6 Reasons Why You Should Bring Grocery Lists Back

Grocery lists seem to be a thing of the past. I grew up with my mom writing a grocery list before she went to the store. To this day, my mom still goes to the store with a grocery list. 

I love writing a grocery list because it makes shopping much easier. Even if I don’t physically write a grocery list, I pull out my phone and make a list using the notes app. 

Two of the biggest benefits of grocery lists are saving time and money. However, there are many more benefits of writing a grocery list.  

Benefits Of A Grocery List

Shopping for food can be complicated. The second you enter the store, you are surrounded by hundreds, if not thousands, of products. 

This is why a grocery list is so beneficial. Grocery lists help you traverse the difficult waters of shopping for food. According to research, grocery lists can: 

  • save money 
  • improve memory
  • limit impulse buying 
  • help foster healthy eating 
  • help you plan meals
Writing a grocery list

Saves Money 

Grocery lists are the perfect way to save money. They help you prioritize which ingredients you need at this moment. 

We’ve all fallen victim to impulse buying. When we don’t have a grocery list, we are likely to put more products we don’t need in our shopping cart.

With a grocery list, you’re more likely to stay in the parts of the store the products on your grocery list are stocked. Without a list, you’re more likely to visit every aisle in the store and add more products to your shopping cart. 

In addition to this, if you write your grocery list a few days in advance, it gives you time to consider whether you need all of the items on the list or if you can purchase some products at a later date. Overall, grocery lists carefully help you budget your money, saving you more money in the long run. 

Time Saver

Have you ever gotten stuck in the snack aisle for 20 minutes wondering if you should buy chips or nuts? We are all guilty of this, so there’s no judgment here. 

Having a grocery list is like having a game plan. When you take your list to the store, you already know what products you need. Therefore, you can purchase the food and leave the store instead of wasting 20 minutes in the snack aisle. 

Reduce Mental Stress 

Grocery shopping is stressful. There are hundreds of products in the grocery store, meaning you must decide which products to purchase. 

Grocery lists are the best way to reduce the mental stress associated with grocery shopping. Grocery lists break the task of grocery shopping into smaller, manageable pieces. Therefore, you will experience less mental stress when grocery shopping. 

Less Grocery Shopping Trips

Instead of going to the grocery store several times a week, you can make weekly or biweekly trips. First, write down all the food items you need and will use within 1-2 weeks before heading to the store. With a grocery list, you make fewer trips to the grocery store. 

Writing a grocery list

Decreases Waste

If you purchase food you will not eat immediately, it will probably sit in the pantry or fridge until it spoils and ends up in the garbage. This typically happens to perishable items like fresh fruits and vegetables, which have a short lifespan. Therefore, you need to eat these foods within a few days. 

Once they spoil, your only option is to toss these foods in the trash. Writing a grocery list gives you a realistic idea of how many products to purchase, ultimately decreasing your chances of wasting food. 

Meal Planning

Meal planning involves planning your meals in advance. You will need groceries to prepare your dishes. So you can plan out the dishes you will prepare for the week and write a list of the ingredients needed to prepare the meals. 

How Do You Write A Good Grocery List

While writing ingredients on a piece of paper seems easy, you can complicate writing a grocery list without even knowing it. For example, if you list potatoes and ice cream next to each other, you will have to walk from the front of the store where the potatoes are located to the back of the store to get the ice cream. The biggest tip I can give you about writing a grocery list is to work smarter, not harder. 

  • Go to your neighborhood grocery store and write down the order in which the foods are arranged. For example, if you see the produce section next to the canned food aisle, write the headings down. You can also use the informative signs located above each aisle to help you note the location of each type of product. This method is best if you shop at one store primarily. 
  • Sometimes grocery stores can change the location of foods. So keep this in mind if everything seems rearranged and record new headings if need be. 
  • Divide foods into food categories such as dairy, produce, and meats. Categorizing foods ensures you purchase a healthy variety of foods.  
  • Organize the categories on your grocery list according to your grocery store. For example, depending on your location, the produce may be next to the dry goods section. So the first category on your grocery list would be produce, then dry goods or pantry. 
  • You can also add nonfood products like beauty or bath products to your grocery list. 
  • If there are foods you purchase weekly, such as broccoli, asparagus, or apples, make them a part of your permanent grocery list. 

In Summation 

Before you go grocery shopping, make a grocery list. Remember that a grocery list can save you time and money, reduce mental stress, decrease waste, and help you meal plan. 

Don’t forget to grab our free printable grocery list template from our free resource library. Simply sign up for our newsletter, and you will receive access to our resource library. 


Dubowitz, T., Cohen, D., Huang, C., Beckman, R., & Collins, R. L. (2015). Using a Grocery List Is Associated with a Healthier Diet and Lower BMI Among Very High Risk Adults. Journal of nutrition education and behavior, 47(3), 259. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jneb.2015.01.005

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