This Grocery List Could Save Your Life

March 1, 2012   35 Comments

The grocery list above jumped out in front of a car and saved my life. Okay, I realize that is ridiculous, but grocery lists can be life savers!

Grocery List Important In Weight Loss

Why? Because if you stick to them, you will keep a bunch of CRAP out of your cart. Seriously.

The list above is empty because this isn't just any list - this is YOUR list. You need it to help you avoid the sign below:


This display of packaged snack junk food was a few steps away from the milk. It was positioned in such a way that I could not avoid looking at it.

You see, I plan to keep to the edges of the store and AWAY from most of the packaged food by just not walking by it. My local grocery store has figured out my plan and managed to put these in front of my nose. Not only do I like Little Debbies, but they are on special!!!

RED ALERT, RED ALERT, whooooo- whoooo! DING DING DING........

Will they go into my cart? NO! Are they on the list? NO! I stick to my list. I did not put them on my list because I am working on eating healthy food.

Your grocery list is one of the most powerful tools for keeping you out of the doctor's office. I don't like to use war analogies very often - but the grocery store is like a mine field.

What does your store want you to do? Buy more food. What is your goal? To be healthy and (probably) lose some extra pounds. These goals are counter to each other.

It is not like the store is trying to do battle with you - but it puts the food that is hard to resist right in your path! Maybe you could visualize these displays as large ticking bombs and just run from them. Walk quickly in the other direction and whatever you do DO NOT lift the bomb and look at it.

If you make a grocery list you will:

  • Save money (no extra food you don't need)
  • Save time
  • Avoid junk food

Yes, it takes time and planning to sit down and make a list. Get some nice grocery list paper and put it on your fridge (see below). This paper can help you be organized and support your new list habit.

Do you make grocery lists? How do they help you?

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We keep a grocery list and are usually pretty good about not buying extra junk...usually. ;-)

For anyone wanting a good grocery list app, I can't say enough good things about Out of Milk. It's currently only for Android, but they are working on an Apple version for their phone and tablet too. It's a nice, clean interface and is very intuitive, you can upgrade to a pro version that lets you share it across various devices, great for a couple who want to both add/remove things on the grocery list.

I only go to the grocery store once a week. I keep a magnetic tablet on the fridge so that during the week as soon as I notice something I need it goes right on the list. I also keep a running list just on Notepad on my phone. Before I leave for the store, I merge my lists, check coupons, and one last check in the pantry and fridge to see what I need. I eat nothing but real food so it's pretty simple; fish, fruit, vegetables, grains.....

This is great, but I have no control at the grocery store. I think of all the gooodies I want to make! :)

Here's a time saving idea I've tried. Ask the store for a list of what's in each aisle, then create a list of the regular (and of course healthy) items you buy by aisle. Each week I print this week, stick it on the fridge and circle items we need or add to it as needed! I'm Hugely unorganized and this is a sanity saver for me!

I've never thought of trying the "aisle" trick, as Angimw suggested, but I love the idea! Personally, I already organize my list by food groups, so this idea just seems like the next logical step! Thanks for the tip!

I definitely keep a list, otherwise I can never remember anything I need! I think it's okay to veer from the list if there are healthy foods on sale. I like to stock up when there's a good sale.

It's a lot easier to stick to the list if you go shopping with a full tummy. When I am hungry everything looks delicious, that is when I buy the most junk food. Surely there's a study out there, anybody?

Yes, I always carry a list. I do buy a few extras when they are on special, but I don't often give in to the temptation to buy junk. One of our large grocery stores is undergoing a renovation, and I've noticed that all the good-for-you food is located farther away from the entrance! Naughty Superstore!

This article was so funny! I can just imagine you looking at the deal and running away haha!

Grocery store lists are a great idea, I should make them more! I'm usually good in a regular store about only getting

good stuff but trader Joe's preys on my love for that store! Lol

Thanks for another great post :)

Yes, I make a list because I can never remember what I need...Although many times I do go to the grocery store hoping to get some ideas of what to eat for dinner. So, I wind up buying stuff that is off the list.

And... DON'T take your kids with you! (They are suckers for those ticking time bombs.)

P-L-E-A-S-E Mom? This is a tough one if you have youngsters. I thought I was past this as my boys are now 11 & 15 - but I took my older son with me to help the other day and ended up buying him all sorts of stuff I usually don't get. There is a stat that says you spend something like $34 extra on weekly groceries when your kids are with you!

I order my groceries online - almost never tempted by impulse purchases that way!

I wouldn't dare go grocery shopping without my list! I have a small pad in the kitchen that we write things on as we run out of them and then I plan my menus and compile my master list on Friday night. Takes me 30 minutes tops!

Lisa, so true! They couldn't leave those edge-of-the-store shoppers like us alone! They've even polluted the produce department with various sugary treats.

here is a great site for free printables - and they have an assortment of grocery lists. it requires standard paper and pen :-)

I always have a list with me. It saves me money and time. The only time I can never stick to my list is when my husband comes shopping with me!! He gets me side-tracked!! :)

I make lists, because otherwise I forget things. I've been using a website - I love it since I can use it on the web from my phone, as an app on my phone or on my computer at home. It's also free which I also really like. :) I sit with the store flyer to make my list (I like to follow sales) and meal plan for the upcoming week.

"If it's not on the list, it doesn't exist" has been my shopping mantra for some time now. It's also the excuse I give my hubby when he asks me if I got some extra thing when I was at the store. Seriously, if I don't write it on my list, I completely forget about it!!

I take the kids to show them how to shop. In hopes they will be better at it then me! Our list stays on the wall where everyone can add to it. Agree never shop hungry!

Almost always have a list. I figure out what I'm going to be making that week, compare with coupons, make a list and then I'm off!

The exception is Trader Joe's... That's like a specialty stop.. ;-)

My husband's idea is different. In fact, He came home with a single serving package of Ding Dongs one day. He said it was a "treat" and we could each have one out of the pkg at 180 calories each. You know what? It was gross! It didn't even taste like chocolate. No flavor. Guess I'd rather eat tomatoes! Or real chocolate. ;-)

Like Gina above, we order our groceries online. My grocery store requires only a 4 hour lead time and has pick up 7 days a week. Although the fee is $4.95, we find that we are saving far more than that each week. Plus, our store offers the first purchase for free and often runs free weeks and discounted specials. Besides, $4.95 for the convenience can't be beat. It keeps us from making impulse purchases. I also have a tendency to just grab a bunch of produce and not bother to weigh it, usually ending up with more than we need. The shoppers carefully weigh everything. When browsing on line, we don't even look at the soda, snacks, etc. Not only are we saving money, we are also eating much healthier choices. Two years ago, we were excited if the Pepsi was on sale. Now we are excited if the lentils and dried beans are on sale and never even look at the soda.

When we do have to pop into the store to pick up an item or if there is an item we want to pick out in particular, it's a lot easier because we make a bee-line for that item and refuse to stop and look at anything else.

A list is the only way to go. When a store doesn't have a secure 'check-in' area for my child to play while I shop, I make her read the list and help find just those items. It keeps her focus so we don't let our eyes wander to extra items or junk sales like the ad mentioned. Hope this helps other mom's as they shop and budget.

@Diane - WOW! I need to look into that - I wonder if my grocery store has that kind of service. Thanks for sharing!

My husband and I make a menu for each week and I make a grocery list that includes normal items and ingredients for this weeks dinner. Not only does this save me money at the grocery store, but it also saves me the headache of trying to figure out what to cook every day and keeps my husband involved in the kitchen decisions. It also keeps things like chicken nuggets and Pizza Hut off the table!

A nutritionist once told me that we can eat any junk food we want, as long as "we" make it. So, when the cookie, pie, cake cravings come, I think of this statement and either adjust the craving, or get into the kitchen and start to pull out the measuring cups, etc. I feel it was good advice.

I not only make a list, but I plan all our meals for the week, and shop accordingly. I also shop my own freezer and pantry before heading to the store. Really helps me use up items we have on hand before they go bad or stale. Saves me a ton of time and money!

i almost always stick to a list, but they got me today with their tempting little display... nutella was on sale.

We use for our shopping lists, you can text the list to your phone - so handy when asking my husband to pick up a few things on the way home from work! Shopping with the kids is dangerous for my pocketbook!

If you have a smartphone you can use this app called Evernote which allows you to not have a printed list, but still crank out a list on a pc and sync it to your phone. It's free and a good way to do lists, especially if you are on the go and leaving an office/computer before shopping.

@Jill -- "If it's not on the list, it doesn't exist"

I love it! (At the top of my grocery list (which I store in Google Tasks and view on my smartphone), I have a similar entry to keep me from buying stuff I don't really need or which will sit around and spoil which reads, "NO PLAN? PUT IT BACK!")

@marlene -- food-science journalist Michael Pollan (if I can put words in his mouth) refers to stuff like french fries, cakes, and cookies as "banquet food". The problem with banquet food is that we now have access to it 24/7 (and not just at banquets, as used to be the case), so his "answer" is the same as you said: "You can have it if you make it yourself."

Want french fries? Sure, make them yourself. Cake? Sure, make it yourself. You'll find that you want to deal with the hassle of making such things maybe monthly and once a month is about right, in his opinion!

@all -- The longer my wife and I have been on our healthy-eating journey, the more we've learned about food vs. food-like substances. Food-like substances are cleverly engineered to make us want more and more and more (and if you don't believe me, check out The Flavorists segment (I think it's the second one -- I found it hard to scrub to it) in;l… ).

Now, when I grocery-shop, I ask myself, "Is this food or a food-like substance?" and avoid the latter.

This is so true. When I make a list, I get my things and get out. When I don't have a list, I wonder aimlessly and buy tons of things I shouldn't. Great post!

I have master list saved on my computer. It is generated using my favorite store's (Aldi) layout. Admittedly, I am a pretty healthy, savvy shopper and as such very rarely deviate from my list. I shop weekly, cook once per week and get this, spend less than $100 a month on groceries.

I also stick to a list. I get a high out of challenging how much money i can save and still feed my family a healthy diet...we have 6 in our family. I have been consistantly saving about 300.00 per month on a 900.00 a month budget..i have been able to get down to 600.00 give or take 30.00 dollars here and there...this is including TP..PT..laundry soap shampoo etc etc. i dont know...but it seems i have been able to do this since i switched shopping every 2 now once a week...strange but i use the savings for other budget areas that may need padding all around.

> Could I use a dog backpack carrier or something?


I wonder if it's time for Lisa to implement a CAPTCHA ( for comments...

There is an App called GroceryIQ that is brilliant. You can organize by any & as many stores as you want. Best feature for us, is that you can sync the list with another phone. Example: I add items to any list & they go automatically to my husbands phone ( he has App also, of course) and visa versa. Whoever has time to go shopping, already has list on phone. As we both cook, we can add items as we think of them and can always check to see what is on it. There are many great features (including some coupons) for organizing & efficiency). For us it has been the greatest time saver. It may not be for everyone, but is sure worth checking into if you love lists. My husband even has his "Lowes" list on it. The App only has groceries in it's "list to choose from" but you can type in any thing you want! GroceryIQ is one of our most used Apps. (No I don't work for them! 😊 just very busy & trying to be efficient!)

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