Creating & Using a Master Grocery List

When it comes to grocery shopping, there are a variety of methods to help keep you organized and sane. Of course, no one method will work for everyone. I’d like to explore some different ideas with you to help kickstart your journey in finding what works for your lifestyle.

The first method I want to talk about is the “Master Grocery List.” I used this method only briefly, but I really like it and would like to begin to incorporate it again soon.


What is a Master Grocery List?

A master grocery list is an organized listing of all of your kitchen essentials — any ingredient you have to have on hand to be able to throw together quick dinners. (Spices, oils, vinegars, canned goods, frozen vegetables, grains, etc.)

Why use a Master Grocery List?

To save you from getting half way through a recipe only to discover you’re out of onion powder or olive oil. Also, to ensure you are always able to make something with what you have on hand.

How do you use a Master Grocery List?

When it’s time for you to do your weekly/ bi-weekly/monthly/whateverly shopping trip,  you will pull up your Master Grocery List. The first things that go on your shopping list are any items that you are either completely or nearly out of. You then base your meal plan around how much money you have left.

For example, if you are out of only a couple things, then you have plenty of extra cash to splurge on some more expensive items or elaborate meals. If you need to basically restock your kitchen, then you know to plan your meals inexpensively.

You can choose to keep your master list in an Excel spreadsheet, on paper in a binder, in a program like Evernote that you can access from both your computer and cell phone, or any number of other ways. It can take some time to compile and you will constantly be editing the list, but it can really help save you in the long run.

I think it’s important to include the ingredients for some basic recipes on the list also, so that you always have something you can throw together.

For example, I know if I have cumin, black beans, rice, frozen corn and salsa, I can make a very basic burrito bowl.
This recipe by Closet Cooking for Cheesy Broccoli Quinoa is another one that I try to keep all the ingredients on hand. It’s delicious and comes together super quick.

Below, you will find a free downloadable Master Grocery List to get you started. This is one I made for myself and it’s kind of extensive. Add and delete things as needed for you and your family.
This link should provide you a downloadable version of the picture of the one below: master-grocery-list


I hope this inspires some of you to look at your current methods (or lack of method) when it comes to grocery shopping and meal planning. I’m excited to explore some other ideas with you and help find exactly what your family needs.

I want to hear from you! What methods have you tried? What did you like? What did you not like?


One Comment Add yours

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