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October 15, 2008

get organized. save money.

From paying late fees to spending money on duplicate items (because we can't find the one we already own) disorganization can be a costly proposition.

So it stands to reason that by getting more organized, we have the opportunity to save money.

But don't take it from me...take it from the friendly checkout guy at Trader Joe's .  Today, while bagging groceries (because I enjoy it—go figure, right?) the friendly checkout guy and I were chit-chatting...about this and that.

First we chatted about the fact that I actually enjoy bagging groceries. Then, we contemplated the possible meaning of this.

Suddenly, the friendly checkout guy fixes his eyes on this...

Img_4571_copy decorative clipboard and preprinted shopping list.

Oh, no! Have I been figured out?

Nope. Instead friendly checkout guy shares this gem. Just this morning he heard on the news that shoppers who use a shopping list save money! So there you have it, yet one more reason to get organized...and this time not from me, but instead from the friendly checkout guy at Trader Joe's. How fun is that?

I've always advocated the use of a shopping list, usually for time saving and clutter control reasons. But now (for all you shopping list hold-outs) you have a third reason to create and use a shopping list—cold hard cash! (Don't even get me started on the organized feeling you have when you carry your list around the store on a clipboard...nope, not going there tonight.)

OK...if you need a list or want ideas for putting together your own money saving dynamo known as a shopping list, go here for the meal planning / grocery list template I use (for my regular, non-Trader Joe shopping trips, just in case you wonder why it looks different than the one pictured above.)

Take a breath; that was a long sentence.

If you want to make your own decorative clipboard, go here. (By the way, this clipboard project is included with Quick + Simple Clutter if you're going to sign up for that, just wait a teensy bit longer and then you too, can have that can have that feeling that I didn't mention above that comes about from using a clipboard in the grocery store.)




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You are such an inspiration! Thank you! I had been wondering how to organise my shopping list so that I could have it easily to hand through the week to add stuff as I used it up but so that I wouldn't have to re-write a list to take shopping with me (like I would have to if I wrote stuff we need on my white board) And as always you have a simple but wonderfully perfect idea! I love shopping lists- I just couldn't remember a week's worth of food in my head & I'm useless at planning meals as I walk around the shop.... How do people shop without a list? LOL!!!

And I was thinking only yesterday that disorganisation costs me a LOT of money in late library book fines! I gotta get that one sorted!!

Anyway, thanks for all your organisational inspiration. your ideas are really helping me get back on track. :D


I thought I was the only who uses a clipboard at the grocery store. I started about a year ago, and it has been the perfect solution since. It was just too hard to juggle kids, coupons, and clipboards. I use a computer printed shopping list, too.

I applied magnets to the back of my clipboard, so it hangs on the fridge waiting for the next trip. I also hang my menu plan on it.

Marcia "HDMac"

I love the idea of the clip board! I usually fold my list and put in my purse or planner! lol Thanks for your great ideas!


Aby - Shopping lists and meal planners are my shopping savers!! I don't use a clipboard though -- good idea and I think I will start using one! Another addition to this is, if you have a store that you regularly shop, make your list in order of the isles at the store. I have preprinted and all I do is circle the items that I need and I can zip through the srore in no time. I put the letter C next to any items I have a coupon for (so I do not forget) and if there is a special sale on something I note that too (I shop Monday morning s and sometimes all the sale signs are not yet up). My meal plan list for the week is on the back so I can refer to it or make changes if I find a special deal on something. Works great for me!


thanks for the awesome shopping list. love how the mealplan is beside it. makes planning easy!!


I really like the clipboard-idea because i never go to a grocery store without a list. I think i will also try to plan the meals ahead - i can imagine that my life would be less stressful :) i started a special list to safe money - i write any item i buy in a list: name, weight, price. next time i go to another shop i can not only compare the prices but also the price per kilo, gram, liter and add it to my list. i admit it took some time when i started but now it takes a minute per week or so to update my list. that way i found out where i can buy the item the cheapest and plus i don't get trapped with "special offers"... where not only the price is low but also the content. i don't think i explained it really well with my "Austrian English" - sorry.


I have a decorated clipboard and list/menu page too! Glad to know I'm not the only one.


Emily - for the library books, my mom used to note on the calendar when books were due, and how many each of us had due that day. Made things much easier - even if a book got moved she knew who was missing a book before we left the house. I used it with my step-sons as well and we'd have spent tons in fines if I didn't. (I didn't use it for myself for a bit and found that out the hard way!)

Aby & Carola you just solved my issues with getting a price list started. Thanks so much. I'd been trying to write up the price list once I get home (from the receipt), and that didn't work. Then I tried a list in the store, but that didn't work either (too much paper to keep organized). A clipboard in the store would make that quite easy. Yes, a bit timeconsuming at the beginning as Carola said, but quite worth it. I have three grocery stores within a mile of the house (and a fopurth on the way), and have noticed several items where the regular price is a dollar or two more in one store than another (apples are actually more than twice as expensive in one of them!).


Why is it that I don't notice typos until I hit post??? That should be "a fourth on the way", not "a fopurth on the way"...


I love Trader Joes. Any chance you'd share your template or list for that particular store? Thanks!

Sarah H.

What an awesome grocery list template! I'm a big advocate of grocery lists too...I don't know how people get by without them. And I am not at all surprised to hear that using a list is now thought to be a money-saver! :)


I've just started using a clipboard that I altered for my grocery shopping. I also make my list in the same order as the store, saves time & money, love it!

K Hayes

Great idea! This past Spring I carried around a clipboard with me as we went to various nurseries picking out plants for our garden. I found it to be very efficient. I don't know why it never occured to me to do this with my shopping lists. I usually just write them out on several sheets of paper and stick them in my purse. I usually include non-grocery items on the same list and when it's time to shop for the other items I've often misplaced it.

Thanks for all your inspiration and tips! This is my first time commenting, but I've been reading your blog for a while and have learned a lot.


That is the cutest clipboard I have ever seen! You are so creative. I am going to start using one right away because I wander too much in the grocery store and spend more than I intend to. Thanks for the tip!


Funny, I always use a list! People laugh at me sometimes, too (usually my students). My list is pretty simple, and I'm almost always under $75 for two for the week (we eat 90% of our meals at home).

Pretty good for our community!

Katie @ 3 Blondes and a Redhead

I've been relentless about shopping from my list this month and have saved a TON of money! I just returned the $11 bottle of balsalmic vinegar from Costco because I didn't realize I'd already replaced it a few weeks ago. $11 is $11 and it takes me months to go through it all.

Speaking of buying duplicates...we received a hand-me-down Spiderman costume a few months ago that my son loved to wear around the house. It has completely vanished, no where to be found. We went shopping for his Halloween costume yesterday and of ALLLLLLLLL the costumes, what did we buy? Spiderman. A costume that is hiding somewhere under a bed or behind a dresser in the house...I just know it. But can't find it to save my life!!!


I definitely need to use a list&clipboard while shopping it would save me money and headaches!

Jacki Hollywood Brown

The clipboard is a good idea although I use "grocery gadget" for my iTouch. It is basically the same thing but no dead trees.


lvn this site! Thanks for all your help for the rest of us organized-wannabees.

Conquering the clutter for a peaceful mind...


Love your clipboard, actually I love your whole blog! Your posts are great and I'm always thinking "um, yeah I totally do that... "

I have to use a list or I wouldn't remember half my list and I would get a ton of junk that I don't need.

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