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Creating a shopping list that everyone can use

Today I wanted to talk to you about the humble shopping list!. It’s something that doesn’t really take up much of our thoughts but can affect how much time we potentially waste through excess shopping trips each week – so a more organised system couldn’t hurt…

As such I decided to creating a little shopping list system that has helped our house to be a little more streamlined, saving time and effort, and it may just help you too!

Creating a shopping list that everyone can use - make life simpler with this system


What’s the issue?

Can you relate to any of these situations:-

  • You start writing a shopping list just before you head out to the shops, and you miss some vital things so have to do another shop later in the week – which wastes time.
  • The family are often telling you what they need/want from the shops at random times which is hard to keep track of.
  • You or other members of the family leave little notes on the kitchen work surface to say what is needed, which get lost in the day to day comings and goings.
  • You always find that you are missing some key ingredient for a meal you are planning and have to pop out to get it – wasting time.

Food and household shopping shouldn’t be a hassle, and should be something you can do to save time, energy and money if at all possible – not add to it!

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The solution is simple

Have a master shopping list in a place that always stays the same so that everyone knows where to go to add to it, and one that can be easily grabbed when heading out to the shops.

Thinking this through I decided on the following solution in my house, and I hope that it helps you too.

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Step 1 – Get a shopping list!

Creating a shopping list needn’t be hard, or take time. This is just the way to collect the information you need – so you can be as fancy or as simple as you want to be.

There are 3 main versions you can pick – depending on how you prefer to do things:-

  • A blank sheet of paper – ready to write on what is needed – simple and effective!
  • A blank grid/form with categories pre-filled out – I have one of these in my Home File
  • A pre-filled grid/form with everything that you usually buy and space for other items

All of these will work, it just depends on how you want things to look!

TIP – Keep a master copy of whichever shopping list you choose to hand – (Home File is a good place) so that you can copy it when a new one is needed.
TIP – Reuse your list where possible by putting the plastic cover over the top of the list and writing with a dry erase marker so you rub it out when you have done the shopping.


UPDATE: I now use my master shopping list from my Home file for my own shopping list that I take to the shops, and simply add everything that’s needed before I go, but on the kitchen cupboard I have a place where everyone can write down the things that we run out of (or are running low on) that I check before going to the shops – this works better for our family, so you just have to work out what works best for you!

We've run out of.... a printable for the kitchen

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Step 2 – Pick somewhere to display the shopping list

This should be somewhere that’s easy for everyone to access, and somewhere that’s near the main place people will run out of things.

I use the inside of my kitchen larder cupboard door,

This means that I can simply open the door to add items onto the list, it’s easy to see when I need to see it, but it’s not on show for anyone coming round to the house.

TIP – if you are a visual person and prefer things in the open, then the kitchen wall is a good place also – again near the food cupboards would work best.

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Step 3 – Make sure it won’t go anywhere….

You can of course simply stick the list to the wall using blutack or tape, but I find that this can come off all too easily, especially when you are constantly writing on it.

The best idea I have found yet is to frame it!

I found these great frames** (Snap Frames) where you can simply fix them to the wall, and the frame opens from the front so you can change what’s in it easily.

1. Frame opens

I like them because they are sturdy, but light, and they hold the paper well even without using the plastic front sheet that is supplied – so you can simply add your shopping list to it each week, write on it as and when you run out of things, remove it easily when the time to shop comes around, and replace it with a new one.

2. Shopping list in snap frame

The frames** come with an aluminium coloured frame, and so I like to paint the ones I use – to match my decor – its the designer in me! Feel free to make yours match the rest of your kitchen to make things look great as well as be useful – there’s nothing wrong in that!

Also worth noting that an easy way to fix the frames to the door (as you can’t screw them in as they would come through the other side…) is to use Command Picture Hanging Strips**. These are simply strips that you stick one to the door and one to the frame and then they fix together like velcro. Great for hanging things quickly and easily (watch for the weight of what you are sticking though as they have limits written on them).

3. command hooks with snap frame 4. frame back 5. back of cupboard door 6. shopping list on door

6a. closeup of fixing

Step 4 – Make it easy to write on

Lastly – to make things as easy as possible, just as with the pen in the fridge idea a while back, I recommend sticking a pen next to the list – just use blutack for this as it works well.

Shopping list on back of kitchen cupboard - perfect to keep handy and out of the way

Step 5 – Let everyone know about it!

If you show everyone in the house where the list is, and what to do to fill it in, then this will save so much time for you by taking you away from being the middle man – streamlining the process so everyone can do it.

organise my house

Creating a place for the shopping list in your kitchen that works!This system is the one we use and I love it! It makes life so much easier to know that whenever I do a shop (whether it be online or by foot!) I can simply check the list and be more sure than usual that everything is on there.

So, why not create your own shopping list and a place for it in your home, and see what a difference it makes!


Do you have a specific place for your shopping list already? I’d love to know how you do it so please leave a comment below – thanks in advance…  


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4 Responses to Creating a shopping list that everyone can use

  1. Tina Feb 3, 2015 at 8:02 am #

    I have a pre-filled template with tick boxes. A copy is on the kitchen notice-board, along with the weekly menu plan and to-do list for the week.

    • Chrissy Halton Feb 3, 2015 at 10:43 pm #

      That sounds great Tina! Really organised! – I love it!

  2. Payal Gupta Feb 2, 2015 at 12:57 pm #

    I have created a Shopping group on wts up which includs my family members involved in shopping.. Everyone keeps adding the stuff needed from market. The item purchased is deleted from there.its really convenient n practical.

    • Chrissy Halton Feb 3, 2015 at 10:45 pm #

      Love hearing about new ways to get organised – thanks for the tip Payal!

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