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Dec 1, 2011

Mommy Hacks - Grocery Shopping Edition

Today I wanted to share something that has totally revolutionized my grocery shopping. Yes, get your hopes up *wink wink*
For years I've been making my grocery lists by just writing items down in no particular order. Then when I get to the grocery store I glance at the list as I walk through the store and try to categorize it in my head- the head that holds my mommy brain. (FYI, I usually shop at Wal-Mart, and I always start from the back and work my way to the front.) My ultimate goal is to not get to the fruit and veggie section and suddenly realize that I forgot the sour cream. Because when you have children in tow, trekking back to the sour cream sometimes just isn't worth it. It's sad, but true. Anybody relate?
So, you would think it wouldn't have taken me this long to figure out that categorizing items on paper BEFORE I actually get to the grocery store would save me TONS of time and energy. And what Mom doesn't need more time and energy, right? 
So one day when I went shopping alone (glory, hallelujah!) I mapped out the Wal-Mart grocery layout. When I got home I made a non-fancy, but extremely helpful grocery list template (partially pictured above) according to my findings. Here are the categories I used (from the back of the store to the front):

1. Baby
2. Dairy
3. Drinks/Snacks
4. Cleaning/Paper Products
5. Chips
6. Breakfast
7. Baking/Seasonings
8. Juices/Candy
9. Soups/Ethnic/Canned/Rice
10. Pasta/Condiments
11. Bread/Coffee
12. Frozen
13. Meats
14. Fruits/Veggies
15. Toiletries/Miscellaneous

I can't tell you how much time this has saved me. I can whip through the grocery store and get all my groceries for the week in 30 minutes tops--even with the boys in tow. Such an elementary concept with such revolutionary results! Of course, I'm sure you guys already do this. I'm a little slow sometimes all the time. 
So what other tips do you have for more efficient grocery shopping?? Any ideas for shopping with little ones?? Do you have any strategies we should know about?? I'd love to hear your secrets! 
And I'm sure there are plenty of other Moms out there who would love to hear your secrets to! So commence sharing!

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