You walk into your local grocery store, and your head is literally bursting with ideas of all the things you want to buy. The aisles seem to be driving off every which way, and you’re left with the overwhelming feeling that you don’t have enough time to get everything you need.

From packaged foods to fresh ingredients and specialty items to household supplies, the list of things you need to buy is endless. And those with eco-consciousness, you have the option to invest in organic and local foods, choose eco toilet paper, and even opt for reusable bags for your grocery haul. However, with all these options, you know deep down you won’t be able to do it all. So, what’s a person to do?

Here are five tips for creating an organized grocery list that won’t leave you overwhelmed.

  • Always Have a Running List of What’s Needed

Whether you are trying to save money or want to make sure you don’t forget something, it is important that you always have a running list of what’s needed. Make sure your list is kept up to date. Don’t rely on your memory! Too often do I walk into a grocery store and remember something else I needed! 

Why not use technology? The best way to keep your grocery shopping organized is with a mobile app like Evernote, ShopSavvy or Google Keep. They all allow you to scan barcodes in order to add items onto your list quickly.

  • Take Inventory of Staple Items

Staple items are essential items needed on a regular basis, such as milk, eggs, butter, flour and sugar. These items may need to be purchased in bulk. And while you want your grocery list to contain everyday things like these staples, you also want it to include foods and household goods that aren’t normally stocked in your pantry. 

Why? Because by having an accurate inventory list of staple items, you can avoid overspending on them or wasting on expired products.

  • Look Up Coupons

Before heading out for your next shopping trip, take some time to browse coupons— both online and in print. Many grocery stores offer their own coupon programs and will often even send them directly to your email inbox. 

Why pay full price when you can find discounts on your most frequently used items? There are also many freebie sites like Groupon and Living Social where coupons are readily available.

  • Organize Your Grocery List by Aisle

If you tend to buy one type of food in one aisle of your local grocery store, it may make sense for you to organize your grocery list in a way where you start at one end and work your way down. 

When writing down items on your list, be sure not to neglect all specialty foods such as vegan cheese, nuts or olive oil. In fact, these special items should be written at the top of your shopping list, so they don’t get forgotten! Remember: It’s important that you buy all sorts of foods if you want to eat a healthy diet!

  • Never Forget to Specify Quantity

If you want your list to be accurate, specify the quantities of each item. For example, if you are going shopping for garlic, don’t just write down the garlic. 

Instead, make sure you specify how many cloves (or heads!) of garlic you need. The same goes for anything perishable in nature and most packaged foods!


With these tips for creating an organized grocery list, you’ll never have to experience retail therapy again.