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03.22.11 / Grocery List To Go

We have a sliver of wall next to our refrigerator that I painted with chalkboard paint.  It’s a great place to jot down needed grocery items, daily reminders, inspirational quotes and fun little notes to each other.

Normally on grocery day, I’ll just copy the grocery list from the chalkboard wall onto a scrap piece of paper and stash it in my purse.  But since things have been crazier than ever {with trying to sell our home and downsize} and because a list that includes items like “toilet paper, deodorant, tampons, boys’ undies, birth control” isn’t exactly appealing to potential buyers who may be viewing our home, I’ve discovered a way to save my list quickly…without transferring anything to paper or losing my list all together during a hasty wipe down right before an impromptu house showing.

Have you figured it out yet from the not-so-high-quality image above?

That’s right.  I take a picture of my grocery list with our old point-and-shoot camera.  {You could also use a cell phone camera but mine isn’t that great.}  This newfound idea has been wonderful. You see, most grocery days fall on one of the days that I work…because I happen to work as a part-time pharmacist in a retail grocery store.  I work my 10-hour shift and get groceries afterward. Lately, though, mornings are hectic and I honestly don’t have an extra minute or two to copy my chalkboard list onto paper.  One said morning when I was retrieving my cell phone from its charger {see how I DIY’d a charging station here}, I happened to notice our old point-and-shoot camera at the back of the charging drawer.  The lightbulb in my head went off.  Why not take a picture of the grocery list on the wall and throw the camera in my purse for grocery shopping later?  Fast and easy!  Great for crazy work mornings when I’m trying to get two kids dressed, fed and transported to the bus stop/sitter before I have to be at the pharmacy.  So that’s what I did.  It works so well, I’ve been doing it for a few weeks now. We’re pretty diligent about adding items to our weekly list. That’s key.

This method of documenting our list has come in quite handy when showing the house too.  Before I rub down the chalkboard wall with a damp cloth, I’ll take a quick pic to save for later.  No more trying to remember what the heck was on the list after the showing.  This method also makes me the weird lady at the grocery store, glancing from my camera to the shelf then back to my camera. Oh, I’ve gotten some looks. But I’m saving time and paper so let the eyebrows raise!

How do you guys make your weekly grocery lists?  Anybody do the corkboard inside a kitchen cabinet trick?  Any other ideas?  Maybe you’re not a listmaker at all.

I, for one, adore lists.  I usually make a small, doable to-do list every day.  Just to keep me on track.  Even if I don’t cross off all of the to-do’s, I feel more focused when I have a list.  I was recommended this listmaking book by a fellow blogger several months ago and have yet to buy it.

Anyone out there ever read it?  I think I may just bite the bullet and order a copy.

Happy listmaking!

BTW – I used to write up little weekly posts that included an image of my chalkboard wall and pertinent wordage.  That’s where the first image hails from.

images:  1 & 2)  Dana Miller for House*Tweaking  3)  Amazon.com

44 Comments

I do this with books a lot! I just take a picture of the cover at a Barnes&Noble to add to a wishlist or to look for on Amazon later.

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22.March.2011

I, too, take a picture of my grocery list. We have a dry erase board that I write it on and then I take a picture with my phone and off I go. :o)

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22.March.2011

Taking a picture is a great idea. We have a chalkboard area in our kitchen from the previous owners and I am always making a list for the store or things to do. Plus this saves paper thanks for the tip.

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22.March.2011

Why have I never thought of that? You are a genius.

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22.March.2011

Lists give me goosebumps. The good kind of goosebumps. I have a hard [cutely] covered, spiral-bound notebook and all it contains are lists: daily to-do lists, weekend to-do lists, grocery lists, project lists, outside errand lists, wish lists, blog idea lists. I might need an intervention.

I think it’s a brilliant idea to photograph your list. Oh Dana, you so clever.

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22.March.2011

I write things down all week as I remember them, but just before I go shopping, I organize it according to the aisles at the store, since I usually end up shopping with a preschooler and an infant. It saves so much time and backtracking to make the trip shorter!

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I do the same thing with my iPhone! I absolutely love lists. Each night I make myself a to-do list for the following day on my phone. It’s kind of a necessity when you work from home ;)

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22.March.2011

Good idea! I just painted my refrigerator in chalkboard paint, and I kept thinking that it would be stupid to write my grocery list on it if I will end up having to rewrite it on paper. Now it works!

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22.March.2011

I am an avid list-maker. I can’t escape it. I have a small notebook in my purse that is devoted to my lists. to-do lists, grocery lists, spring cleaning list, crafts-to-do list, wish list….the LIST goes on and on.. so my sister bought me that book and it’s pretty funny. i have yet to use it though, just fyi. it’s fun to flip through and laugh at their illustrations

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22.March.2011

Love that you do this!!! I use my camera to take pictures of things I need to remember too — makes for interesting viewing when you scroll through the images later

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22.March.2011

My fridge is painted with chalkboard paint as well & I love it! I havent tried the picture taking of the list yet. Good idea! Kudos to you!

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22.March.2011

What a great idea! I love chalkboard paint & secretly covet your wall. I keep my grocery list in a memo on my smart phone. Then I never have to worry about leaving my list at home.

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22.March.2011

I am going to do this from now on! great idea, thanks so much for sharing!

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22.March.2011

Haha! That quote in the first picture is great! We actually did this when we moved into our house and I love it!!!

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22.March.2011

Love your site. Good thing it’s blackboard paint – I double checked and it’s Henny Youngman. He was just a tad before my generation – only a tad, but was pretty funny.

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replied on March 22nd, 2011

Chris – Oops! I stand corrected! Thanks for clarifying.

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22.March.2011

I love lists! I make them all the time and I usually forget to take them with me when I go shopping. But usually, just writing the items down on paper helps me remember what I need.

I also love to-do lists, especially checking things off. Sometimes I’ll add an item to the list that I’ve already done, just so I can check it off (some days are tougher than others).

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22.March.2011

Wow! Great post! I love lists too. We keep our list in a small pocket-sized graph-paper ruled moleskin notebook that I stash in a small pretty little plant pot in my kitchen. We do our meal plan for each week on one spread of pages and on the next we write the lists. Generally we do our meal planning and buy food for the week on Sunday (also when we pay our bills and sometimes do some sort of house project). We just take the book with us to the grocery. Since it is a nice little hefty book we don’t forget it in our coat pockets and it makes it back to the plant pot just fine. When we first started meal planning, I thought it might be a pain but it has turned out to be great. When ever we get the “Oh dear, I’m starving what am I going to eat for dinner” blues I just look in my book. We can look back in the book for past favorites and ideas for the grocery list. It also gives me an excuse to crack all my lovely cookbooks for meal ideas AND I will have the groceries to make anything my heart desires. Within limits :).

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23.March.2011

This is so 1995

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replied on March 23rd, 2011

Neighbor Dave – I thought magic tricks were so 1980.

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23.March.2011

Don’t buy it! I have a copy – I will send it to you if you want it! Other wise it is going into the give away pile!

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replied on March 23rd, 2011

Jasmine – Uh, ok! I can pay you for shipping costs. Email me.

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23.March.2011

I do this with lots of things too – I use my camera’s phone to take pictures of where I parked, what hours businesses are open, lists of things, hangtags on retail items (and then a picture of the item) for things I want to put on our list of Things to Buy, and so on. My phone lets me make folders to stash pics inside, so I keep it organized accordingly. It’s nice to have the store hours folder especially, it’s a handy reference I use all the time.

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23.March.2011

Do you write anything on your chalkboard for your walk throughs/open houses? We’ve got a chalkboard in our kitchen too and our house is on the market. I hate to leave it empty.

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replied on March 23rd, 2011

Elizabeth – I sometimes write up a little generic grocery list just so potential buyers can see that it is a chalkboard wall and how it can be used.

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23.March.2011

Dana, I’m a total list lover too and I’m doing a community project with Listography with two other blog friends. Each Wednesday we host a link party to share a Listography list. Feel free to play along if you like!

http://notoriousmle.com/category/list-love-book-club/

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23.March.2011

I’ve been wanting to DIY a chalkboard wall for this very reason! Using your term, I should bite the bullet and get it done!

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23.March.2011

i’m a chronic list-maker too. it’s an addiction (or maybe just a side effect of a type A personality?) i used to do the same thing as you – write our list on a chalkboard and transfer it to paper before heading out to shop. but since we got an iPod touch, i downloaded the shopshop app and now just type everything into there. it’s great! (and i may even go as far as putting the list in order of the store aisles….)

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I usually buy so many of the same things at the grocery store each week, so I keep a master list of my staples, organized by grocery aisle, in a kitchen drawer. Before heading to the store, I use this master list as reference and just check which of those items I’m out of. Really helps streamline the process. Grocery shopping might be my least favorite chore!

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23.March.2011

I love lists, and as lovely as your chalkboard wall looks, I’ve never quite understood why someone would write a grocery list on something that isn’t portable. Who wants to write their grocery list TWICE? :)

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Dana- Great quote! HaHAHA! Your kids are beautiful.

I just painted a chalkboard wall in the same spot in my house. I love it! The kitchen is a great place for it. We just had a party & I drew a chalk mural of the guest of honor (at Yankee Stadium!). It was a real conversation piece. You can check it out here if you’d like:
http://fisilis.wordpress.com/2011/03/22/yankee-stadium-is-in-our-kitchen-part-3/

I erased it last night, and I’m thinking the grocery list is up next….
xo
Mindy

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23.March.2011

I painted out pantry door inserts with chalk board paint. I use it to write our schedule each day along with what dinner will be. We have been doing this for several years and my three kids go to each day. On the few mornings that I did not get to it they will write what is going on. :)
As for groceries I have a little $1 pad of paper from the craft store that has a spot for our weekly menu and for groceries. I write our menu, write what we will need and tear off the side with the list. I have on occasion left my list at home and if my hubby is home I have him take a picture of it. I thought it was pretty smart thinking. :)

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23.March.2011

I’ve been loving your blog for the last few weeks, but this is my first comment. So, hello!

I definitely am a list-maker through and through! My mom has a Polaroid picture of a dry erase board in my room in the fifth grade with a list of my homework and a timetable to complete it throughout the week. Type A, much?

I created shopping lists for my monthly (dry goods) and weekly (fruit/veggies/meat) shopping trips, both based on the aisles in the grocery store. Pretty basic Word document that I then printed and laminated. Anytime I run out of something, I can just circle it on the laminated sheet with a wet or dry erase marker, then all I have to do come shopping time is pick up the sheet and my reusable bags. From there I can zip in and out of the store without skipping any aisles in the process.

As far as picture taking, if I find something I want to add to my wish list, I take a picture of it at the store and keep it on my computer for the future. I make sure to get a picture of the price tag, and I usually name it with the store name.

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replied on March 23rd, 2011

Erin T. – Now that’s the first I’ve heard about a laminated master list!!!

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23.March.2011

I type up my grocery list in Google docs. Then I can pull up the list anywhere on my phone. I can also put links to the recipes I plan on making which is lovely too.

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26.March.2011

You should check out http://www.listography.com, you can make tons of lists there! I have about 50 :)

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replied on March 27th, 2011

Nicole – Ooooh, a listography website? I could get into a lot of trouble over there!

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26.March.2011

I have a sticky note application on my phone (and computer, but I don’t use that one much anymore) where I jot down things I need to do in the house, things to do at work, things to buy, etc. It works great for me especially since I can email the notes to myself if I want to keep it on my computer permanently (i.e. a to do list for a room renovation) or to my husband if I want him to pick up something on his way home from work.

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27.March.2011

Why not use today’s technology? Sometimes I forget how far advanced we really are and automatically go with the old stand by. Case in point, my sister and I were at Ikea the other day, and I grabbed the pencil and paper that they have all around the store to write down the aisle number for the product I wanted to purchase. And my sister looked at me and said, “why not take a picture with your iphone instead?” DUH! Hope you get an offer soon, I love your house, I know someone will fall in love with it too.

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replied on March 27th, 2011

Stephanie – Thanks for the house selling well wishes! We’ve gotten a lot of traffic and interest – even one lowballed offer – but no pending contract. Hopefully it happens sooner rather than later.

If I had an iPhone I would soooo use it for documenting purposes. Sadly, I haven’t made that upgrade yet.

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08.April.2011

Great idea! I do kind of the same thing when we go to a big theme park and need to remember where we parked our car…take a pic of the row sign/marker! Then you won’t have that conversation later…”was it Goofy 24?” “No I thought it was Donald 42″ and on and on…lol

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16.April.2011

Someone gave me a copy of that book for Christmas this past year. I love lists as well but this book is one they sell at Urban Outfitters that asks you to make lists of things like the strangest places you’ve done ~it~ and so on. Such a bummer!

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10.July.2011

Great idea! I take pics of the signs in parking ramps to remind me where I parked at the mall or airport. Genius on the list though! I try to leave this template of a grocery list laying next to fridge on the counter and take it with me to the store. http://www.organizedmomma.net/downloads-forms/

I also take pictures of books or movies I want to buy or download. I Love that my iPhone makes it so easy!

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replied on July 10th, 2011

Nicole – I recently upgraded to an iPhone and LOVE it! I don’t think I’ve cracked into its full potential though. I have a lot to learn.

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