Wednesdays are simplicity days at SimpleProductivity blog.
Shopping, particularly grocery shopping, is one of those things that we have to do. It can be an irksome task, but by using technology, we can simplify it and get it done and over with, so you can get back to your life.
In this article, I’m going to look at various ways to organize your shopping lists, using technology, so that it becomes easy to get it done.
Make A List
I almost didn’t write about this, but honestly, if you are going into a store without a list, you will probably forget something, which means another trip to the store. So the first thing you can do to drastically simplify your shopping is to make a list. Make sure you write everything you need down. Don’t rely on your memory, even for one thing.
General: Organize the List
The next step to simplify shopping is to organize your list.
Multiple stores. If you need things from multiple stores, make a separate list for each store. It makes it easier than scanning through a large list multiple times.
Group the list. You can group items based on where they are found in the store. For example, put milk next to cheese. Put frozen peas next to ice cream. Put avocados next to lettuce.
Sort by area. This step means you need to know your store. Grocery stores are organized by aisle. By putting things together that are in the same aisle, you know exactly where you need to go. Most grocery stores have a map of the store you can reference.
Paper and pencil is fine for making a list, but why not use technology to make it easier?
Reusable lists. Having a “template” list available, already put into groups, can help kickstart your list. You buy the same things week after week; put those on the list and then just add the extras. You can make one in a simple text editor.
Spreadsheet. Putting your items in one column, a grouping in the second, and an aisle or location in the third, you can quickly sort the entire list to put it in order and then print it out.
There’s an app. It’s become a joke – “there’s an app for that” — but it’s true. There are dozens of shopping apps out there for iOS and Android. Some things to make it easier: look for an application that can store a “master” list, can sort, and can have locations. Online or desktop access is also a plus. Some apps allow you to select where you can buy an item, so that no matter where you are, you can see what you may need to get.
(My favorite for this is Grocery Gadget, http://www.grocerygadgets.com)
By applying some simple technology, you can make a shopping list quickly, and have it ready to whisk you through the store. And the time you save? It’s yours to do something fun!
Photo by the Italian voice