5 Reasons to Use a Grocery List (Plus a FREE Printable Grocery List for You!)

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There’s something about grocery shopping that rubs me the wrong way. I’ve never enjoyed doing it. The people clogging up the aisle, searching for each item, comparing prices, loading and unloading your cart…

It’s just too much.

I’ve started ordering groceries online, and that’s a much better experience.

But I was still overspending on groceries!

(Turns out you can still impulse shop when ordering online…)

That’s why I use a printable grocery list.

Even when I’m placing an online order, a list keeps me on track and focused so I’m less likely to buy items I don’t need.

But here’s the thing…

Using a master grocery list has more benefits than just saving money!

Whether you’re shopping in-store or online, here’s why you should take the time to make out a grocery list.

Sent me a free printable grocery list

5 reasons to use a grocery list

1. Save money

If I’m really on top of it, we can get by with spending around $400 on groceries each month. That’s for two adults and one 14-year-old girl.

But if I’m not careful?

That $400 could double.

I’ve even spent $1,000 for a month of groceries before!


A grocery list keeps me focused on what we need instead of buying things out of convenience or just because it looks good.

2. Save time

You might think using a list would take more time. You’ve got to check your list, cross items off, and review it to make sure you didn’t miss anything.

And all of that adds up.

But here’s a secret:

Using a master grocery list saves you time!

Here’s why:

You’ll know exactly what you want.

You won’t waste time wandering up and down the aisles and guessing at what you need.

Even if you’re shopping online, a list can get you in and out in a hurry.

3. Healthier food choices

Impulse shopping can be a problem, no matter how well you prepare in advance. But having a grocery list can cut down on plan healthier food choices.

It makes sense, right?

You make smarter decisions about food when you think about it ahead of time. 

If you wait until the last minute, you often pick up convenience items packed with unhealthy ingredients.

So take the time to evaluate the foods you and your family consume by making a list before heading to the grocery store.

4. Encourages you to plan your meals

Do you know what the worst question is?

“What’s for dinner?”


When I hear that, I feel stressed out. It usually means I forgot to take something out of the freezer for dinner.

That’s why I’m a huge advocate for planning meals ahead of time.

I create a meal plan and post it on the refrigerator. That way, my family will always know what’s for dinner.

Plus, I base my shopping list on the weekly menu so I have what I need in the house.

5. Eliminate stress

Remember what I said about hating to go grocery shopping?

Having a list reduces some stress and anxiety I feel about buying groceries.

When I have a list, I know just what I need. There’s no worrying about what to get. And there’s less of a chance that I’ll forget to buy milk or bread (or something else we need).

Life is stressful enough.

Grocery shopping should be easy. (Or at least less stressful!)

Want your own free printable Master Grocery List?

If you want to download the grocery list I use, you can get it here for free.

Here’s how I use it:

I print this list each week and hang it on my refrigerator. When I notice we need something, I take a yellow highlighter and highlight the item.

Before I buy groceries, I add other things we need based on the meal plan I made for the week. Because I highlight each item, it’s easy to see what I need when I’m shopping.

I cross it off when I add it to the cart and move on to the next item.

See? It’s that easy.

Want your own printable grocery list? Enter your name and email below and I’ll send the free printable straight to your inbox.

Sent me a free printable grocery list

Amy is a content marketing writer who specializes in personal finance and FinTech. She is known for her strategic use of on-page SEO and talent for transforming complex topics into content that’s easy to understand. Prior to becoming a professional writer, Amy oversaw probate and estate cases as a court administrator. She has Bachelor’s degrees in business administration and legal studies from Ferris State University and resides with her husband and daughter near Grand Rapids, MI. In her spare time, Amy enjoys camping and serving her community as a Girl Scout leader.

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