The Grocery List…

There are far fewer things as a homemaker to do than to put together “The Grocery List” and actually get everything you need and stick to it. Now, you may be looking at the featured image and think, “Oh, heck no!” and that’s OK. Everyone will approach putting together their grocery list differently. The key is to find what works for you. 

Growing up my mom had a list she printed out and put on the fridge. Then through the week as she new we read out of something or would need something she would highlight that item on the list. I also just saw Rachel Ray on The Late Show and Stephen Colbert was teasing her about her crazy shopping list that was a hand written chaotic mess.

For me it’s all about being organized and digital. This works for ME. This does NOT mean it will work for you or that it’s easy. I would go as far as to say there’s nothing easy about it. However that said, having switched to shopping this way, I almost NEVER buy something I don’t need nor do I forget to buy ingredients. (OK, maybe once in blue moon but it’s from a lack of planning.)

Being that I live in the country grocery shopping is a commitment. It takes forethought and planning. It’s not like I have a meaningful enough grocery store I can just run to whenever I need something nor do I want to.

So let’s talk about this CRAZY spreadsheet. First off I needed my husbands expertise to get it to do everything I wanted it to do. In the main section to the left I put in my recipe. I put in each ingredient and how much I will need. I then put in what section of the grocery store it can be found in as well as my preferred place to buy said ingredient. The last few columns are to allow me to record the price I paid at the store. The spread sheet is then designed to calculate the actual cost of each ingredient. My goal… and it’s a goal… I am not there yet… is to have a total cost for each recipe. I then want to take that and be able to plug it into my budgeting spreadsheet  so that I can see what everything I have planned to make for the month will actually cost. If this puts me over budget then I can look for an alternative recipe that is cheaper to help me keep my grocery budget on track.

Another aspect of this spreadsheet is the ability to sort different columns. I have it set up that I can check off anything I am not making and then only see the list for what I am making.


I then can sort it by ingredient and have it set up to “hide” anything I check off. I then open it on my iPad and go through my pantry, cupboards, and drawers checking off ingredients on the list. This leaves me with what I actually need to buy to make all the recipes. I then can easily sort by store or by location in the store to make getting through the store easily. When I can quickly navigate to all “produce” my husband and I can quickly work through the list checking things off as we get them and then on to “Meat” or “Dairy”doing the same. This keeps us from just wondering up and down isles and eliminates most of the temptations.

When I get home we unpack everything onto the counters. I then turn off the “Check box filter” so I can see everything again. This allows me to key in the price, the weight/measurement for everything I bought as I put it away. When everything is done I can then resort the list by the numeric column which puts everything back in order from all the sorting I may have done while shopping.

To the right I have the titles of all the of recipes on the spreadsheet so after I get everything planned into my calendar. I just uncheck anything I will be making. Below the recipe title section I have all of the non food groceries so everything I need while I am out running errands shows on this one screen.


As I said this is not for everyone but it keeps me organized and allows me to plan effectively. Find what works for you because in the end it’s about having a list and sticking to it.

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