Supermarket Savings: Build a Better Grocery List

Shopping list
Shop smarter with your grocery list

Creating a grocery list will save you money, but what you really want to do is slash your food bill and save thousands every year! How can you do that?

Pick a time of day to create your list when it’s quiet and you’re not hungry. In fact, make sure you’re not hungry when you shop. Studies show that when we are thinking “hungry” we tend to stray from our list and buy impulse items, which can add considerable expense to your bottom line.

The most important step to creating a smart list is to shop the sales. Let the supermarket weekly circular serve as your guide. Each week, go online or check your Sunday ads or weekly mailed flyers to see what items you should build your week’s menu and shopping list around.

If, for instance, chicken breast is on sale this week, then you and your family should expect to eat chicken a couple of nights (or to stock up your freezer). If apple juice is on sale “buy one, get one free” (BOGO), then you should plan on having that on hand. The same goes for side dishes, snacks and desserts. Why not take advantage of these deals, diversify your menu and save money?

Before you complete any list, make sure you go through your cabinets and shelves to check for items you can use to create meals for the week. The ground beef you have in the freezer might be just perfect for that taco kit that’s on sale this week!

Search your coupon files for manufacturer coupons that you can combine with the store sales for the greatest savings. Don’t forget to check online to see if more discounts are available. It’s as simple as typing in your search engine “online manufacturer food coupons” to find items you can add and take advantage of the savings.

To make your list smarter, organize the items in the same order you’d shop for them in the store, so you can save time (and avoid impulse buys). Most customer service desks offer a list of which items are in which aisles that you can take home and use to help order your list. You can even use your computer to print up a list of typical items you buy, and put that list on your fridge to check off what’s needed. Or, install one of the grocery list apps on your smartphone that will help order your list automatically (Android grocery app reviews, iPhone grocery app reviews).

When you create a shopping list with savings in mind, you insure that you’ll keep more of your hard earned money in your pocket. So what’s your favorite way to make a list?

Image courtesy of Gerla Brakkee at

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