Thursday, January 7, 2010

Stop Clutter: Organised Grocery Shopping

Shopping more wisely won't just help stop clutter forming in your wardrobe, it is also the solution to stopping clutter forming in your pantry and fridge. And whilst clothing doesn't have a shelf life (unless you're very fashion conscious), food that is cluttering up your pantry and fridge will eventually go off, meaning a cluttered kitchen is more of an issue. So, here are some ideas for being organised when grocery shopping:
  • Aim to go grocery shopping less often. It's easier when doing lots of little shops to inadvertently buy something you don't need, but you just spot on the shelf looking tempting.
  • Always go shopping with a list! This is by far the most important rule about being organised when grocery shopping.
  • Before grocery shopping, go through your pantry and fridge and work out what you currently do and don't have. Add anything that you don't have, but need, onto your list. Don't feel the need to add things that you don't really need onto the list (or maybe add it with a special symbol, to indicate it should only be bought if on special). A good idea is to start writing the list when you first notice something you need to buy, although it's always helpful to do a final look over your shelves.
  • Make sure you know what you currently have on your shelves, so that you don't buy any of those items when shopping. Try to aim to use your existing items up in meals for the upcoming week, especially for items with a short shelf-life.
  • I find it helpful to plan in advance some meals to make, including ones that use up items I already have, and then add the ingredients that I need for these meals to my list.
  • When shopping, be familiar with your supermarket and only go down the aisles that have items on your list. This will both save you time, and reduce the temptation to buy extra items - especially if you skip the fizzy drink and confectionary aisles!
A recent book that advocates some of the above ideas, plus focuses on minimising your grocery bill (to $21 for the week!), is The $21 Challenge, which is currently available in Australian bookstores. Check out the book's website for a sample chapter.

Don't miss my old post How-To: Spring-Clean Your Pantry for steps on how to get rid of the existing clutter in your pantry.

(images: Shandos Cleaver)


  1. Planning meals ahead of time is definitely my time saver

    If I know what I am going to eat for the week, I don't buy items that don't go together or random one-offs.

  2. This is all great information. I tend to always have a list and stick to it... otherwise, I find myself roaming the aisles and my wallet quickly emptying out. Here are some additional tips for getting the most out of a trip to the grocery store: