Shop Easy: Clipboard Grocery List

A fantastic organizational idea from Amy…

I was tired of writing my shopping lists for the grocery store on scraps of paper and post it notes. I always seemed to end up with two or more lists when I went to do my weekly shopping.

I started using a clipboard so that my entire list was in one place. I then attached a pen to a string so that I always have a pen with me when I shop. I have found that I stay more organized this way and everyone always knows where mom’s shopping list by simply looking for the clipboard!

About Amy: I am a stay at home mom and wife. I have four beautiful and spirited boys. I started being more frugal when we found out we were expecting our fourth child. I am always looking for ways to be a frugal and smart  homemaker.

Do you have a clever way to stay organized when it comes to grocery shopping?


  1. Jodi says

    I carry a notebook around because of the same reason. my coupons were everywhere and when I went to check-out, I had to separate my coupons in piles of what I actually used and decided to hold. Pieces of paper were just everywhere and a notebook holds everything.

  2. Amy says

    For each store I shop at, I have an envelope. During the week I keep a file open on my computer and add to my grocery list (including coupon deals and sales) as I hear about deals or run out of things. Then I print off my list, pull the coupons I need (based on the list) and stick the list and coupons in the envelope. The list is folded into thirds to fit in the envelope, and then as I go through the store, I move coupons from the envelope into the folded up list, so I know what I need to give to the cashier.

  3. says

    I scan the ads at the beginning of the week. Make a list for each store of items I would buy and then determine if it’s worth the trip. Then I file each list with coupons attached in a file. Then when I’m ready to shop I my list and coupons are ready. It helps because I might see a coupon that matches up during the week before I shop and I already know what deals I saw in the ads. Works pretty well for me.

  4. says

    My husband and I sat down and typed a grocery list of all the things that we buy at the store. They are in order by section of the grocery store. Then it is posted on the fridge witha highlighter. When we need something we highlight it. Then as we walk the grocery store we don’t forget items in certain isles and have to go back. It works really well and makes shopping with 4 under 4 an easy task.

  5. says

    The clipboard is a good idea because it makes it easier to cross things off. I organize my list by department – no more running back to the aisles where I missed something.

  6. says

    i have the “grocery iQ” app (free version) for my iPhone that works well, you can also input the price so you know about how much your list will cost (once you have prices in) and as you put things in the buggy and makes adjustments it adds up what you’ve checked off. you can store a list of favorites so you can go down your list and see before you get to the store things you might not have thought of. there is a coupon tab which i haven’t used yet. also you can change what aisle an item falls on and what order you what the aisles in, per store.

  7. says

    I like this idea to keep me better organized. It also would help me to start keeping a price list, because how simple would it be to write down the price of each item you pick up. Thanks for this!

  8. Kelly says

    Love it! I do all of my “big shopping” once a month, so I create a list in Word and just add to it as the month goes on. Then I print it off. This is helpful because I can organize it by which store I am shopping at. I can also just keep the things on there that I regularly need! I’m sure people think I’m crazy when I pull out my long, multiple store, shopping list! :) Thanks for the great ideas!

  9. Genifer says

    Good idea!!! I would scrapbook paper it up to make it look fancy and maybe add a pocket to it (under the paper that is clipped on) to hold the coupons I have used for that trip!

  10. Lauren says

    I have a map pf my main grocery store, that lists everything by isle. I organize my list by isle, not just catagory, working my way around the store. This is a HUGE help, as I can skip several isles each trip, reducing the items that tempt me to stray from my list.

  11. Mandy says

    I have a Droid phone and downloaded a free app called OI Shopping. It keeps things organized and I never forget my list at home. As a bonus I can keep multiple shopping lists (grocery, and non grocery) and if needed I can send the entire list via text message to my husband if he decides to do the shopping.

  12. says

    Since the I have only one store to choose from, I have made a list based on what I purchase regularly and it is organized by aisle of my store. I also have the item’s price and a column for quantity needed. I highlight the items I am going to buy that week, adding the quantity and the spreadsheet totals it up for me. I highlight the quantity if I have a coupon and then write up my list. When I get home I update any pricing changes to my list. Works great!!
    I also have a notepad on the fridge by our menu for anyone to write down something they notice we need the next time we hit the store.

  13. Robyn says

    I have been doing the clipboard thing for years. I use a small clipboard and small sheets of paper for each store, and an envelope of coupons underneath. I put things on my lists all week long as soon as I think of something I need, and then as I make up my menus. I also list everything in order by the way I go around the store. After shopping, I turn the papers over and start my lists for the following week.

  14. Rhonda Hall says

    This is a great idea. I would like a mini one to hold my coupons in place that I have got in my cart..Usually I just lay coupons on the boxes ect…
    I use a CD case to organize my coupons and have had many great comments on that..

  15. Jenna says

    My mom posts the shopping list on the fridge with one of those magnetic chip bag clip things. Then the family can add things and clip coupons to it. When we get to a point where we NEED something, that person grabs the list and does all the family shopping. (This is for families with older kids – who can drive/bike. Good life skills practice).

  16. says

    I organize my list by “zone” of the store, that way I only go down the aisles I need…cutting down on the number of impulse buys.

  17. says

    Yes! Use Deals to Meals ( and you can quickly go through the deals of the week in your area, select the meals you would like to make that week, and print off your individualized shopping list. It is SO easy to use and helps you stay focused, know what is on sale, and saves you $100’s!!

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  18. says

    I have been using the clipboard for over a year and love it. I also have a binder with baseball card holders that are see through and I put my coupons in there by date. On the day of shopping, I scan all the store websites I usually go to, print out a list of deals, mark the ones with a coupon, and then place them on the clipboard with the coupons in the front of each page. This system saved me $127 on my last trip to the store. I spent $149 and now all I need for the rest of the month is a few veggies and some milk!

  19. Krystal says

    We have ours pre-typed and on the pc. Now that we have a laptop I leave it on the computer until I”m ready to go shopping and then I print it. It saves a lot of time. I also find that I forget less because some things that we need are already on the list and I remember while I am scanning it. I have awful handwritting and now my husband can read the whole thing and knows what I want when he is the one shopping. Works for us!

  20. Lisa says

    We shop at Meijers almost exclusively, other than going to get some bargains at Kroger. Years ago I developed a store list of items we normally purchase, and have it laid out by aisle number in our local Meijer store (example: aisle 5: cereal, breakfast bars, oatmeal, etc). This has saved us TONS of time! Not only does it keep us on track for buying only what we have marked on our ilst, but it also avoids the dreaded “backtracking” when an item is forgotten at the other end of the store! Now we know where everything is located :)

  21. Marla says

    I’m such a shopping geek! I use envelopes (my husband’s work direct deposits his check, but you get a receipt in an envelope with no name on it – recycling!) and write the list(s) on it by store and put coupons inside it. Then you have all your info and when you’re done and it’s empty, recycle again!

  22. Lauren says

    I always organize my shopping lists and coupons by the path I take in the grocery store. That way, I’m not backtracking trying to get everything on my list. If I am using a handwritten list that can’t be organized as easily as the list I edit in Excel, I just put numbers out to the side of each item, in the order that I need to pick it up.

  23. says

    I use a three-ring binder for my coupons and grocery list. I use photo pockets to house the coupons -3 slots on a page- and each coupon is seperated by category (cereals, meat, condiments, etc.). In the back I keep one large insert to house in-store coupons and in the front I keep two large inserts-one labeled “to use this week” and one to put the coupons in that I am using while I shop. (so if I buy cereal with coupons I put the coupon in the slot so it doesn’t get mixed up and I don’t have to hold it or lose it). I keep lined notebook paper in the very front with my grocery list/errands to be run that week, and stores to go to, along with a to-do list. I have found it works really well and everything is in one spot.

  24. says

    I too, use an envelope system. I follow blogs that tell you the deals for the week, like STL Mommy, etc. And I copy and paste the deals into a Word Document, then just delete the deals that I won’t be buying. Then I print the list onto a junk mail envelope (shrinking the print as small as it will go for longer lists). Then I look up the coupons I’ll need from my coupon binder and put the coupons in the envelope. I take my coupon binder with me, just in case I come across a clearance or deal, but all the coupons I’ll need for the weekly deals are in the envelope ready when I get to the cashier.

  25. Melody says

    I have been using a similar clipboard system for quite a while now.
    Another thing I use my clipboard for is my coupons. When I am in the grocery store, when a coupon comes out of my binder because I will use it at checkout, it gets clipped onto my mini clipboard. At the checkout, I then have a nice stack of coupons to hand to the cashier, and no coupon gets lost in the store.
    I have recently enjoyed making a few “altered clipboards,” which makes it even more fun. I gave my mom one for Mother’s Day and she loves using it while shopping! It is just a little more fun to use than a brown one. :-)

  26. Vicki says

    About 10 years ago my DH insisted that I make a spreadsheet with all the items that I purchase at the store/commissary with their respective prices. I procrastinated for a year. When all was said and done I was able to plan my shopping list and keep it under $100 (for 2 weeks, 2A 4C, including food, paper products, cleaning supplies, and HBA). I also made a copy of the list, without the prices, took it to the local school supply store and had it laminated. This makes going through the sales papers & coupons easier. I just get out my grease pencil (China marker) and mark away. Everything is transferred into the computer and I print out a nice, neat list of only the things I need and I attach it to a clipboard in the same way as Amy mentioned. If only all of life was so easy to organize……..

  27. says

    I love all these ideas – I make altered clipboards as well as grocery lists that are perfect for taking to the store. I keep coupons clipped to the clip at the top and as I use one, just tuck it underneath my grocery list. That way I know which ones I have used and which ones I don’t.

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