Why it Pays to Organize Your Grocery List

organize your grocery list

I hate to grocery shop. Like I really loathe it.

It takes up a lot of time no matter when I go to the store.

I’ve tried going on the weekends, but that’s when all of the 9 to 5 40-hour-a-week-ers go to the store.

I’ve tried going during their work hours, but that’s when the elderly people who like to walk slowly and talk in the middle of aisles tend to go to the store. That’s also when the stay-at-home-moms go and it never fails that there’s at least one screaming child in the grocery store. Sigh! (No dig to the moms, I know it’s tough to manage kids in a grocery store.)

I know several other people who also dislike grocery shopping. But it’s kind of like doing laundry because it doesn’t really matter that we dislike doing it since it still has to get done if you don’t want to survive off of fast food. But there are ways to make it go faster and smoother. One way is to organize your grocery list. Here’s why you should organize your grocery list.

Save Time

I try to write my list in the order of where the items are in the store. I also keep the true grocery items separate from the non-grocery items (though this partly because of how I budget).

I am usually in a hurry when I get to the store, and this helps me speed through the whole process quicker by eliminating the need to backtrack to an isle I have already been down once before or already passed by.

Cut Down on Trips

When I forget an item I desperately need from the grocery store, I get pretty cranky about it.

If you create a you organize your grocery list, however, you are more likely to get everything on your list in just one trip.

The time savings from not having to go back to the store for forgotten items means you can spend that time doing other things, such as spending time with your family, or you know, working on your side hustle.

Spend Less

Shopping less often and for less time means your exposure to end caps and other ploys, intended to lure you into impulse buys, is limited.

That’s a great way to stick to your list and keep money in your pocket for other needs at the same time. You are also less likely to end up at the grocery store when you are hungry because of a forgotten ingredient for a recipe you are preparing. I’d call that a win!

Plan Meals

Organizing your list can make meal planning go much quicker. When you look over your list, you are more likely to see whether or not any of the ingredients you need for a particular recipe are already on it or if they need to be added. It also makes it easier to plan your meals and your grocery list if you know off-hand what you have in your pantry, but we’ll save that for another post. 🙂

Track Spending

Keeping your grocery list in order can aid you if you like to track how much you are spending and on what items. Another way this can help you to save money is by purchasing items on sale as much as possible instead of paying full price.

As I mentioned, I keep my non-grocery items separate from my food items. This is because I budget for them separately. I will “borrow” from one fund or the other at the end of the month if needed, but I like to keep these funds separate so I can really see what I’m spending on food vs. other household supplies.


It’s much easier to keep track of your stock of certain items if you keep your list organized and up to date. You will know at a glance what you are out of and what you need to purchase.

I add things to my list as soon as I notice they are getting low. Keeping a list on the side of your fridge makes it easy to scribble down an ingredient as you are cooking.

I also keep some “stock” of commonly used items in my pantry. Whenever I have to pull out the last one from my stock, I add it to my list so I can replenish my pantry and never have to worry about running out.

Coupons and Sales

Using a list can be a great way to document which items are on sale and which items you have coupons for. I don’t know about you but it upsets me when I find out I had a coupon for something after I have already purchased it. To help me out, I put a certain symbol, like an asterisk,  next to an item if I have a coupon, and a different one, like a dot, if it is on sale.

I hope the tips you have seen here will help you to understand why it pays to organize your grocery list so you can save time and money. Maybe you will even learn to enjoy going to the store, although I’m pretty sure I won’t.

Do you know any other reasons why it pays to organize your grocery list?

Written By
Sydney White is a Texas-born stay at home mom who enjoys spending time with her family, bargain hunting and, of course, writing. She is currently the editor-in-chief of Snipon.com.


  1. This is always smart to do. Know what you buy and dont get excited by the nice colors and all the random products in the store. Just prepare and think about what you are going to need, and buy that.

  2. I used to not bring a grocery list to a grocery store, and most of the time I forget something. Now, I never go to a store without my list as it is really advantageous to have one because I don’t forget an item and it speeds up my grocery.

  3. I love your hints for grocery shopping. I have found shopping on a weekday morning to be fairly quiet, between 7-8am. You generally get a better parking spot, too! Also, I keep a “master grocery list” of basics, then I can just add a few things and cross a few things off and I’m ready to go. I also keep my list in the order he items fall in the store. I get paid every two weeks, so I do my big shopping on payday, and then a smaller trip on the opposite week.

    My biggest problem is remembering to bring the coupons, or if I bring them – remembering to use them!

    1. I wish that was the case here. They tend to stock shelves during that time of day, so the carts are always in the way of things I need to grab off the shelves. Sigh! I don’t know if there’s ever a good time to go to the store. 🙂

  4. This post made me smile because I can totally relate. I used to shop on the weekends, but now that I work from home, I go during my lunch time and have to deal with the elderly. God bless their soul, but they really need a checkout lane dedicated for them. I don’t have time to wait. Lol.

    I find myself reading my list several times while I’m in the grocery store, because there actually have been times where I’ve forgotten something even though it was on the list. Silly, I know.

    If I had to choose, I would do several loads of laundry instead of grocery shopping.

    1. I feel soo much better now! I’m glad to know that senior citizens’ pace doesn’t only annoy me. I know I’ll be old someday too, but I still get annoyed when I’m in a hurry. I try to be patient and kind, but it can be hard sometimes. I also 100% agree with you – I’d rather do at least 5-7 loads of laundry instead of going to the store.

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