DIYdiy projectskate pruitt

diy project: kate’s grocery planner

by Grace Bonney

unfortunately, the beginning of 2010 has me battling an epic cold, so the first few diys are going to be simple, mellow projects that you can do on a sick day or in front of a movie. i know that resolutions are kind of overwhelming, but i find that taking the time to complete a couple organization projects early really helps things go easier throughout the year.

i purchased one of those grocery list pads one year and while it was very cute, i found problems with it. it had a lot of things i never buy and not enough space to add things i always buy (like soy sausage and earl grey tea). plus the pad was so heavy it ripped and fell of my fridge…bummer. so i thought it would be fun to make a personalized grocery planner that i will always want to use because it is specific to my needs. i made a menu format and a simple list format; i plan to try out both. the majority of time spent on this project was on the computer, typing up the right list. after that, the cute clipboard and matching pen box are a snap. the pen box also holds all grocery receipts to help with budgeting: an organizational bonus! here’s to a healthy organized 2010! (as i cough and blow my nose for the hundredth time…) have fun! –kate

*DOWNLOADABLE versions of kate’s lists have been added below!

CLICK HERE for the full how-to after the jump!


1. clipboard
2. magnetic pen box (available at office supply stores, or you can make one out of a tin soup can or tin spice box, etc.)
3. pretty paper (mine is from the paper source)
4. spray adhesive
5. exacto knife
6. scissors
7. adhesive magnet tape (these come in dots and rolls, i recommend the roll that you can cut)

grocery planner materials


(you probably have some of this stuff on hand)
clipboard: $5
paper: $2
magnet tape: $4
magnetic box: $2
spray adhesive: $7 (this stuff is pricey but it is very useful and a can will last you a while)


1 hour (unless you obsess on the list making, like i did)


for the grocery list:

1. plan out the most useful grocery list format for your lifestyle. do you need a menu planner section? do you buy the same stuff all the time and eat a lot of the same meals (that’s me)? do you have a list of weekly staples and like to keep the rest open? design a grocery list that makes sense for you and either hand write it or type it up. when you are happy with it, make a few copies.


grocery list
menu grocery list
grocery list items

gp list format
gp menu format

for the clipboard and pen box:

1. trace the back of your clipboard on the back of the paper. cut out the shape leaving a half inch border around the tracing lines.

2. spray the paper with a thin, even coat of spray adhesive and carefully smooth the paper glue side down onto the front of the clipboard. hold up the clip and smooth the paper underneath. then use the exacto blade to cut off the excess paper around the clip shape. if you mess up or rip the paper, you can cut a small patch out of your extra paper and glue it into place.

3. cut small slits in the corners of the paper that is hanging off the edges of the clipboard. this will allow the edges to fold down flatter around the corners. wrap the edges of the paper around the edges of the clipboard and press against the back to adhere. add a little glue if necessary.

4. wrap the magnetic box or tin can like a present so you can see how much paper you need, but don’t adhere it. cut that shape out of the paper and then spray the can or box with the spray adhesive.

5. re-wrap the box or can with the paper, making all seam neat and in the back of the box. trim any excess paper.

grocery planner pen box

6. if you need to add a strip of magnetic tape to your pen container, cut a small strip form the magnet roll and peel off the paper backing to reveal the sticky adhesive side. press against the back of your container.

7. cut three or four strips of the magnet tape that are an inch shorter than the width of the clipboard. attach three strips near the top of the backside of the clipboard, and one strip near the bottom on the backside.you need multiple strips because the clipboard is too heavy for just one strip. four holds it quite firmly.

8. position your clipboard and box and clip in your grocery planner sheets.


grocery planner list

Suggested For You


  • This is a really neat & super practical idea! I never really thought to have the items we always buy typed up. I’m with you on the cold, so I’ll bookmark this & use it soon :]

  • Could you make the actual grocery list that you made available for download? Is it a word document? That way it could be altered but we really really disorganized people out there (ME!) wouldn’t have to make a list from scratch!

    Great idea, thanks so much

  • Could you make the actual grocery list that you made available for download? Is it a word document? That way it could be altered but we really really disorganized people out there (ME!) wouldn’t have to make a list from scratch!

    Feel better soon,
    Great idea, thanks so much

  • It would be great if we could download the templates that Kate made and print them for ourselves. I like the way she has it organized and wouldn’t really change a thing!

  • Oh my goodness, how cute!! And that grocery list is perfect! I do wish you’d share it. ;)

  • My dad did this with Excel (including the rows the groceries were in!) and we all made fun of him. :)

  • Yes, I too would love a PDF download of that list on the clipboard. It’s perfect!

  • Like Laura’s dad, a home ec major organized my shopping list by aisle and it’s really helpful. (I have expanded that to include specific shops & green markets)

  • oh, another lovely DIY! this would be soo helpful in planning my specialty cupcakes that need ingredients purchased the day before the order is due or need to come from a specialty shop. Thanks! oh, and pretty please… a word doc?

  • I love this idea! I’ve been trying to plan our meals better and this is a great way to do that.

  • Great idea, I am doing this for sure. I would love to have you post your list as a template….pretty please?!

  • How cute! A friend of mine did something similar in excel and I’ve been meaning to pretty it up a bit, but haven’t finished. This is way cuter than what I was doing.

  • I too would love if the grocery list you created could be posted as a template. It’s perfect – cute and well-organized, it would work for me! Hope you feel better!

  • I also vote for this to become a downloadable template! This is perfectly suited for me (and cute too!).

  • Another hint is to organize the list by stores. I shop at a discount store, a regular chain, the fruit stand, the farmer’s market, etc. It’s so much easier to have it all sorted by store, so I can figure out what I’m getting where.

  • Love it! What a nice way to spruce up a boring clip board. Nice trick. You could also probably use that drawer paper too.

    Also, I agree with putting the pdf up. :)

  • I would also LOVE to have your list available for download! It’s great and I’m really digging the title font.

    • hi guys!

      kate made all of her lists available for download, i added them in the post above (below her instructions for making the lists)


  • ooh, fantastic! I love that there’s space for meal planning – that makes shopping so much easier and you definitely tend to save money that way. thanks for the great diy & feel better kate!

  • hi everyone! the pdf templates are up now (thank you grace!) i do not use office or a word program, so i cannot make a word document format. sorry! but the font is called quicksand and it is a free font, so you can download it for your own editable documents..good luck!! – kate

  • Love this! I made my own a few years ago (based around the grocery store aisles) that I printed out and had laminated. Now I just circle what I need with a dry erase marker (adding other items as necessary), and erase the whole sheet after I’m done! A little more environmentally friendly since I don’t have to use much paper, but I do like how flexible Kate’s idea is.

  • This is fantastic! I always use little notebook paper, but this way I can be eco-friendly and use up the back of all the scrap paper I save at work!

  • Thanks so much! After downloading the font, and tinkering with it a bit on Word, I was able to make a few edits to produce exactly what I needed. Love this idea!

  • This is great- I always need a organized list for grocery shopping or else I forget things I really need and get things I really DON’T need!

  • I LOVE this!!! It can be so hard to get organized but with food, you just gotta! Great idea :)

  • THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT I’VE BEEN LOOKING FOR! Thank you thank you thank you! I’m going to publish a link to this page on my blog — hopefully it’ll help other people too!

  • Fabulous idea, and thanks so much for sharing.

    Another way to organize the categories is by supermarket aisle (if you most of your items at one store.) I did that for our household and it saves a lot of “Doh!” walk-back time.

  • melanie – that’s rad! thank you for posting it… i am also a compulsive list maker. lists, lists, lists…i love them!!! – kate

  • Fabulous idea—thanks so much for sharing.

    Another way to organize the categories is by supermarket aisle (if you most of your items at one store.) I did that for our household and it saves a lot of “Doh!” walk-back time.

  • Thanks! I can’t thank you enough, especially for the templates. This has been on my to do list for ages – and this is exactly what I was looking for.

  • This is a great idea! I especially love the menu planner/grocery list. Much better than my current method :-0

  • Great idea! I followed everything except I laminated my grocery list so I can just dry-erase and reuse (I hate wasting paper)

  • This is EXACTLY what I need right now. I am trying to be better about meal planning and it all starts with the shopping list. thanks!

  • Wow! I LOVE this! I just recently organized all of my recipes into a binder and am excited to use the grocery/menu list. Thanks so much for making yours you spent so much time working on available! Saves me a lot of time. Hope you get rid of that cold, I’ve been trying to shake this case of tonsillitis! YUCK!

  • Thank you, thank you, thank you. A few weeks ago I spent hours on the web looking for such a list (even over at Martha’s). Clearly I have hours to search rather than actually make one myself!

  • My husband and I were just talking about how much we need something like this. (I’m not sure he was thinking of something this pretty!) I think this is perfect!

    Thanks, as always!

  • I have mine organized in the order of the aisles at the store, my usual progression, saves me from running back and forth. and at each section I have some blank spots for unusual items

  • thank you for the downloaded versions. that was VERY helpful! what a lovely way to shop, very organized and easy.


  • I created a grocery list like this, but organized by the aisles in the grocery store I use… works great for me!

  • Hey, thanks! So smart, as always! This is just the ticket for a healthier plan of action for tackling my grocery shopping list.

    Jimena has a great idea of making her list according to the aisles in her favorite store. I might create a little pdf for myself as a hybrid of the two ideas. Thanks again, you bunch of smart (but healthy) cookies.

  • Perfect. Thanks for the downloads. Starting to change eating habits w/Dr Oz and these lists will really help.

  • This is genius. Now I won’t be losing those little scraps of paper that seem to drift all over my kitchen. Thank you!

  • This is great!!! I’ve been thinking of creating something like this for over a year, but never got around to it! I will be downloading Melanie’s version so that I can customize my list for the items that my family uses most. Thanks again!!

  • Thanks! This is awesome! It’s going to help with my resolution to cook more often and eat healthier. Sweet!

  • Really smart! I used keep a note pad on my fridge, till my husband took the whole thing to the grocery store and lost it! But it was great, because we would add things as we ran out. But it would be more efficient to make your own, because we usually buy the same things every week.

  • Really smart! I used keep a note pad on my fridge, till my husband took the whole thing to the grocery store and lost it! But it was great, because we would add things as we ran out. Make your own would be more efficient.

  • Thank you for the downloads! The menu planner with grocery list below is such a great idea. Will definitely try this out in our house.

  • Not only are the forms and the idea so super cute, useful, and much needed in my house, but I’m just so grateful to finally have a complete grocery shopping list that I don’t have to obsess over for hours! Thanks a bunch!!

  • These are gorgeous, Kate! I’m a nutritionist and I talk about meal planning with my clients all the time – this would definitely be something that’s helpful to them!

  • What a great idea! Love the list, and can’t wait to make use of it this weekend! xo

  • thanks a lot for organize my life, it will be really, really, really, helpful!

  • Love it; being organized is so rewarding for the spirit…. thanks for sharing and get better soon !

  • The pdf’s are great but getting files we could edit and customize instead of having to start over again would be awesome.

    Thanks for the great idea.

  • I love this! Thanks for making it available for download. I’m obsessively organized about meal planning and grocery shopping, and this makes it a little more fun. Happy new year!

  • I just signed up with Atkins today. Came across your downloadable grocery list and couldn’t be more excited! I am not the most organized of people although I do try. This will help more than you can imagine! Thank you for sharing with everyone!

  • You might also want to try out http://outofeggs.com.

    You can customize it however you want, arranging items into categories or aisles. Checkboxes appear on the printed copy so you can mark which items to get on the next trip, and you can add blank lines to write in occasional items.

    Then print out a bunch and make your own magnetic pad like Kate described.

  • Brilliant. I am new to being a housewife and this will be such a useful tool for me.

    Lee Valley Tools has amazingly strong magnets and I might use these instead. If anyone needs some super heavy-duty magnets for fridge-hanging projects, I suggest you give em a try.

  • This is fantastic! Thanks so much! Since using this I’ve saved a bunch on groceries and have actually been cooking dinners.

  • I used this as inspiration for my own menu planning – I had to adapt it a little. You can download my edit-able copy on my website. Great idea!

  • I love new grocery list ideas! Thanks for sharing yours! I’m getting bored with my “usual” so I’m loving diff tips! Thanks!

  • I love this, but the downloadable files were removed? All three links open an error page.

  • hi,

    i would love to download the grocery list but the files are down. did you removed them?

  • I tried downloading the the files but I was unable to! This seems like an awesome idea. Any ideas as to why its not letting us download the files?

  • Grace, thanks for looking into the links – I, too, would love to download these lists – what a perfect, practical solution! :)

  • Grrr…
    May 10th & I can not get the links to open. Error message. I am so terribly sad!
    Can the 3 pdf files be e-mailed to me? Please?

  • This is an awesome idea, and I love it. :) I was wondering what the fonts you used were titled and where I could find them? I can’t seem to find anything similar in Microsoft Word or DA font. It would be much appresiated.


  • just posted to fb for my daughter; she was looking for one…thanks:)

  • I am curious to know what you eat…I see “pomegranate seeds”. Is there any way that you could print the list of what you make for meals?

  • many many thanks…linked to you from money saving mom…great project…thx for the lists, perhaps we wont have pizza 2 nights this week!

  • I love these lists! Thank you so much for the help with my menu planning. I’m a newbie to it and need all the help I can get. You are awesome!

  • I would love to have a copy of the grocery and menu lists. I think they would be very helpful. They would be easy for mu husband to use since his memory has been affected by a stroke. Thanks,

  • I do this too! Great to see that other people are on board for it too!!! They are really simple to design yourself (the menus) and you can personalize it just the way you like it!

  • I just ran across this on pinterest and LOVE IT! Thanks so much for not only a great organizational tool but one that is SO CUTE!
    Because I am not familiar with your site (yet!) I thought you might be able to save me some time if I just asked you real quick- Do you have something similar to this for household chores, organization, cleaning checklists, etc? If so I’d LOVE it if you could point me in the right direction as that is what I’m working on today. Thanks so much! I can’t wait until I have some time to sit down and check out what other things you have on here!

  • I LOVE this…you are so clever! Thanks for sharing! I posted a link to this post on my blog! This is so good…it needs to be shared! :)

  • I can’t seem to get the links to work so I can download them. Is there any way you can send them to me?

  • I will be making my own Word versions of your lists – customized because I’m a FREAK about having my grocery lists organized by the aisle in which the products are placed in the store!!!

  • I’d love to have these lists but I can’t find the links to download and print? Please help me or email them to me? thankyou and I love your site!

  • I LOVE this and just downloaded your lists. THANKS! It is my mission to become organized in my life by 2013!!!!!

  • i have had these lists downloaded for years now & would really like to be able to edit the pdf files. any help? besides purchasing a pdf converter for $60 on the app store?

  • Thanks so much for sharing! This will be so helpful as I go back to work after being on maternity leave!
    Bless you and Merry Christmas!

  • My husband always re-writes my lists and categorizes our items by “sections” based on the grocery store aisles to make his trips quicker. :) Think you could make a similar print out (in word format) that is section-friendly for the grocery store? (freezer foods, fresh fruits and veggies, dairy, etc.) You are AWESOME!!!

  • Thank you for putting up downloadable documents. That was so nice of you to go out of your way!

  • Truly thankful for caring individuals like yourself to share tools that help keep our sanity!! THANK YOU!!

  • This is awesome! Such a cute idea! I wonder if after a few lists, I could even revert back to my past ones to rotate, so to speak, my menu plans (recycle)! Thanks so much!

  • I have to say Kate you are a GENIUS!!! these lists are so helpful and oh so adorable as well… I’m a big recipe cooker so your menu planner is brilliant! thanks so much for sharing and i will make sure to pass this on to everyone i know…. <33