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Writing out a weekly grocery list for the weekly family food shop is one of those chores that should ideally take no more than a few minutes but can invariably end up taking much longer.
I’ve been putting together a weekly grocery list for more weeks, months and years than I care to remember, so let me share with you the best way to plan your weekly grocery list as quickly and efficiently as possible.
If you need another incentive to streamline your weekly grocery list planning, as well as saving time putting your list together, a well planned grocery list will also save you time and money when you do the weekly grocery shop. It will also ensure that you and your family eat a healthy, well-balanced diet.
Ready to become a ninja grocery list creator? Here’s how…
4 EASY STEPS TO WRITING YOUR FAMILY WEEKLY GROCERY LIST
1. KEEP A FOOD REQUESTS NOTEPAD IN THE KITCHEN
Have a notepad and pen somewhere in the kitchen where everyone in the family can note down their food requests for the week.
This is also the place to note when a particular food item has run out and needs replacing, which will save you time when you do your food stock-take.
2. DO A FOOD STOCK-TAKE
Do a quick stock-take of the food you currently have in your fridge, freezer and pantry cupboards.
Take note of food that is near its use-by date, so that you can incorporate this into your meal plan for the week (see the next step for more details on your meal plan).
This will save you money and cut down on food waste when it comes to planning meals for the week ahead. This is particularly true for vegetables and perishable items in the fridge.
Double-check if there is anything that has run out and needs replacing from your food essentials in the pantry or food cupboard.
3. MAKE A MEAL PLAN FOR THE WEEK
Use your food stock-take as a starting point for planning meals for the family for the week ahead.
Not quite sure how to make a meal plan? Use my meal-planning made easy guide.
Some of the key things to consider when putting together your meal plan are:
- Family schedules – which family members need meals when
- School lunches – if your kids have cooked school lunches, try to avoid having the same food twice in a day
- Balancing nutrients – making sure you use a good range of healthy food
- Shopping your fridge/freezer/pantry – to make sure you’re using what you already have
- What you can batch cook and freeze to save yourself time another week
Note all the ingredients you will need for each of the meals you plan to make.
I’ve created a simple meal planner template you can use. Just scroll to the bottom of the post to grab it.
4. WRITE WEEKLY GROCERY LIST IN CATEGORIES
Now it’s time to add everything to your grocery list. But don’t write just one big long list of food items.
What you need to do is divide up the list into categories, because that way it is much easier to shop your list and keep track of what you’ve bought, what you still need to buy or things that are out of stock when you go to buy your groceries.
If you’d like to make use of a ready-made grocery list divided up into categories, you can download my free printable grocery list PDF at the end of this post.
Another way to divide your grocery list up into categories is to base it on the aisles in the supermarket or grocery store that you go to.
Whichever way you decide to categorise your grocery list, add all the ingredients you need to make the meals you’ve got on your meal plan for the week ahead.
Then add any other food items you need to buy to replenish the food cupboard, fridge or freezer, any snack or breakfast items you need.
Don’t forget to add kitchen sundries and household products such as foil, greaseproof paper, washing up liquid etc. These are the things that can really be a pain if you forget to buy them.
Once you’ve followed these four easy steps you are ready to head off to do your grocery shop, safe in the knowledge that your shop will be really straightforward and easy to do.
The fact you’ve taken the time to do a stock-take and use a meal plan means that you have a weekly shopping list that perfectly meets your family’s food needs for the week, with no room for wastage or buying things you don’t actually need.
USE YOUR WEEKLY GROCERY LIST TO SAVE MONEY EACH WEEK
If you do want to go one step further to save as much money as possible on the family food shop, you can use your list to check for coupons or special offers ahead of going shopping.
If you use one of the major supermarkets you can also earn cashback by using TopCashback. You just sign up, then find the supermarket you want to shop with and click through to it.
HOW TO DOWNLOAD THE MEAL PLANNER AND GROCERY LIST TEMPLATES
Grab a copy of my meal planner template and also a copy of my grocery list template, with the grocery list divided into categories.
If you already subscribe to Mums Make Lists you will see the templates below. Simply click the images or the links to download your copies.
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Hello, I’m Luci, founder of Mums Make Lists (Est. 2011). Over the last decade or so, I have combined my experience as a mum, journalist and shopping editor to create useful guides and lists of ideas and inspiration to make it easier for busy parents to plan and host kids’ parties and find great gifts. Read more.