How to Organize a Weekly Shopping 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. I like to keep a running list by category. You could also organize your weekly shopping list 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.


I divide mine into the following categories based on the setup of the two groceries stores I regularly shop in (Stop and Shop and Whole Foods).

I bet your grocery store is similar. 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, I do suggest you 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, I recommend the Amazon Subscribe and Save service for large items like bulk toilet paper and paper towels because why lug 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: I buy them a few times a year when I'm at Target and then file them by month at home so I always have one handy.