Today I have something very handy for you! These free printable grocery lists will help you never forget items again, prevent you from buying more than you need, cut down on food wastage, and ultimately, save you a ton of money!
They are incredibly easy to use and will help you keep a well-stocked pantry and kitchen for any occasion!
To brush up on your cooking skills, you can also take a look at these basic, but highly educational guides on preparing, storing, and cooking ingredients.
Chaos Without Proper Planning
Now, I never used to shop with a grocery items list. I generally just made a quick memo in my head and tried to grab as much as I can remember.
My family and friends used to HATE this. But at the same time, I was the queen of never-forgetting anything! They loved it! And what’s more, I always brought back extra snacks!
And that’s the problem I realized I had. Every time I go shopping, I always end up walking out of the grocery store with MUCH more than I initially wanted (and honestly, really needed).
This led to many other problems as well! Usually, I end up with a ton of spoiled food (especially fresh vegetables and fruits) because I bought way too much, bought what I didn’t need, and bought what I already have at home.
This obviously means I am basically just throwing away money!
Cannot Control Your Diet
The second major issue with this bad habit is that it doesn’t really help with portion control or weight-gain management. When I buy more than I need, I created an obligation to use and finish it all. As you can imagine, it’s nearly impossible to stick to a diet then!
Spend Too Much Money
And finally, I always spend way more money than I should on food. Many people don’t realize that even though you buy things on special (because those REALLY get me), you still end up spending more money than you needed to.
Yes, in the long run, it can save you money. But, and I’ll say it a little louder for the people in the back: YOU ARE NOT SAVING MONEY IF YOU KEEP BUYING SPECIALS!
Specials or deals create a desire to buy something at a lower price. However, you didn’t want or need that item in the first place. So you still waste money!
Yes, definitely buy ingredients on special that you actually need. But anything off that list just wastes!
Benefits Of Using A Grocery List
Before we take a look at the 5 amazing and easy grocery shopping lists I have for you today, you have to believe in the power of these lists.
It sounds a little bit silly, I know. But it’s like committing to a diet. You will never be able to follow it if you don’t believe in it or the results that it will bring.
I’ve already told you all the downsides to visiting the store without your shopping lists. But, let’s take a look at how they can actually benefit you!
You Walk Away With What You Need
Most importantly, if you have a list and you stay committed to what’s on it, you will never walk away with more than you need.
It’s a way to prevent food wastage, save money, and ultimately, contribute less to global wastage in general.
You Won’t Forget Any Items
If this is the struggle you are dealing with, a list will also help with that. It’s much easier to keep track of what you already have and what you still need to get.
And, it’s an amazing way to stay organized during the process. This is especially important when you are making big monthly grocery store trips!
Stick To A Budget
Again, as I’ve mentioned, you won’t overbuy and therefore won’t spend more than what you have budgeted for.
In the long run, this technique can even help you save more money every month!
Keeps A Well-Stocked Pantry
There are few things worse than going to the pantry and seeing you are missing basic goods. I frequently run out of spices and baking supplies!
But, by having a thorough base grocery list, you will always (and easily) be able to keep track of what you have and what you are running out of.
What Is A Master Grocery List?
Today, you will see that I have created two types of lists that you can use.
Basically, one is a master basic grocery list, and the other is a blank one.
The master list is an extremely comprehensive list that ensures your household remains well stocked. It includes all the basic items that you could need in virtually all of the household categories.
I’ve included sections like vegetables, fruits, breakfast items, beverages, pasta and grains, cleaning supplies, baking goods, frozen food section, and pets. And there are loads more!
In each of these sections, there is a broad list of items that most families use. For example, in the pasta and grains section, I’ve added white rice, brown rice, couscous, macaroni, lasagna sheets, lentils, and split peas.
The blank list is there to help you buy what you need – nothing more and nothing less.
Now how do you use this massive list? Especially considering it’s not likely you literally use every single item on there!
How To Use This Comprehensive Grocery Shopping List
To start, you can print out the free printable PDF version of the list. Choose a design that suits your kitchen best!
Once printed, there are a couple of ways you can go.
You can either tick the items that you do use or scratch out the ones that you don’t. You will still be left with a comprehensive list of groceries that YOU always want to keep on hand. That way you can make sure you have what you need for the week or month, and that you never run out of essentials.
Once you have your final list, you can use it to take stock and keep track of what you have on hand.
Next, you can use the blank printable easy grocery list. This is the list that will ensure you don’t buy more than what you need or forget any item at the store.
How To Use My Blank Groceries Checklist
I like to add the item that I need with the amount that I need.
If you still have a little bit of flour in your pantry and simply want to top it up, there is no need to buy 10 pounds of flour! You can get away with 1 or 2 pounds instead.
The benefit of stocking up but never bulking up is that all of your ingredients WILL be used and WILL be as fresh as they can be.
Instead of buying 6 apples every week, buy enough so that there are only always 6 apples at the beginning of the week.
And, if you see that there is an item on the master grocery list you don’t use, don’t stock up on it often.
What Should You Keep On Hand?
I would say that the most difficult category to keep stock of is fresh vegetables, fruits, refrigerated items, dairy, and fresh meat and seafood.
These items obviously don’t have a very long shelf life. So, it’s best to replenish them every week.
But again, don’t keep buying the same amount every week. You will eventually be left with a stockpile of fresh ingredients that WILL go to waste.
Instead, calculate what you need for the week and stock up on that amount perfectly.
Now, the great thing about an essential groceries list like this one is that you can bulk up on non-perishable ingredients. Even if you don’t use brown rice every day, you can always have it on hand in case you do suddenly want to use it.
The same goes for canned goods, pet foods and items, seasoning ingredients (spices, flavorings, extracts), condiments, snacks, and baking goods. There are more categories like this that you can take a look at on the basics grocery list.
What Happens If Perishables Go Off?
As I’ve mentioned, I don’t necessarily keep ALL of the perishable items in my fridge at all times. That’s why meal planning (to some degree) is also important.
I do stock up on the basics (like onions, potatoes, garlic, and apples) that I use on an almost daily basis. But, on more “random” ingredients, like asparagus, I buy as I need.
If you do see that some of your perishables are starting to go off and you have no immediate plan on using them, freeze them.
Some perishable ingredients freeze perfectly fine, whilst others are ruined.
For example, leafy greens, spinach, mushrooms, and cucumbers do not freeze well. Once thawed, they can virtually only be used cooked.