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When we moved to the Farm more than five years ago, I created my first Master Grocery List. We moved into our little farmhouse just before Thanksgiving and three weeks later, we were snowed in! Our first winter out here in the country turned out to be the worst one anyone had seen in 40 years!! That was a lot of snow! I learned right then and there that, not only was I about a 30-minute drive to town, but it was going to be hard to get there if circumstances like the weather were standing in my way! If this was going to be where we were living, I was going to have to come up with a solid pantry storage plan.
The first step was going thru every cupboard and shelf and writing down everything we needed and used. What a job! What resulted was an extensive list that, to date, has been updated several times.
Recently, I knew it was time to update again, so I set to work and today, I am sharing it with you!
This system is what works best for our family. Feel free to adapt it to fit you and yours! The list and my pantry storage system keep me prepared for whatever meals I want to make and keep me stocked up for the future. You can read about my pantry system here and how that has benefitted us on the Farm.
This is how I use my list.
First, I print a copy of it and put it on a clipboard. Next, I grab a highlighter and a pen and go to every zone (laundry room, pantry, kitchen, bathroom, etc.) to check to see what we need. I highlight each item that needs replacing. (This also affords me the opportunity to check expiration dates on items that we don’t purchase often like medications or certain items in our farm cupboard. This way, everything is fresh and ready to go when we need it.)
I have a minimum number for each item based on current storage space. The more we use something, the more pantry shelf real estate it gets! For example, we use a lot of tomato sauce. I keep seven cans on the shelf. If I used two cans last week, I write “x2” next to “tomato sauce” on my list and I highlight it so I can see it easily. Using this method, I am restocking my pantry fully whenever I buy groceries.
Now I can staple my list together and take it to the grocery store or computer to order online or order online pickup (a godsend considering how many groceries we purchase for our family of six!).
I have tried using a separate sheet of paper to just write down the items I need but, for me, printing and highlighting has worked best. Feel free to use the list how it works best for you! I’ve made the list editable so you can customize it for your family’s needs!
Click here to download your free copy of the latest version of The Master Grocery List!