How to create the perfect food shopping list to save time and money

February 26, 2016


Shopping for food is a science that can be mastered to save time and money. When creating a food shopping list, you should not think of it as a challenge because you are always pressed for time when you’re home or out and about. Your food shopping list should be part of your schedule because it will help you accomplish a successful food shopping outing to your preferred stores where you will only need to purchase what you need. Here are my tips to help you simplify your life.

Perform an inventory of your pantry and refrigerator

Before going food shopping, you should take an inventory of the items in your fridge and your pantry. Finding out what’s in your refrigerator can help you determine not only what is left, but also it can give you an idea on meal preparations for the week. Your pantry will also do the same, but the difference between your pantry and the refrigerator is the shelf life of the items or ingredients.

The key to do your pantry’s inventory properly is with an organized pantry. When fixing or organizing your pantry, always remember to place the items with the nearest expiration dates at close reach with a visible label. With cans, bottles and other types of containers, you won’t have much to do except for arranging them by expiration dates. For items such as flour or sugar,  you may buy a 5-pound bag that you transfer to a glass or plastic container for easy use. I would recommend making a temporary label showing the date of purchase and expiration date. The label can be handwritten or created from your computer or your label maker, whichever you prefer. The more organized your labeling process is, the easier your inventory process will be. 

To perform your inventory the proper way it to create a fridge list and a pantry list. These lists must be accessible and easy to read. Your fridge list can be pinned with a magnet for easy access. Many stores offer a variety of ideas. 

Always remember that your food shopping list must be itemized by sections for meat, dairy, seafood, etc. This way you will know exactly what to buy and what not to buy. A list will help you stay organize and maintain a stress-free life.

The image below is one of my favorite pin of an organized pantry. photo - Pantry -

Tracking your weekly and monthly expenses

The first step before making your food-shopping list is to assess your costs. Evaluating your expenses is a great way to create a budget that is realistic. Before creating a realistic budget, you will have to review your old receipts for reference. This would also be an excellent time to start keeping and organizing your receipts by store names or items if you can.

There are also many apps available to make shopping easier. To find a good one that fits your needs, you will have to do some research. But it is also a great idea to go back to the dark ages I call it; use a pen and paper. Nothing wrong with that at all if that helps you. If you prefer to use your computer to create a spreadsheet or a word document which is also a great idea, just remember to create an itemized shopping list that you can use over and over and also modified as many time you want.

Performing an inventory of your pantry and refrigerator and tracking your weekly and monthly expenses are essentials for saving time and money for food shopping and creating a food shopping list. Create a routine that will help you save time and money. It would also be a good idea to have your family participate in adding items to the list. This way your inventory process won’t be lengthy. Having a food shopping list at hand while shopping not only saves time and money, but also you will just buy items that you and your family need.


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