Friday, January 21, 2011

Real Simple: Shopping List Organizer

When I used my iPhone as my phone/organizer/toy, I had a grocery list program that I used faithfully. I could scroll through the alphabetized list of items and touch the things I needed to add to my list. When I was shopping, I could use just the grocery list portion and tap things off as I put them in my cart. There were a few more features, like adding recipes to create grocery lists and emailing lists, but I didn't use those.

Once I got a new, more simple phone, I'd sometimes forget to take my iPhone grocery list with me. That's not a great thing considering I grocery shop once a week. I don't like having to rely on my memory for all the groceries I need for the week - especially when I have two boys "helping" me.

I saw an interesting possible solution to that in my January copy of Real Simple magazine. They developed a downloadable weekly menu plan/shopping list organizer where you write your menu down one side, then fill in the ingredients you'll need in the adjacent columns (fresh produce, dairy and refrigerated, etc.).

This week is the second time I'm using it, so I'm still undecided.

*weekly menu at a glance
*ingredients are categorized
*can post on refrigerator for easy viewing

*paper rather than electronic
*weekdays only; no weekends
*wasted white space where no ingredients need to be purchased

Another con, though with my own system instead of theirs, is having to color code things to get from different stores. ALDI is my main grocery store, but because they're so small and limited, there are some things I need to get from Wal-Mart. When Brookshire's is having a good sale, I like to stop by there for a few things as well. What I like about my old iPhone list is that if I didn't get something at one place, it stayed on the list until I was able to get it somewhere else. With this way, I have to hang on to a piece of paper - either in the depths of my purse, in a book (in the depths of my purse), or in my jeans pocket where it runs a risk of being washed and dried...

The pro with that, though, is I don't shop at multiple stores most weeks. I don't plan my menu around what's on sale at Brookshire's; I just pick up supplemental things or staples here and there when I can get a great deal on them.

Time will tell. I'm willing to continue with using their list/organizer for another 2 weeks, at which time I'll revisit the topic to see if the pros outweigh the cons. Right now they seem fairly balanced.

Do you plan weekly menus? How do you organize your grocery shopping? I'd love to hear your ideas!

1 comment:

The Professor's Wife said...

Honestly I shop so much by sale that I don't really have that organized of a shopping list, except things that we get on a regular basis. You are far ahead of me in this area