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Grocery shopping is one of those chores that can take up so much time and effort, not to mention money at the moment!
A big part of the time and effort can be caused by working out what to buy at the grocery store.
So here are some useful tips on how to decide what to buy at the grocery store and then I’ve put together a list of useful grocery list guides and free grocery list printables you can browse through for ideas and inspiration.
HOW TO DECIDE WHAT TO BUY AT THE GROCERY STORE
Clearly only YOU can decide what to buy at the grocery store. However, I can give you some useful tips to help you make that decision.
Do a stock take of your pantry/food cupboard and fridge/freezer to see what you already have and add any basics that you need to replenish to your grocery list.
Decide whether you are shopping for the week ahead or for a longer period of time. I prefer to shop weekly as this is better for buying fresh fruit and vegetables. That said, frozen fruit and vegetables are really cost-effective and very useful, particulalry in the winter months, so you might find that a weekly shop works better in the warmer months and a bi-monthly or monthly shop works in the colder months.
Think about the schedules of everyone in the household. Do you need to provide packed lunches, at home lunches? Will everyone eat together each dinner time?
It can really help to use a meal planner to plot out your meals for the week ahead, then add all the ingredients you need for those meals to your grocery list.
Think about taking advantage of seasonal fruit and vegetables. It’s when they are at their most delicious (ever bitten into a forced strawberry and found yourself massively disappointed by the lack of taste?!) It’s also better for the environment to buy seasonally – and locally where possible.
Once you’ve taken all these things into consideration you can complete your grocery list and you’re ready to shop.
If you’d like some more inspiration and ideas for what to buy at the grocery store. Or if you’d like to make use of some really helpful grocery shopping list printables, take a look through the list below and take your pick.
There are a couple of lists for vegan grocery shoppers, a couple for keto shoppers, a brilliant list for getting stocked up with your first haul of groceries in your first new appartment, a great frugal grocery shopping guide and I’ve also included a selection of my own free printable grocery shopping lists.
USEFUL LISTS AND PRINTABLES TO HELP YOU KNOW WHAT TO BUY AT THE GROCERY STORE
Emily at Small Stuff Counts credits her organised grocery list as the reason why she doesn't mind grocery shopping trips so much anymore. Grab a copy of her simple but extremely useful blank grocery shopping list that's organised into categories.
This is a great free blank grocery list printable that's divided into easy to use categories. There's a space for your total budget and your total spend to help keep you on track with grocery spending too.
Need to find a more frugal way to grocery shop for a family of four? There is a lot of detail here on how to achieve a frugal grocery food shop, complete with a free printable blank meal planner and free printable example meal plan for a week.
This is a super useful grocery list for those moving into their first apartment or house. Use it to stock your kitchen pantry, fridge and freezer with all the basics you will need. This would be a great printable for students just setting up in their first student accommodation too.
This is a brilliant charcuterie board shopping list (there's a free printable template of the grocery list) to help you put together the most delicious charcuterie board EVER! The grocery list features well thought out ideas for cheese, meat, fruit, garnish and crackers.
Sometimes it's good to laser focus in on one area of the kitchen to make sure it is fully stocked. If you fancy giving your pantry an overhaul or want to stock your pantry for the first time, use this list of essentials you need for a well stocked pantry to guide you. There's a free printable list.
Every family will have different likes and dislikes so the list of freezer essentials I have put together is a guide based on what I find most useful to have in our family freezer. Here's a very simple version of the list.
It can take a lot of effort to stick to a Keto diet, even though the health rewards can be huge. Here's a guide to the best low carb keto items you can buy at your local Walmart to help you stay on track.
Just getting started with veganism? Here is a really useful vegan grocery list for beginners. Plus there's a free printable PDF version of the vegan grocery list that you can use next time you are planning your grocery shop.
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. Plus I create beautiful party printables, from invites to party games. Read more.