Works For Me: The Kitchen Edition

Wfmwheader_17I sure hope y’all are ready to flood us with clever kitchen ideas, because I have to admit, this isn’t my strength.  I told you yesterday that cooking isn’t my favorite thing; as a result, my kitchen is probably the least organized room in my house.  I already shared my best kitchen tip in one of my very first WFMWs, so I’m re-posting it today:

A couple of years ago I went to my grocery store with a pen and paper and walked the "route" I always take whenever I’m there.  I wrote which aisles I come to, in order (that part is important).  Then I transferred my written list to a Word document, with blank lines below each aisle.  You can click here to see the finished product:

Download grocery.pdf

Each week I keep one of these lists on my fridge.  As I run out of something, I write it down directly on the list.  That way when I’m ready to go to the store, I have a complete list already in order, and I can sail through the store at lightning speed–no more back-tracking!  (While you are welcome to use my list, chances are that your grocery store won’t be in the same order as mine.  The real key to this shortcut is having your items written down in the order you come to them.  It will take you only 5-10 minutes to walk through your own grocery store and make one of these lists.)

I can’t tell you how much time this has saved me–and money, too, because being more organized at the outset of my trip causes me to make fewer impulse purchases.

So, what about you?  Any flashes of kitchen brilliance you want to share with us?  Appliance cleaning, pantry organization, ANYthing that makes your life smoother in the kitchen is welcome today.  Please post your link below, and see the guidelines here if you have any questions. 

1. OW (stainless-steel ball whisks)
2. Nikki (ice cubes)
3. Smockity Frocks (Stove Top Griddle)
4. Tammy\’s Recipes (removing counter stains)
5. laughing mommy (coffee savings)
6. An Ordinary Mom (keeping fruits and veggies fresh)
7. Owlhaven (gotta-have-it kitchen tools)
8. lizzykristine (family grocery list)
9. diatribal (Bottle Brushes)
10. The Lazy Organizer (keep snacks fresh)
11. Org Junkie (beverage station)
12. Beth F. (avoiding boil overs)
13. Joyful Days (easy company menus)
14. Jane (curtains) (he he)
15. Zing (kitchen creativity)
16. Terrific Teens (Connect with kids in kitchen)
17. chilihead (kitchen art cabinet)
18. Homeschool Mama (Use for spice rack)
19. MrsLady (Busy Mom Meals)
20. Ann(homemade mrs. dash)
21. Debby K. (menu plan)
22. Proverbs 31 (5 Tips)
23. Amberly (mealtime helpers)
24. Jessica (edible cauliflower – really!)
25. Julee (Keeping up the Kitchen)
26. Michelle at Scribbit (great product)
27. Larae (Menu Binder, Spices)
28. The Pumkin Patch (recipe organization)
29. Robin (easy birthday cake)
30. Marcia (quick meal preparation)
31. Liza\’s Eyeview – best little gadget
32. Pastormac\’s Ann (stretching drink mixes)
33. elizabeth@smithical – easy meal planning
34. Michelle (Shopping/coupon list)
35. Mom in Action (cleaning)
36. Valerie (Bakin\’ Bacon)
37. It Coulda Been Worse (Grocery Shopping)
38. Becky
39. Trixie@ Farm Home Life (Kitchen Organization)
40. The Building Brows (Quick Kitchen Floor Cleanup)
41. Stephanie (grocery list)
42. Girl Gone Wild
43. Heather (Tupperware)
44. Lauren S. (spatula)
45. Ann Kroeker (dishes down low)
46. Eva (favorite recipe organization)
47. Mama Says (Kitchen Cleaning)
48. Jeana (Easy meals and recipes)
49. Jennifer (meals in the freezer)
50. amelia (recipe box)
51. Jessica (Electrosol tablets)
52. Dawn(unclogging your sink)
53. Sharon (taco soup)
54. mira (make your own)
55. Amblin (Prepare your own snack station)
56. Lisa
57. Cyndi
(“taking control”)

58. MC Milker ( healthy pancakes)
59. Lady Why (healthy chocolate chip cookies)
60. KimC (save milk caps)
61. Becky (recipe)
62. The Preacher\’s Wife – Pretty DW Liquid Decanter
63. Homeschool Help Web (dish washing time saver)
64. Barbara H. (baking center plus other tips)
65. Carol (burner cover re-post)
66. Nikko (composting your kitchen scraps)
67. Kerri (frequently used recipes)
68. Yolanda (Floor Mopping)
69. Merci (Hassle Free Healthy Salad)
70. Shalee
71. Neighbor Jane (repackaging)
72. JanB, Grocery Store in my home
73. Margaret (Yummy and Easy Recipe)
74. Makita (Dream Dinners)
75. Beth (grocery list organization)
76. Sarah (baby food)
77. Leni (Recipe storage)
78. peach (gas grill)
79. Julie (Recipes for Kids)
80. Jill (Toaster Oven)
81. Cindee (measuring honey)
82. Toni (Favorite Kitchen Gadgets)
83. Q&Q (Kitchen Tips)
84. Liz
85. GP (make espresso)
86. Ashley (greasing a pan)
87. Paula (easy/fast slimming dinner)
88. Linda (cake tip)
89. CharityGrace (kids cooking)
90. Anne-Marie (Crockpot Pinto Beans)
91. Kelly W
92. Kara (3 tips and a recipe)
93. SeaBird (Shopping With Twins)
94. Kisses of Sunshine – twist-n-loc-containers
95. sam (Kitchen Storage/Organization)
96. This One\’s for the Girls (Recipe Organization)
97. lifeasamama (low-cal sandwich bonus recipe)
98. Playing Ketchup (Floors)
99. CarrieJ (Add whole wheat to your diet)
100. Musings of a Housewife (Quality Knives and Knife Storage)
101. So Many Joys (Grocery List organziation
102. Pieces (ginger)
103. WhyMommy (Kids in the Kitchen)
104. Angelena ( ice cream pails)
105. Jenn
106. Emily (counter organizer)
107. Amy W (bacon & frozen fruit)
108. Vida (Family Heirloom Cookbook)
109. kel (better yogurt)
110. MamaEscandon (Homemade Instant Oatmeal)
111. It\’s a Mom Thing (freezing bananas)
112. Emily G(chocolate chips)
113. My Twenty Cents Keeps Moving(casserole cheat sheet)
114. One Of The Bunch (Using Cafeteria Trays)
115. J. Fergie (distract the kids so you can cook)
116. Christi
117. Emily (bay and cumin
118. Dee McIntyre
119. Jess
120. Alexandra(Recycling: Handy Storage
121. Melissa (Junk Drawers Alternatives and Homework Storage)
122. Kids, Cakes, Dishes, and Laundry
123. Jenn (kids snack cupboard)
124. Rebecca (Cheap and Easy Food Storage…)
125. Amy (kitchen chalkboard)
126. Shauna (paint your own pottery)
127. Jessica (occupying toddler)
128. A Juggling Mum (School Lunches)
129. Shelly (burned on pots)
130. Cindy (spice organization)
131. noodle (no cooking odors)
132. The Ink Spot (Cupboard Locks)
133. Cheri (toothbrushes for cleaning)
134. Jack and Jill and Mom (cleaning table messes)

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62 thoughts on “Works For Me: The Kitchen Edition

  1. Myfriendconnie says:

    Thanks Shannon, I did the same thing at my favorite grocery store. Putting the list on the fridge is something I hadn’t thought of, though. I need to do that.

  2. Joyful Days says:

    This is an excellent tip! I in fact have a master list and even have a lot printed up.
    Sadly, I’ve found that I have to use it!! It doesn’t fill itself in. What’s up with that? I am hopeless. You’ve inspired me to try it again.

  3. Jenelle says:

    I’ll have to try this at least with one of the stores I go to. I have a hard time finding things as it is. Thanks for the amazing tip!

  4. Jessica says:

    I like it! I organize my list similarly when I go to the ranch market, otherwise I find myself backtracking way too often!
    peace of Christ to you,

  5. Robin says:

    Hi. I’m participating for the first time today, and in my rush I forgot to say where and what the post was in my link. You can go ahead and delete linkie #31, I’ve redone it and #32 is the correct one.
    Thanks, and I love the concept.
    Robin from Israel

  6. Larae says:

    Great idea! I have a general idea of where the aisles in my most-visited market are stored in my head, but a sheet like this would make everything much more simple. Thanks for sharing..and for hosting! =)

  7. Brandy says:

    That’s exactly how I grocery shop, only I go off memory from the route I take in the store, which I can do OK. It really does make shopping quicker, which I have to be because I squeeze in trips while daughter #1 is at ballet.
    Now if only I could do this with my Walmart trips. THAT one I’d better record aisles prior to my trips and shop in a route. I get lost in that store.
    Brandy of The Building Brows

  8. deborah says:

    Thank you. I love it so much, I printed right up. I always have a pad on my fridge and the kids know to post whatever we need. Now, I can incorporate it onto my handy new and improved list, which I also put on my desktop so I can just zip it right off when I need it thank you thank you thank you

  9. amelia says:

    I really need to do this too. I organize my list and pretty much have the aisles memorized, but there are always a few items out of order.

  10. Dawn says:

    You know, that is a great idea. My store just redecorated and rehauled the whole store and I need to do that. I may just do that this week!
    As a sidenote, I am going to make a great old person. My question is…….the store was fine the way it was, why change it? But, apparently, I don’t get it.
    I love your blog! Thanks for doing such a good job!

  11. Becky says:

    Love the tip! Thanks for sharing. Next time I go to the Grocery store I am so doing this!!! Have a great week. I posted a Chicken Pasta Salad recipe that is one of our very favorites. Thanks for being such a great WFMW hostess!!!

  12. Barb says:

    Sorry, I left my name/link without a tip – still learning how to do this. My tip, however is keeping my laptop in the kitchen. I love accessing cooking sites instantly. There are so many recipes out there – it’s almost making my cookbooks obsolete.

  13. Jennifer says:

    What an awesome idea! I have just done it from memory myself, and group the similar items together on my list, but sometimes I can’t decide where an item should go on my list, and I often end up backtracking because I’m not sure which aisle it is on. I am so going to do this, thanks SO much for sharing!

  14. peach says:

    I remember this tip, and I wish I could say I have consistently used it. It has helped me to at least organize my shopping list according to grocery store department. That is some progress.
    Sorry about forgetting my tip with my name. So, I am on Mr. Linky twice . . . oops!

  15. Jill says:

    This is a great idea. I remember when I was a kid, my mom used to write her grocery store in the order the store was organized — but she did it from memory! This is much more my speed! Thanks for sharing… my post is up!

  16. Cindee says:

    I did the same thing with my store. I love it! They have re-organized the store, though, since I made my list and I really need to get around to redoing my list. Thanks for the reminder!

  17. Paula says:

    Oh I am so excited to go through all of these! I was so inspired by kitchen week that I am going to make all my tips this month kitchen related!!! πŸ™‚ THANK YOU!!!

  18. mom2fur says:

    What a totally great idea! It would sure save backtracking, which is such a pain in the neck. I hate being in aisle ten and realizing I need something from aisle three!

  19. Anne-Marie says:

    This is similar to how I approach the grocery store…but I just write my final list in order without a printout…I like having a smaller piece of paper or an index card. Had a Wal-Mart worker compliment me on how quickly I picked out what I wanted and moved on…I love having my route down!

  20. Jenn says:

    I’m excited to find all sorts of new ideas this week! This is my first time participating in WFMW. I never seem to be enough on the ball!

  21. Emily says:

    Now THAT is a good idea. I’ve been racking my brain trying to come up with a way to make shopping trips quicker – somehow Thomas just KNOWS as soon as we walk into the grocery store, and decides that this is a great time to wail. πŸ™‚

  22. It's a Mom Thing says:

    I really enjoyed this week’s version of WFMW. Any help or tips I can get for the kitchen is well received! Thanks for hosting!!!

  23. Erin says:

    I don’t know if you are still taking suggestions for future WFMW’s, but I’m thinking a technology theme might be good – favorite website, download, freebies, etc.

  24. J.Fergie says:

    Fantastic tip Shannon! Sometimes when I send hubby to the grocery I make sure to write the list in the order of the aisles, but I never thought about doing it for me…Thanks πŸ™‚

  25. Dee McIntyre says:

    I am not the most organized person in the world, so this tip will most definitely help me out a lot. I’m usually absentminded to a fault. Thanks so much! I will look forward to getting more tips from you.

  26. Jess says:

    Sorry, I got so excited about your blog that I forgot to leave my name with my comment! Really, check out Fly Lady, she’s the best!

  27. Alexandra says:

    Wow, lots of wonderful tips today…I’ll be reading for a while! I almost missed today, but I got on the tail end of the list.
    Great tip for grocery lists…I do something similar.

  28. Jessica says:

    I’m so glad I’m not the only one dashing through the aisles of Wal-Mart with my Excel worksheet in hand! Thanks for hosting this excellent carnival.

  29. Cindy says:

    I have always wanted to do this. I shop at Aldi’s a lot and they just remodeled the store, so now would be a great time to do this for that store. Thanks for hosting!

  30. Melissa says:

    my post is kinda lame and makes me look like a horrible housekeeper… but if my love for my robotic vaccuum didnt already solidfy that fact I think this post will! Great tips from everyone. I loved yours Shannon on mapping out your grocery shopping. I used to do that when I was a SAHM and had time to plan and budget for groceries. Now I just go when I have the stamina to stand an hour in the grocery store with two preschoolers. Needless to say we’ve been without milk for weeks now. I kid, I kid.

  31. Ellen B. says:

    I didn’t read through every tip but did someone give the how to clean your garbage disposal tip? My mother saw this on the Rachel Ray show. She said to use an ice cube tray and freeze vinegar in the tray. Once frozen put all the vinegar cubes in the disposal and grind away to a fresh clean garbage disposal! How great is that! πŸ™‚

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