Keeping your shopping organized is an important part of any busy schedule. Prepared shoppers also spend less than their spontaneous counterparts, so it pays to think ahead.
It may be helpful to have one specific day and time each week to do the bulk of your shopping, though you may need to stop at the farmer’s market once between your weekly shopping trips to ensure that you have the freshest produce. The night before your planned expedition, ask your family if they need anything, such as deodorant, hair gel, or other toiletries or items for work or school. Remind them that it will be another week before you go again, so it’s in their best interest to decide now.
You can finalize your shopping list by dividing it up into five categories: non-food items (like clothes, pans, or hardware), dry goods, produce, dairy items, and frozen items. By shopping in this order, you’ll be putting the colder items in your cart at the end, so they won’t melt before you reach home. Your shopping list should contain not only items with coupons, but also all the foods you’ll need for your recipes. Yes, you’ll have to think about what you’ll be eating for the upcoming week, but you’ll ultimately save on shopping time by being ultra-organized.
Be sure to keep your reusable shopping bags in your car or you might forget them at home. You’ll also need a bag handy to stock up on produce at your local farmer’s market between trips. Some produce, like apples and avocados, can last for a week, while raspberries and blueberries are better eaten as soon as possible.