How to Keep a Shopping List

A shopping list is really a supply list. If you keep it, you can use it as a checklist as you scan your kitchen, pantry, feed and garden supplies to see what you need. You can organize it according to the stores you will buy the items at, and even the layout of the store. You can begin to build a list, and add to it as you go along. If you keep yourlist, and you’re faithful to your list, your list will love you back; it will actually tell you a lot about you and your habits. After a couple of months you may not have much to add or change on your list, but the changes will probably be more meaningful.

You can clean on cleaning day if you have your cleaning supplies. You can cook whatever you dream up if you have a well stocked pantry. You can get in and out of stores if you know ahead of time exactly what you need. You can avoid wasting time going back and forth to the store by keeping staples in supply (and also buy them when they are on sale.)

I like to do all my shopping one day a week, making a big criss cross circle around town, carrying my list and a few coupons. The cheapest place I know to buy butter from grass fed cattle is at the Farmers Market, two pounds at a time. I also buy raw milk (to make yoghurt), eggs and local honey there. So there’s the beginning of my list. I also have my supermarket list and my wholesale list, all the places I go to get everything we need, or think we need, or want on a regular basis.

You are the master of your list. It reflects your conscience, your health habits, your income, your organizational skills or lack thereof, your knowledge of your family and what each member needs. So don’t be impatient to finish your list; it is an ongoing project. You can begin by just writing down everything you can think of that you buy for yourself and your family.

Group your items in ways that make sense to you, and that will assist you when you are out in the field, from canning supplies and animal feed, to garden and pantry items. Think about each season, but don’t feel like you have to fill in everything right away. If you have some bad eating habits you could begin by not putting the worst offenders on the list at all.

Think about each food group, and your favorite dishes, the ones that you actually enjoy cooking. Do you like, or want to learn to bake? Keep some flour, raw sugar, baking powder, salt, yeast and vanilla extract around and you will find that it’s not so hard to put that together and make something. Think about everyone’s favorite vegetables. Make sure you keep something fresh like lettuce or cole slaw at hand if it’s available. Brown rice, pasta, oats, sweet potatoes, beans, whatever excites your nose and makes your saliva flow.

Think about breakfast, lunch, dinner, healthy snacks for games and meets and outings, and then forget about it after you write it down. That’s the beauty of the written word. Now you just pause to consider each item on your list once a week. It’s checked or un-checked that’s it. You’re not scratching your head in the supermarket, or sending a frantic shoppingtext when you’re hungry and tired to someone not available at that time…

If you live alone, or you run a household or a homestead, keeping a shopping list is a useful and telling tool. You can keep it on an app, or print out copies to make check marks, or keep one copy and make dated columns with check marks. You will without a doubt save time and money by more carefully refining you needs and wants.

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