Why I Made a Shopping List Template (Organized by My Trader Joe’s Layout)

published Sep 10, 2018
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(Image credit: Anjali Prasertong)

For quite a while, I was a huge fan of grocery list apps—they save paper, make it easy to add items as soon as you remember them, and are simple to share with other household members. But at a certain point I realized one unavoidable fact: I hate fiddling with and staring at my phone while I shop.

So I gave up my high-tech habits and returned to the low-fi, totally nerdy grocery list template I created during my pre-smartphone days. And you know what? It’s awesome.

I created this list in Word years ago and have been updating it as needed ever since. Because my husband and I do most of our non-farmers market shopping at a local Trader Joe’s, this list includes the items we commonly buy there and is organized so it follows the order in which we move through the store. We rarely forget anything or have to double back while shopping, which saves a lot of time, not to mention our sanity. (If you’ve ever shopped at a packed Trader Joe’s on a Sunday afternoon, you understand.)

I print out several copies of the template at once and keep one stuck to the fridge with a pen or pencil nearby, so we can check off items as we run out. The only annoyance is when the store reorganizes their aisles and I have to move things around within the template, but this doesn’t happen very often.

Compared to bar code scanners, in-store apps, and Cloud syncing, it’s all very low-tech, but this list has worked for me for at least seven years, and I imagine it will continue to do so for many years to come.

What’s your grocery list method? Are you a fan of grocery list apps or are you a pen-and-paper person like me?

This post originally ran on Kitchn. See it there: Why I Made a Shopping List Template (Organized by My Trader Joe’s Layout)