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Standing in the aisle of a grocery store with my trusty clipboard in one hand and my market basket in the other, I searched a shelf for an ingredient for my Thanksgiving dinner. A woman pushed her squeaky shopping cart past me and said, “You look very organized.” For a moment I studied her face to determine whether she was being sincere or sarcastic and then I looked down at my clipboard and explained, “It’s a matter of survival.”

To survive and to alleviate stress during the holidays, I try to be as organized as possible. This past Thanksgiving holiday was a good example. With people coming and going on different days for almost a week, my home resembled an inn. What the woman in the grocery store was commenting on was the stack of papers on my clipboard. Everything I needed food-wise for that week was on my clipboard and at my fingertips: my master plan of menus for every day of the week, copies of the recipes I’d be using, and my super Organized Grocery List. After I explained to her how my Organized Grocery List worked, she said, “You should publish it!”

I organize myself by making lists and creating forms. This process requires me to think things through, to prioritize, and to jot down details. Here’s my Organized Grocery List that the woman in the store wanted published and it’s yours for free! It’s in a PDF form which allows you to repeatedly fill it out and print it up. The List is organized by grocery store departments such as meat, produce, dairy, etc., as well as by type of store. Some items are more cost effective to purchase at a warehouse store, other items are more easily purchased at a regular grocery store, and finally some items can only be purchased at specialty stores or farmer’s markets. Each item is color coded when it is put on the list to make for quick shopping at each of the stores.

Here’s to organized grocery shopping and less stress!

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