Time and Family

We live in a fast paced world and the pace starts to pick up this time of year.  It’s difficult to keep up. Bills have to be paid, homework has to be done, meals have to be made, and groceries have to be bought. Think about it – all the schedules must somehow agree. How does everything all work out? What are some strategies to get it all done?  How can technology help?


Many of us work with computers as a part of our jobs to help make the company or organization we work for more productive but how can computers make us more productive around the house? Applications like Word, Outlook, and Excel can help. One example I recently came across is a grocery list builder. Click this link to find out more: Grocery-list Builder. The article has instructions on how to use the grocery list builder and at the bottom of the article is a link to download a copy.


I remember having to go shopping by myself as a bachelor. I didn’t make a grocery list and would end up buying whatever looked good. If I needed a specific item, I usually walked from one end of the store to another looking for the item. I would usually ask someone and they would say something like, “look on isle B”. Because of those memories, I realize how painful grocery shopping can be. This prompted me to download the grocery builder and play around with it to see if I could change things up. Instead of the categories like vegetables, fruit, etc., I was able to create categories by location or isle within the store. All a person would have to do is update the Grocery List with the isle and they would have a tool that could make grocery shopping so easy a cave man could do it.


To download an example, go to my SkyDrive at the following link: Excel Templates and hover your mouse over the Grocery List by Isle document and click on download.


Below are some of the main points on knowing how to use the grocery list builder:


  • There is a tab named Item Pool at the bottom of the Excel spreadsheet which is an inventory of all the grocery items you might buy
  • Within this is a column called Checklist
  • When a grocery item is running low or needed, enter a “v” in this column
  • On the right upper corner of the spreadsheet is a box labeled Checklist Item with a number below it
  • If this displays eighty four or less, click on the tab called Grocery List 84. You will see that your grocery list has been built and you can print the list.
  • If it displays between eighty four and one hundred forty four, print from the Grocery List 144 sheet
  • If it displays one hundred ninety nine or more, print from the Grocery List 199 sheet
  • There is also a feature to record prices so you can keep up with which store has the lowest price

About Mark Shields

Mark works in the Information Systems Department for an Insurance Company. He volunteers as a member of the media ministry team at his church and runs the 10:50 worship service computer. A few years ago, he started an on-line Bible study guide called “This Day with God Devotional”. He uses this as a tool in his journey through the Bible. We live in a very busy world with busy schedules so this tool has helped him continue with daily Bible reading and study. You’re invited to join him on this journey or check in every so often to read his thoughts.
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