You can choose to make your grocery list as you are creating your menu plan, or you might want to focus entirely on the menu plan first, and concentrate on the grocery list after the menu plan is complete. Either way works. Just pick what works best for you.
The trick for this step is to make sure you don’t leave anything out. The point of the grocery list is to insure that your home will have everything you will need for the next week in order to feed your family nutritious meals. If you run out of something, you either have to put your creative juices to work and improvise, or you will have to go to the store, which will cost you more money in gas, and probably add unnecessary expense to your grocery budget.
An easy way to make your grocery list is to print of a copy of my Master Grocery List, found on the Printables Page. Over time, you may wish to create your own Master Grocery List using the ingredients that you buy most often. There are also many other versions of lists like this all over the internet. Using a Master Grocery List is easy and saves time because you don’t have to write anything down. You can use it in one of two ways:
1) Based on your menu plan, CROSS OUT the items on the Master Grocery List that you DON’T need. Everything else that is left is your new grocery list, already written out for you. If you use my list, there are little checkboxes that you can use as you’re at the grocery store to mark when you’ve got the item in your cart.
2) Based on your menu plan, use a highlighter to mark the items on the Master Grocery List that you need to buy. Items not marked are not needed.
If the Master Grocery List idea overwhelms you, feel free to just write out your list on any old scrap of paper. This is the logical choice particularly when your list is very short! However, if your list is longer, I highly recommend sorting your list according to the layout of your grocery store as much as possible. List dairy items together, produce all together, frozen foods together, etc. This will save you time in the store and help you to stay focused and not add any extras to your cart!
As this whole process becomes second nature to you, you will learn to incorporate the weekly grocery flyers into your meal planning and grocery lists as well. You will slowly start to develop a stock while sticking with a very low budget which will enable you to keep your weekly grocery shopping list a lot shorter. Don’t worry about this for now. Just be aware that it’s something to work toward.
With your grocery list in hand, you’re ready to move on to Step 5!