I used to be the type of person who would just 'wing it' at the grocery store. I'd show up with no exact plan in mind other than just buying tasty food. And wouldn't you know, every time I did that I ended up buying tons of completely unnecessary things. I'd go to the store thinking: "Hmm, I need some fruits", and then I'd walk out with $100 dollars worth of breakfast burritos and refried beans. So, my hard-earned money? Gone. My time? Wasted. My intentions of eating a bit more healthily? Out the window. And yet my refrigerator still looked sad and hungry. But not anymore.... One day, I developed a grocery list method that has saved me from all of these struggles ever since. So now, I'm letting you in on the secret to making your most effective grocery list ever!

The Secret to the Most Effective Grocery List:

The secret lies in the layout of my grocery list. I discovered that dividing up the typical grocery store by 4 sections, produce, frozen, refrigerated, and shelves, resulted in the absolute most effective grocery shopping ever. This way, at each section of a grocery store you know exactly what to get. Then, you don't have to wander back and forth looking for groceries and accidentally buying the whole store while you're at it. It has worked so well for me that I had to share it! I created the perfect template and made it available to you in this article. (Scroll to the bottom of this article for the FREE downloadable template).

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How to Use My Grocery List Template:

Step 1: Print out the grocery list template

Step 2: Add your desired produce (aka: fruits and veggies)

I almost always add my favorite fruits like apples, bananas, and blueberries to my list.

Step 3: Add your desired frozen foods.

Frozen foods get a bad rep. But many of them are excellent healthy choices. For instance, buying frozen fruits and veggies can save so much time and money! This is because you can store them for months and cooking them can be as easy as heating them up in the microwave.

Step 4: Add your desired refrigerated items

Refrigerated items are a bit more tricky. Make sure you have enough space in your refrigerator for the things you want to buy. Don't forget that some produce may need to go in the refrigerator as well. Also, check expiration dates. Buying too many perishable items can waste your money if they spoil before you have the time and the hunger to eat them all.

Step 5: Add your shelved items.

Shelved items include all of the foods you find on the shelves, usually in the center of the store. They are also mostly contained items such as canned and boxed foods. Shelved items can be great because they can lasts for years. However, they can also be tricky. Many shelved items can be highly processed items. So before you shop, make sure you jot down the best choices for you.

That's it! Now, you're ready to grocery shop like a pro!

Here is the link to the FREE downloadable template I created for the most effective grocery shopping:

Jennifer Campestrini

Here's also a link to the grocery list game plan template from ChooseMyPlate.gov. It's another great option for planning out your grocery buying. Well...I will say...I am biased. I like mine better. But this one works great too!

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Happy Grocery Shopping!