Planning & Prep

17 Grocery List Categories to Make Shopping Easy



Last Updated: Nov 16, 2022

If trips to the grocery store leave you stressed, and you end up overspending on your grocery budget, buying duplicate items, or forgetting other essential items, then a categorized grocery list might be the perfect solution.

Having an ultra-organized grocery list can make your visit to the grocery store quicker and more productive. And having a structure to your shopping list will ultimately save you money, too, as you’ve already planned and listed the foods you’ll be buying.

Here you will find popular grocery list categories that you can build your own grocery list around.

Quick Answer

How do you organize your grocery list?

You may find a printable categorized grocery list helpful when planning out meals. Prepare the list in the week prior to shopping by making a list of the ingredients you need based on the dishes you’re making. Listing ingredients by category will save you time in the grocery store and help to eliminate impulse buying.

Here are some suggestions for categories that are helpful to use on a grocery list:

Common grocery list categories

✓ Fruits — Apples, bananas,  grapes, oranges, strawberries, avocados, peaches, etc.

✓ Vegetables — Potatoes, onions, carrots, salad greens, broccoli, peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, etc.

✓ Canned Goods — Soup, tuna, fruit, beans, vegetables, pasta sauce, etc.

✓ Dairy — Butter, cheese, eggs, milk, yogurt, etc.

✓ Meat— Chicken, beef, pork, sausage, bacon etc.

✓ Fish & Seafood— Shrimp, crab, cod, tuna, salmon, etc.

✓ Deli— Cheese, salami, ham, turkey, etc.

✓ Condiments & Spices— Black pepper, oregano, cinnamon, sugar, olive oil, ketchup, mayonnaise, etc.

✓ Snacks— Chips, pretzels, popcorn, crackers, nuts, etc.

✓ Bread & Bakery— Bread, tortillas, pies, muffins, bagels, cookies, etc.

✓ Beverages— Coffee, teabags, milk, juice, soda, beer, wine, etc.

✓ Pasta, Rice & Cereal—Oats, granola, brown rice, white rice, macaroni, noodles, etc.

✓ Baking— Flour, powdered sugar, baking powder, cocoa etc.

✓ Frozen Foods — Pizza, fish, potatoes, ready meals, ice cream, etc.

✓ Personal Care— Shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, toothpaste, dental floss, etc.

✓ Health Care— Saline, band-aid, cleaning alcohol, pain killers, antacids, etc.

✓ Household & Cleaning Supplies—Laundry detergent, dish soap, dishwashing liquid, paper towels, tissues, trash bags, aluminum foil, zip bags, etc.

✓ Baby Items— Baby food, diapers, wet wipes, lotion, etc.

✓ Pet Care— Pet food, kitty litter, chew toys, pet treats, pet shampoo, etc.

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How to organize a grocery list by category

Use this free grocery list by category to organize your weekly grocery list and ensure your shopping trip is efficient, productive, and hassle-free.

There are a few ways you can keep an organized grocery list in preparation for your weekly grocery store trip:

  • Keep a blank grocery list in your kitchen to add items to. Have it displayed somewhere in the kitchen—on the front of the fridge or pantry—and encourage family members to add items to it.
  • Use a shopping list app to build your grocery list. Choosing a shared shopping list app means the family can also add to the group list on their smartphones.
  • Use the grocery store’s weekly specials flyer to organize your grocery list. For most grocery stores, you’ll find their current specials and deals listed online, or you may get a flyer in the mail. Reading the store specials circular makes it easy to plan your weekly meals because you’ll know what products are on special that week and can create your grocery list around it.
Shopping list on smartphone screen in the hand of customer.

Free printable grocery list by category

Using the list below, simply copy and paste the items into an editable document, remove what you don’t need, and print! Items may include:

1. Fruits

  • Apples
  • Avocados
  • Bananas
  • Berries
  • Cherries
  • Grapes
  • Grapefruit
  • Kiwi
  • Lemons
  • Limes
  • Melons
  • Nectarines
  • Oranges
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Plums

2. Vegetables

  • Asparagus
  • Beets
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Corn
  • Cucumbers
  • Eggplant
  • Garlic
  • Green onions
  • Lettuce
  • Onions
  • Peppers
  • Potatoes
  • Salad greens
  • Spinach
  • Sweet potato
  • Tomatoes
  • Zucchini

3. Dairy

  • Butter
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Cream cheese
  • Eggs
  • Dip
  • Feta cheese
  • Milk
  • Shredded cheese
  • Sour cream
  • Yogurt
  • Whipped cream

4. Bread and baked goods

  • Bread
  • Bagels
  • Cake
  • Croissants
  • Cookies
  • Donuts
  • Hamburger buns
  • Hot dog buns
  • Muffins
  • Pita bread
  • Tortillas
  • Wraps

5. Meat and fish

  • Bacon
  • Burgers
  • Chicken
  • Cod
  • Deli meat
  • Ground beef
  • Ham
  • Hot dogs
  • Salmon
  • Sausages
  • Steak
  • Tuna
  • Turkey

6. Meat alternatives

  • Paneer
  • Quorn meat
  • Soy burgers
  • Soy hot dogs
  • Tempeh
  • Tofu
  • Veggie burgers

7. Cans and jars

  • Apple sauce
  • Baked beans
  • Black beans
  • Broth
  • Canned fruit
  • Carrots
  • Chickpeas
  • Chopped tomatoes
  • Creamed corn
  • Jam/jelly
  • Lentils
  • Olives
  • Pasta sauce
  • Peas
  • Peanut butter
  • Pickles
  • Pie filling
  • Soup

8. Pasta, rice, and cereals

  • Breakfast cereals
  • Couscous
  • Granola
  • Lasagna noodles
  • Macaroni
  • Oats
  • Pasta
  • Quinoa
  • Rice
  • Rice noodles
  • Spaghetti
  • Vermicelli

9. Sauces and condiments

  • BBQ sauce
  • Chutney
  • Coconut oil
  • Honey
  • Horseradish
  • Hot sauce
  • Lemon juice
  • Mayonnaise
  • Mustard
  • Olive oil
  • Relish
  • Rice bran oil
  • Salad dressing
  • Salsa
  • Soy sauce
  • Steak sauce
  • Sweet and sour sauce
  • Teriyaki
  • Tomato ketchup
  • Vegetable oil
  • Vinegar

10. Herbs and spices

  • Basil
  • Bay leaves
  • BBQ seasoning
  • Black pepper
  • Cajun seasoning
  • Cinnamon
  • Cloves
  • Cumin
  • Curry powder
  • Coriander seed
  • Garlic powder
  • Garlic salt
  • Italian seasoning
  • Oregano
  • Paprika
  • Red pepper
  • Sage
  • Salt
  • Vanilla sugar

11. Frozen foods

  • Burgers
  • Chicken
  • Chopped fruit
  • Fish
  • Ice cream
  • Ice pops
  • Pies
  • Pizza
  • Veggie burgers
  • Waffles

12. Snacks

  • Almonds
  • Candy
  • Cashews
  • Cookies
  • Crackers
  • Dried fruit
  • Granola bars
  • Gelatin
  • Popcorn
  • Potato chips
  • Pretzels
  • Pudding
  • Seeds
  • Tortilla chips

13. Drinks

  • Beer
  • Club soda
  • Coconut water
  • Coffee
  • Energy drinks
  • Juice
  • Kombucha
  • Liquor
  • Milk
  • Soft drinks
  • Teabags
  • Wine

14. Household and cleaning

  • Air freshener
  • Aluminum foil
  • Batteries
  • Bleach
  • Coffee filters
  • Dish soap
  • Dishwasher detergent
  • Fabric softener
  • Floor cleaner
  • Garbage bags
  • Glass spray
  • Laundry detergent
  • Light bulbs
  • Napkins
  • Plastic wrap
  • Plastic bags
  • Paper towels
  • Sponges
  • Surface spray
  • Toilet paper
  • Vacuum bags
  • Waxed paper

15. Personal care

  • Body lotion
  • Bug repellant
  • Conditioner
  • Cotton swabs
  • Dental floss
  • Deodorant
  • Facial tissues
  • Hand soap
  • Lip balm
  • Makeup
  • Makeup wipes
  • Mouthwash
  • Razors
  • Shampoo
  • Shaving cream
  • Shower gel
  • Sunscreen
  • Toothpaste

16. Pet care

  • Cat food
  • Cat litter
  • Chew toys
  • Dog food
  • Dog treats
  • Flea treatment
  • Pet shampoo
  • Poop bags

17. Baby products

  • Baby food
  • Baby wipes
  • Diapers
  • Diaper cream
  • Formula
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Resources related to grocery list categories

If you found this guide helpful and you want to browse more related content, make sure to check out these additional resources:

Create your grocery list and get it delivered

You don’t have to make time-consuming trips to the grocery store to keep your home well-stocked with food. Make your life easier and use Instacart to create and organize your grocery list and get your groceries delivered to you!



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