Meal & Grocery Planning: writing grocery lists {and a free printable}

Writing the grocery list - it's a job most of us do at least once every week without really thinking much about the process but do you often find the moment you get home, that you've forgotten a few things?

If so, then perhaps you need to add a simple, yet important, step to your grocery list writing process: checking your Food Staples list.

Grocery Lists & Food Staples

Last week's post showed you how to meal plan in six simple steps. The next logical step would be to take your plan and write out your shopping list. Depending on the amount of space you have in your fridge and freezer, you may only list the things you need for the next week or so.

So to begin, you need your shopping list. And here are a couple of free printable shopping lists in full (A4) page and half (A5) page sizes.

Printable A4 Shopping List

Printable A5 Shopping List

One of the great things about this list is that it not only has sections for things like Dairy and Pantry, but also a section for Other which can be for visiting stores like the pharmacy or the hardware which we often do when we are out buying groceries. I like to print out a bunch of the A5 sized lists, attach them to a mini-clipboard like this one and hang it on a hook in the kitchen for easy access.

Printable A5 Shopping List

Mini clipboard from Officeworks | Simplicious cookbook by Sarah Wilson

During the week, as we run out of items, I'll add them to the list. Then, after meal planning, I'll take the list down and add whatever items I need for our meal plan.

Last but not least, I add items from my Food Staples list.


This is a list of items that we like to keep in stock at all times, like milk, paper towels and white vinegar. They're things that may not show up on our meal plan but are necessary nonetheless. I scan through the list to see what we are running low on and then add these items to my shopping list.

Free printable Food Staples list

To make the process even easier, this free printable Food Staples list is set out in the same way as the shopping list. Next time you need to write your grocery list, make note of the items you buy most regularly, or those you often forget, and list them on your Food Staples list to refer to next time you write your shopping list.

Next week: grocery store comparisons to help you save money when you shop.

Happy meal planning!


#organizing #freeprintable #planning #mealplanning