I married the rare type of man who doesn't mind grocery shopping. It is a wonderful trait my husband has. I want to think that he doesn't mind the times he goes to the grocery store on his own because he usually is equipped with a shopping list. I read once on "Real Simple" magazine (one of the few publications I actually get in the mail and not read online) the advice to have a pre-printed shopping list with all the items you normally buy. I loved the idea!
I have a list typed on Excel that has been modified over the years, first sorted by aisle in supermarket (not handy if you shop at different stores), later sorted by type of product (meats, dairy, cleaning supplies). The last modifications have been the addition of brand names and that came after my honey and I moved in together. After a few trips back from the grocery store with cheaper brand items I had to make the change. I am all about saving a buck, but there are a few things you just need the brand you grew up with. (Heinz ketchup, Downy fabric softener..)
I know it's a bit anal to go to such lengths, and for those of you conscious about the amount of paper I waste.. Ok, you got me there; but it makes my home life easier and on occasion I make the effort to print my list on paper that is in the recycling bin at the office. My argument/love for my shopping list is.. IT'S ALL THERE! You can highlight the items needed and remember what you need to buy most of the time by glancing at the entire list instead of standing in front of the pantry or refrigerator! I keep copies at home in a kitchen drawer and my husband knows to pull a list and start marking items he wishes we get on the next trip to the store. No crying over being out of razors, soap or shampoo-- Not him, ME!.
If we finish the orange juice, half the time we mark the list immediately. The list rests on a corner of a kitchen counter and some times on the refrigerator with a magnet. No need to write it down. Perfect for kids who are learning how to read and whose writing is barely legible (as my own handwriting is).
It comes in handy when you waste so much time commuting. In our town there are no Sam's Club or Costco so we have to take advantage of our drive home and stop before we leave "the city" (Austin or San Antonio) I simply print out a copy at my desk and spend minutes of my lunch hour preparing my grocery list. Items I get a better deal from at Sam's or Costco I have boxed in on my spread sheet. I also have some blank lines to hand write new items not listed, which comes in handy when trying out a new recipe.
I've never asked my husband what he thinks of our shopping list, but I know it has made bringing home the correct items one less thing to argue about and one less trip back to the grocery store.