Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Master Grocery List

I had heard of this thing called a "Master Grocery List" before, but it never really seemed like something I'd be all that interested in. Mostly, it just sounded like WAY too much work. The basic idea of a MGL (Master Grocery List) is to write down all the basics that you keep around the house, put them in a spreadsheet (or something comparable), and check the list each time before you go the grocery store.

Way too much work? I thought so too.

But after years of grocery shopping and hundreds of times of forgetting at least one time almost every single time, I finally decided to give it a try. So on Sunday afternoon, I sat down and began writing out all the things we buy. I didn't want my list to be basic. I wanted it to be detailed. Why detailed, you ask? Because sometimes my husband offers to go to the store for me (or sometimes I ask him) and he gets confused about what exactly I need him to buy. And because I wanted to include the strange things that I don't buy often just so I would know that they were things we DO keep in the house from time to time. And because, well....because I just wanted it that way.

After making my list, I visited several other MGL of other bloggers to make sure I hadn't missed anything. And of course, I had missed lots of things. Especially for a detailed list. So I added more things and finally came up with what I think is a complete list.

I separated my list by similar food type/isle and here is what I came up with:

(I'm listing it here because I found it so helpful when others did the same.)

BAKING

flour

chocolate chips

honey

molasses

sugar

brown sugar

powdered sugar

salt

shortening

canola oil

vegetable oil

olive oil

yeast

gluten

cornstarch

baking powder

baking soda

evaporated milk

sweet condensed milk

cornmeal

muffin mix

cake mix

brownie mix

frosting

cooking spray

vanilla


SEASONINGS

pepper

paprika

thyme

rosemary

parsley

cinnamon

cloves

seasoned salt


CEREAL/BREAKFAST

oatmeal

granola bars

boxed cereal


SNACKS

Oreos

cookies

pretzels

chips

candy

fruit snacks

Jello

pudding

raisins

graham crackers

saltines


BREAD

bread

hot dog buns

hamburger buns

pita bread

French bread


MEAT

boneless skinless chicken

chicken quarters

whole chicken

turkey breast

whole turkey

summer sausage

bacon

sausage links

ham

hot dogs

deli meat

ground beef

steak

beef roast


DAIRY

milk

yogurt

margarine

butter

eggs

cottage cheese

ricotta cheese

sour cream

Parmesan cheese

Colby-jack cheese

mozzarella cheese

cheddar cheese

pepper jack cheese

American sliced cheese

Velveeta

cream cheese


FROZEN

ice cream

Cool Whip

ice cream sandwiches

waffles

broccoli

carrots

fish sticks

chicken nuggets

garlic toast

pizza

pot pie


PRODUCE

carrots

green peppers

onions

potatoes

lemons

limes

lettuce – head

lettuce – green leaf

bananas

blueberries

grapes

strawberries

apples

kiwi

watermelon

cantaloupe

celery

green onions

garlic

tomatoes

zucchini

corn on the cob


CANNED/JARRED GOODS

green beans

peas

corn

sweet potatoes

pumpkin

pineapples

pears

peaches

tuna

applesauce

beef bouillon

chicken bouillon

pickles

salsa


HOUSEHOLD

Lysol aerosol spray

toilet bowl cleaner

kitchen cleaner

window cleaner

wood cleaner

dish soap

dishwasher detergent

laundry soap

floor cleaner

fabric softener sheets

scouring pads


PAPER GOODS

aluminum foil

plastic wrap

waxed paper

sandwich fold-over bags

sandwich zipper bags

gallon zipper bags – freezer

quart zipper bags – freezer

straws

trash bags (13 gallon)

paper plates

napkins

paper/Styrofoam cups

paper towels

toilet paper

Kleenex


CONDIMENTS

ketchup

mustard

relish

BBQ sauce

ranch dressing

French dressing

Italian dressing

peanut butter

jelly

vinegar

pancake syrup

chocolate syrup

caramel syrup

hot fudge


DRY GOODS

white rice

spaghetti

thin spaghetti

linguine

angel hair pasta

bowtie pasta

penne

macaroni

lasagna noodles

egg noodles

macaroni and cheese


TOMATO/SAUCES

tomato paste

tomato sauce

spaghetti sauce

tomatoes – diced

tomatoes – chopped

taco mix

chili mix


HBA

razor – mens

razor – womens

razor refills – mens

razor refills – womens

shampoo

conditioner

shaving cream – mens

shaving cream – womens

face wash

body wash

bar soap

floss

toothpaste

toothbrush – adult

toothbrush – child

mouthwash

deodorant – womens

deodorant – mens

tampons

pantyliners

maxi pads

lotion

chapstick

mascara

eye shadow

contact solution

OTC medicine

prescription

vitamins


BABY

diapers

pull-ups

wipes

diaper cream

baby powder

baby food

baby cereal


DRINKS

soda

koolaid

lemonade

tea

coffee

hot chocolate

juice

bottled water


MISC.

sunscreen

bug spray

batteries

light bulbs

stamps



My next part of the plan is to write out, by section, these items on notecards, laminate the cards, and place a few rings in them to keep them together. Then I'll use a dry erase marker to mark what we need and erase it with my finger as I shop. Because that sounds a whole lot easier than making a separate list and trying to cross things off as I buy them...which is what I've been doing for years.

I'll keep you posted on how things go and put up pictures when I finish my "flipbook".

Do you use a MGL? If so, do you have a detailed list or a basic list? Do you take the list with you to the store or do you keep it at home and write out a new list based on the MGL each time you shop? I'd love to know what you've found to be the most efficient way of grocery shopping!

4 comments:

Miney said...

Wow, I LOVE the laminating/dry erase idea!!! We use that for some lists around the house, but it never occurred to me that it could have outside potential! Cool beans.

Katy said...

I have a master list, I guess - I just didn't know it had a special name! I got it from my mom (updated for what we buy). It's 4 columns on a half sheet of paper. I just used it this week for the first time in a while. When I'm more focused on coupons, they - in a sense - become my list.

Extraordinary Ordinary Life said...

I use a master grocery list. I did it in Excel and I print it off and put it on the front of the fridge. Mine has little boxes beside each item and I just check the boxes for the things we need. I just print off a new sheet whenever I need one. I have some prices listed on the sheet too to try to not pay above my "target" price. I thought about laminating it, but I change it every so often so I am not sure it would work for me, but I may think about it.

Lidnsey said...

wow, I have never ever thought of this. Thank you I may have to sit down and do this.