Instant Shopping Lists, or…How Excel Can Improve Your Marriage

Sunday mornings at my house:

Wife: "What do you want for dinners this week?"

Me: "Dunno. Something easy."

Wife: "Think of something."

Me: "Bratwursts?"

Wife: "Something real."


And so it goes, every weekend. Making the weekly grocery list is one of those tedious tasks that feels like an unavoidable mallet to the brain.

My friend Cathy decided to do something about it—she built an Excel tool that helps her pick dinners and automatically build a list of ingredients. This Recipe Manager is a fine feat of Excel engineering and she has been kind enough to let us share it with our readers.

Step 1: Use the handy recipe input sheet to add new items to your list. Tip: Only add ingredients that you don’t normally stock.

Recipe Input

Step 2: Select from drop down lists of dinner options--one for each day of the week. The dinner suggestions area at the bottom randomly selects a set of recipes to provide some fresh ideas.

Recipe Selection

Step 3: Print out your automatically generated shopping list.

Shopping List

Download Cathy’s Recipe Manager here. It may just free up some quality time.