Categories of Grocery Shopping Items

Creating a grocery list is one of the best ways to ensure that you are buying only what you need and staying within your shopping budget. The easiest way to do that is to plan your list by writing down needed items according to their category. This will prevent you from wandering aimlessly as you shop.

Simplify your shopping experience by creating categories for grocery items.

Fresh Produce

Squash, eggplant and tomatoes are found in the produce aisle.

Items found in the produce aisle of the grocery store fall under this category. This includes fresh fruits such as apples, tomatoes, pears and bananas. Fresh vegetables such as lettuce, onions, celery and carrots also are a part of this category.


Seafood such as fish and shellfish are part of the meat category.

This is the category that covers all types of meats used for cooking. This includes beef items such as hamburgers and steaks; poultry items such as turkey, game hens and chicken; and pork foods such as sausage, chops and bacon. If you are writing a shopping list by categories, fish and shellfish should also be included here.


Cheese still life
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Cheeses are found in the dairy aisle or section.

Milk, creams, sour cream and yogurt are all part of the dairy section of the grocery store. Other items that should be categorized as dairy products are cheeses, eggs and egg substitutes.

Frozen Foods

Man looking at frozen foods in grocery store
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Man looks at frozen food in the grocery store

The frozen food category covers anything that is located in the freezer aisles at the grocery store. This can include ice cream and frozen meals such as microwaveable entrees and pizzas. Vegetables and meats that have been frozen are also included in this section. For example, if you are planning your grocery shopping list and need breaded chicken breasts or frozen corn, they should be written down under this category on your list.

Bread, Cereal, Rice and Pasta

Assortment of bread loaves
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This section corresponds with the grocery store aisles containing breads, pastas, cereals and rice products. It includes dinner rolls, tortillas, pitas, hamburger and hot dog buns. This category may also include bakery items such as pastries.

Staples and Miscellaneous Foods

brown sugar
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A bag of brown sugar

This category is for dried herbs and other spices. Sugar, sugar substitutes, flour and other items used for baking may also fall in this area.

Health and beauty

Beautiful young woman buying lipstick
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A woman tries on lipstick in the beauty section of the supermarket

The beauty section of the health and beauty category covers items such as cosmetics, hair dyes and deodorants. Aspirin, pain relievers, cold and flu medicine are an example of items that also fall under health and beauty. When writing a shopping list, write toothpaste in this area.


Range of cleaning liquid detergents
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Detergent and other household maintenance items

This category encompasses non-grocery items that are needed for household maintenance. Items such as laundry and dishwashing detergent are included here. Other examples of household items include garbage bags, air fresheners and cleaning supplies.

Karl Bruce

Karl Bruce has been a writer since 2009, writing a variety of articles for eHow. He holds a bachelor's degree in computer science from California State University, Chico, and has worked in the tech industry for most of his life.