ran back and forth, looping around as if I was training for a half marathon. Good for endurance, not so much for time management.
Shopping without a list only leads to lots of cursing on my part.
Years of shopping with my Mom and on my own, I have developed an art to the shopping list. The grocery store becomes a place of peace and harmony, exactly what I need to prepare myself for a Sunday evening of cooking and a week of after work meals.
Including all of the right ingredients.
First, I picture how my grocery store is set up, categorizing the departments, and how I walk the aisles while I shop:
Then, I list the meals I plan to make for the week and their ingredients, plus my usual shopping list:
I group the ingredients together by category and write them in the order of how I work the aisles:
Then I go to the store, buy everything in the order they are written, and I’m done.
All of a sudden, shopping didn’t seem so hard. In fact, its a breeze. I save so much time while I’m at the store (and even have some extra minutes to browse the gourmet cheeses), plus I go home with everything I need and nothing extra. Of course, I do all of the categories in my head now and don’t have funky orange numbers on my list, but its a great way for the newbie grocery lister to get used to their shopping actually making sense, rather than being as all-over-the-place as an episode of Lost. And its just as satisfying when you finally figure it out.