We grocery shop every two weeks (or we try to) and everytime, it is the same painful process. Meal plan for the week. Write a list of ingredients we need (which always seems to be the same list over and over). Check the cupboards to see if we have any of the ingredients on that list. Cross off what we have. Go shopping. Get to the dairy section and realize we forgot something in the produce section. Walk all the way back across the giant grocery store with two crying kids in tow. Grab what we forgot and walk all the way back. Think of something that wasn't on the list that we passed... and so it goes. You know the drill.
I have been experimenting with ways to make this easier for a while now. I started categorizing my food and putting it into columns a while ago (produce, pantry, dairy, etc.) It worked okay, but it still seemed like I was wasting time every time writing the same list over and over again... milk, eggs, bread, green onion, apples... So I came up with this plan - a typed list that has all the ingredients we usually use and some blank spaces for extra things we need that we don't buy on a regular basis. This worked but still left the issue of checking for everything on the list to see if we were out or not.
Well now I finally have a great system, with a little idea from Michael Smith. Rather than check the list before he goes to the store, he keeps it posted in his pantry, and as he runs out of something on the list, he checks it off. Now when it's time to go to the grocery store, your list is pretty much ready with a little bit of tweaking for those special ingredients. I also added a column for notes and a space to write your meals for the week in case you need a refresher while at the store. Click the Scribd link below to get a copy.
I made this file in Word, so you can download it and change it to meet your grocery shopping needs. Hope you all enjoy! Now there is just one problem left to solve... the two crying children... any ideas?