Organize Your Grocery Shopping Trips

Rather than randomly plucking items from shelves (and forgetting the things youDavid PrinceDavid Prince really need in the process), make yourself an all-inclusive shopping list, grouped by the aisles of your grocery store. Creating the list should take just one trip to the market (and no more than 45 minutes). Better still, stored on your computer and posted on the refrigerator each week, it will be the last one you'll ever have to make.

Shopping-List Setup
1. Before you go to the supermarket, jot down your grocery list. Add to it all the items you stock your shelves with that you don't need to buy this time.
2. Take the list to the store. As you shop, write down the aisle number next to each item on the list.
3. When you get home, type up the list according to the aisle numbers. Print out several copies.
4. Stick a copy of the list on your refrigerator.

Download a Sample Shopping List

Shopping-List Upkeep
1. Superglue mini magnets (available at stationery stores) to a pen and a small stapler and keep both on the refrigerator next to your list. (If magnets don't adhere to your refrigerator, tack the list -- and a pen and a stapler, tied with string -- to a bulletin board.)
2. When you run out of an item, use the pen to check it off.
3. Staple any coupons to the list so you don't forget to use them, and write a C next to the items for double insurance.

Real Simple Reader's Tip: "Instead of lugging them home from the market every week, I stock up on paper, towels, diapers, and seltzer water four times a year at Costco." -- Christine Ferrara, 33, public-relations executive, New York City

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