The Cornell University Food Lab has conducted dozens of studies that analyze grocery store consumers of all shapes and sizes. As a result, they have discovered that people budget, eat, and shop differently depending on their grocery store goals, income, and tastes. Some people add up their grocery list spendings in their heads (57.4%), some use calculators (26.4%), while others just make a shopping list for budgeting (14.5%). Some people accurately calculate their home inventory (41%), some underestimate (31%), and others overestimate (24%). Ultimately, the Cornell’s greatest discovery is that everyone shops completely differently. That’s why everyone’s grocery list should be as unique as their tastes. Grocery list templates that can be downloaded online can help you find the perfect grocery list for your needs, whether you want to budget, track your coupons, plan for a meal, or simply get in and out of the store as quick as possible.
Types of Grocery List Templates
You can easily find the perfect grocery list for your lifestyle by choosing from a variety of options online:
- Checklist: A checklist may come in two different forms. Either the template will provide a full list of everything that you usually buy at the store or it will only provide a list of the specific groceries you’re shopping for, hand-picked before printing. Either way, you will be provided with boxes alongside all of your items, where you can manually check each item off as you circle the store. A checklist is perfect for those of us who have terrible penmanship, saving us the time it takes to squint at our list again and ask, “What did I write here?” The checklist also gives you an opportunity to mark each item as you go, which another grocery list template may not provide.
- Fill in the Blanks: A fill in the blanks list will usually be organized according to food group or grocery store layout, allowing you to write your own items in the appropriate groups. A fill in the blanks list may be beneficial to those who prefer writing grocery store items in their own handwriting or making specifications on each item in terms of brand or quantity.
- Meals and List Format: If you’re more of a meal-planner, then the meals and list format may be just the thing for you. These lists will usually have an agenda-like week printed on one side of the list, along with a grocery list on the opposing side. Here, you can have both your meals and shopping list displayed right in front of you.
- Organized by Food Groups: Some grocery list templates are organized by food groups, allowing you to map out all of your essential nutrients on your shopping list. The food groups, as determined by the USDA, include 1) fats, oils, and sweets, 2) milk, yogurt, and cheese, 3) meat, poultry, fish, dry beans, eggs, and nuts, 4) fruit and vegetables, and 5) bread, cereal, rice, and pasta groups. A list that’s organized by food groups allows you to proportion the grocery list to your diet and make sure that you’re feeding your family an appropriate amount of each food group for a balanced diet.
- Budgeter’s Grocery List Template: If you’re budgeting or trying to trim your grocery store receipt down to the bare minimal, try searching the web for a budgeter’s grocery list. This type of list will allow you to insert the average number of prices of each item next to the item and estimate a total. You can also list coupons you may have and sale items in the margins.
- Organized by Grocery Aisles: For those that want to get in and out of the grocery store in a flash, a grocery list organized by grocery store layout is ideal. Many grocery stores share the exact same layout, with produce in one section, the bakery, butcher, then groups organized by frozen foods, baked goods, grains, etc.
- Grocery List Template Perks and Add-ons: Keep your eyes peeled for grocery lists that have spaces where can add items on, like coupons (for the budget’s grocery list) or a recipe.
Whether you’re looking to limit your spending, eat healthier, or create a great meal, there’s a grocery list out there designed to help you achieve your goals. All you have to do is identify your needs, then find the grocery list that helps you get the perfect dinner on the table.