Sunday, November 18, 2012

Preparing My Grocery List

This morning as I was preparing my shopping list for the week, I got to thinking that maybe other people might be interested in how I go about making up my list.

I prepare my grocery list on Sunday mornings mainly because I can't wait to run to the mail box to get the newspaper to see what coupons and sales await me.  I do get the Meijer ad previews so I can see the ads the Friday before they come out, but there's just something about the actual paper ad that I like better.  I also save the sale ad and put it in my coupon binder so I have it when I'm at the store in case I need to double check a sale.

Here is how I prepare my grocery list:

1. Scan through the sale ad and write down any sale item I need .  Some people make very detailed lists, some make master lists of common purchases and highlight what they need to buy off their master list, and I just divide a paper down the middle and group items by category.  You can see an example here.  This week's purchases are slimmer than normal due to Thanksgiving and eating away from home a lot.  Plus, we took a family outing last night to the farmers market store that I love so we have most of the produce that we need for the week already.  I write down all the sale items that I need, plus any items that are on the list  of things we are out of that I keep on the fridge, and then add anything else I can think of that we need.  I generally also ask Hubby if he has anything to add to the list (toiletries, snacks, something he may need for treat day at work, etc).

2. Check matchups at Bargains to Bounty for any missed deals and coupons.  I always check the matchups over at because she does all the leg work for me by matching up sales to coupons so all I need to do is print off any additional coupons that I may have missed.  She also lists the latest Catelina deals (those deals where if you buy X number of a product, you get X money off instantly or in a checkout coupon), store price drops, and other unadvertised sales.

3. Cut out coupons from the Sunday paper.  I then go through the coupon fliers and clip all the coupons that I may want to use ever and then put them in my coupon binder.  Some people only clip out what they'll use that week, but I like to cut out all the coupons I may ever use and then toss the rest of the flier in the recycle bin.  Less clutter in my house.

4. If I haven't already, make up a menu for the week.  I've just started making a monthly menu, but in the past I've always made a weekly menu so that I know what I need to buy at the store each week.  This keeps me from having to make a second (or third) trip to the store to pick up any missed items.  I only include dinners on my menu because that's what works for me.  Some people plan out all of their meals including snacks but that method just does not work for me.  Once I've made up my menu, I add any ingredients that we don't have onto my list.  I especially make sure to plan out our produce needs so that I don't over or under buy.  

5. Pull coupons for my shopping trip.  I pull all the coupons that I will be using  out of my coupon binder for my trip and put them in an envelop so they are all ready to go when I get to the store.  I also utilize mPerks which is Meijers' digital coupon system.  I log in and clip any coupons I might want and then print the list to put in my coupon binder.  These coupons are almost always so very specific that there's no way I'd remember what I needed to buy without a master list of coupons.

In all, this takes me about an hour, usually less.  After I've done these five steps, I am ready to go shopping. 


  1. I'm trying to get better at this and failing miserably. I'm wondering what kind of coupon binder you have and where did you get it? Do you go shopping with the kids or wait til Marcus gets home?

    1. This is a link to my blog on how I coupon. I have a regular zipped binder that I got from my mom and I use baseball card page protectors for the coupons. In the past I've always shopped with the kids but this year they are part of a co-op so they're in class all day and I only have to teach the first class--meaning I have 5 hours every week by myself. I shop during that time now.