I am usually the owner of the “grocery list” at our house. We don’t really have a great spot to have like a whiteboard or cork board in our kitchen anymore. Notepads end up getting buried in the drawer, and annoy me if left sitting out.
So for the last couple years I have kept a running list in the Google Tasks app on my phone titled “Grocery/Household”. This is where I normally jot down random items that I realize we are low on, but that I might not otherwise think of when I sit down to make the actual grocery list. (Like, ziploc bags. Or brown sugar. Or some more pens for the kitchen drawer. Etc.)
This has generally worked well. However, I am only 1 of 4 members of our household, so obviously it is possible that we may need something that I have not personally encountered in the week.
Like last week, I did the grocery shopping, and a couple days later Ivan asked me, “Did you pick up a bottle of bathroom disinfectant and toilet bowl cleaner?” I said, “No… it wasn’t on my list. Did you tell me we needed that??” (I never clean bathrooms. Ivan handles the master bath, and the boys split up our other two: the main bathroom and the guest bathroom. So I never touch the toilet bowl cleaner, and it wasn’t on my radar!)
I do try to inventory what I can, or at least ask around if anyone needs anything, but as you probably know, the default answer is usually “nope”. *This does not necessarily mean that we don’t actually need anything else, just that no one can think of it, in the moment.*
So! I think I solved this problem. As I was at the store this week, wandering the aisles, I had a lightbulb moment.
Why not make a shared note??
We all have phones now! iPhones, to be precise. With a Note shared to all of our phones, we could all add things to the list from our own phones, and it would update the master list.
This would then take the burden off of ME to have to think of everything, too. The old way usually involved someone yelling, “Hey mom, can you pick up some more toothpaste next time you’re at the store? We’re getting low.” And then I would have to go into my app and write it down, IF I was even free/ around at the moment to do so.
With the new method, it would be on them to just open their phone and add it to the list!
So I made a shared Note, and I now feel like a Genius for thinking of this. Hahaha. (This is probably such an obvious fix, but I swear it never crossed my mind before.)
I am sure some people also have much more elaborate grocery list making systems. Like maybe a spreadsheet or printed Inventory List to go around and check every category. We do not, and honestly, grocery shopping is pretty low on my list of chores to do. I don’t like it, and I often kind of “squeeze it in”- meaning the list may be made very quickly/ on the fly, in not the most organized fashion. Just being real, but I don’t have a big fancy list making process. Sometimes I literally just peek in the cabinets and fridge quick before I run to pick up more staples- which is how things like “toilet bowl cleaner” can easily get missed.
Here is our current Shared Note list:
I will let you take a guess who added Items 1-3, and who added Items 4-5.
(Answer: The boys= #1-3 and me= #4-5.)
(It’s supposed to be Chicken in a Biskit I think, the crackers. I’ve never bought those before, so I’m a little perplexed how that ended up as the first item added to the shared family grocery list. But, okay….)
Anyway, I feel happy to have a system in place for this. And it’s a good example of how technology can actually come in handy- and how teens with phones can be a really nice thing! (There are definitely negatives to teens+ phones, too, so I’m happy to focus on a positive for once.) 🙂
My next idea: a family group chat thread!! WHY did I never think of that?!?! We can have all four of us on a text thread and then instead of texting each other individually about questions, or like, me saying, “I don’t know, ask Dad” or something, we can just all be on one thread. DUH.
I am grateful for cups. Like the kind you drink water out of. Random, but have you ever thought about what it would be like to NOT have any cups in your house???