How to Organize Your Weekly Shopping List

A woman writes a grocery list
Jennifer Brister / Stocksy United

A shopping list comes in handy when you're headed to the grocery store each week, but jotting one down last minute before you walk out the door is cause for forgetting things. Keeping a weekly shopping list handy is a great way to keep organized and ensure you're filling your fridge and pantry with everything you need for the week. Here's why you should consider keeping a master weekly list:

  • It helps when you're out and about. Not sure if you're out of tissues or toilet paper or baking soda? Check your list.
  • It will keep you from buying duplicates of products you don't need.
  • It will help you communicate with other members of your household on what is needed. 

Organizing a weekly shopping list is a task that should be kept fairly simple. Categorization can be a good tool to organize your list, divvying items up by store (grocery, high-end market, bulk store, drugstore). Whatever works for you, do it. The following lists include items by product as a general template or guide to get you started.

For special occasions like Thanksgiving, Christmas, and parties you may find it helpful to start by dish. Write down all the recipes you plan to make, then list all the ingredients. Finally, organize the ingredients by which section of the grocery store you'll walk through first: for example, starting with produce, meat, canned goods, baking supplies, etc.

Groceries

One useful way of organizing your list is by following categories based on the setup of the groceries you regularly shop in. This will help so you're not running back and forth all over the store.

  • Produce
  • Meat
  • Fish
  • Grains
  • Dairy
  • Snacks
  • Spices
  • Staples
  • Frozen

Bathroom Supplies & Toiletries

While I am not a fan of buying in bulk, it is handy to have an extra tube of toothpaste and bottle of shampoo on hand for emergencies. Another option is to use Amazon Subscribe and Save so your toiletries are delivered when you need them. 

  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Hair Gel/Oil/Mousse/Cream
  • Toothpaste
  • Mouthwash
  • Floss
  • Hand Soap
  • Shower gel
  • Facial moisturizer
  • Body moisturizer
  • Sunblock
  • Razors
  • Shaving Cream

Household Supplies

Buying in bulk is more acceptable here because you can store much of this in a basement of attic storage space. Just make sure they are labeled and that anything sensitive to climate (like laundry detergent) is kept at a normal room temperature. Again, Amazon Subscribe and Save service for large items like bulk toilet paper and paper towels may be a great idea. This will help you prevent lugging them home form the store when you could just have them delivered straight to your door. 

  • Toilet paper
  • Paper towels
  • Tissues
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Laundry detergent
  • Lightbulbs
  • Batteries

Office Supplies

Things like staples, envelopes, glue and pencils. These are the items you probably don't think to buy often but when you need them, you really, really need them. 

  • Printer paper
  • Envelopes
  • Pens and pencils
  • Stamps
  • Greeting cards (birthdays, anniversaries, holidays). My filing trick for always having a birthday card when necessary, they're good to have handy.