We have a system at our house which works really well (though once and a while we mess up and don't follow it perfectly). Our system is this: We keep a shopping list pad posted on the refrigerator. We also buy two or more of the things we regularly use. For instance on Mayonnaise we always have one which is in use in the fridge and another that is ready on the shelf. Whenever we use up the Mayonnaise in the fridge then we write it on the list and then open the one on the shelf. As long as we follow this (which both Ken and I are pretty good at now) we never have to say "Oh no! we are all out of ketchup!" when we are having burgers and oven fries. That definitely works for us.