How to Organize Your Shopping Lists

Keep a shopping list with you to avoid impulse buying.
Keep a shopping list with you to avoid impulse buying.

Whether you love it, hate it or just tolerate it, grocery shopping is a part of almost everyone's routine. Shopping can be time consuming and sometimes frustrating -- many people have come home to realize they forgot the item they originally went to the store to purchase. This is why composing a shopping list can make your grocery shopping, or any household shopping, more manageable and less expensive.

Shopping with a list will help you keep an eye on exactly what you need and cut down on impulse buying. This will not only save money, but will also make sure your kitchen is stocked with all the necessary foods to get you through the week [source: Zen Habits]. Nothing is more frustrating than planning a special meal and realizing you forgot a crucial ingredient, but with a shopping list, you can avoid this.

If you organize your shopping list well, you can also reduce your time in the grocery store, which will allow you to spend more time doing the things you really want to do [source: Alan's Kitchen]. There's no one perfect way to organize a grocery list. You'll need to consider your shopping style and how detailed you want to be, and you may also need to have several lists if you do your shopping at two or more stores.

If you generally don't use a shopping list, or if you're looking to revamp the way you currently organize your list, there are many resources out there to help you, from general shopping lists to Web sites and software. To get started on your new shopping routine, read the next page for tips on how to organize your shopping list.