I truly hate grocery shopping. I always feel like it’s such a time-sucker and a money pit. Yes, we need the food for eating and whatnot, but seeing the final cost always makes me cringe. It doesn’t help that I manage to always go at peak times despite my best efforts, so the huge rush of obnoxious people are not a draw, either. I decided to find a way to make it more efficient and effective. The result? My Master Grocery List.
Grocery Shopping Sucks
Besides the money and the carrying all the groceries up two flights of stairs (I can’t help you on that one, sorry), one of the things that really bugs me about this chore is that I always seem to forget something. And it’s almost invariably something that we need, or worse, something we went to the store specifically to buy. The store is a distracting place. I’m easily sidetracked by shiny objects, and the store is full of them.
Home is a distracting place when I’m writing my list, too. I used to find a scrap of paper, jot down what I needed (sometimes I’d organize it into categories if I was feelin’ froggy), and bring it with me to the store. Then I’d toss it and start from scratch the next time. This leads to forgotten items and disorganization. It’s a pretty terrible system that lots of people use. I propose a change!
How to make a Master Grocery List
I think that if the bullet journal can organize other random scraps of paper, it can organize this one, too. So I opened up to a clean white spread in my Leuchtturm and started creating categories. Under each category, I wrote down a list of items that we frequently buy. For example, under Dairy, I wrote milk, creamer, eggs, etc. I did this until I exhausted all of our regular purchases.
But how will I add unusual items to my list? This is where page markers come into play. I have two kinds of page markers that I use in my Master Grocery List: new items or elaboration. For instance, under my cheese listing, you may notice a gap. This is so I can add a marker underneath, which will have the specific kind of cheese written down. This way I won’t have to list out all the different cheeses we get on a regular basis. Of course, if you would prefer more room to write, you can use sticky notes instead and accommodate for the size of the sticky in your permanent list. I color coded my page markers, but you certainly don’t have to!
To mark what I need, I lightly draw a bullet next to the item with a pencil and erase as I go. This allows me to keep one list for a while. I personally don’t mark the amount of what I need next to the item because I am able to remember how much we need or how much we typically get. If you want to add a space next to the item to pencil in an amount, go for it! The Master Grocery list is as flexible as you need it to be, so don’t be afraid to make it yours. It is one of the primary reasons it is one of my top bullet journal spreads.
The beauty of the List is that when you finish shopping, you just pull those sticky notes or page markers out and toss them. Or you can keep them in the Master Grocery List until the next time you shop so you can have a reminder of what you recently bought. Another alternative is that you keep your Master List in your bullet journal just like this, but you simply use it as a template and you write your list on a sheet of paper to take along to the store. That way you can have the satisfaction of crossing out an item without worrying about forgetting anything important!
I also really enjoy having a hardcover journal with me at the store. I hated having to keep an eye on my list so it wouldn’t flutter away, and marking stuff off was always a minor irritant. Now I can prop my Leuchtturm open with the help of a binder clip and be able to quickly reference my list without any worry of it sliding around or slipping out of the cart.
Make Shopping More Enjoyable
If I’m going solo, I usually just pop in my Prime Music and just listen to something upbeat and jazzy. It’s amazing how much more fun shopping can be when you’re jamming out to your favorite music with zero commercials. Hop on over to Amazon to try a 30 day free trial (or a 6 month free trial if you’re a student) and see what I mean. Besides, you can order whatever items you forgot and have it arrive at your home with free two day shipping! What’s not to love?
I also like something so mundane getting brightened up by a vibrant spread. I used my new Tombow Dual Brush Pens to draw out my spread, and I love the finished look so much. I used my trusty Micron pens for the items on my list. These pens are a great option for anyone who prefers a simple, bold line over a flourished, colorful hand lettering. I would highly recommend these for a list that you’ll use again and again.
Having a Master List in my bullet journal makes it super easy to remember important items and keeps my trip short and sweet. Not to mention it keeps me on task and away from the tempting add-on items plus it pairs beautifully with my recipe bank! This perk saves me money and keeps me eating healthy. So draft up your own Master Grocery List and see how much easier your next visit to the supermarket can be!