Here are my top six best grocery shopping tips for people who hate grocery stores. Lots of people hate grocery shopping, so these tips will help you get in and out of your store efficiently and quickly.
It doesn’t really matter where you shop for your meal planning, so long as it is a grocery store. But I wanted to share a few ideas of how to save time, energy, and a little money.
Shop Your Stock
Once you know your meal plan, you’ll know what your shopping list is, but you most likely don’t need to buy everything on the list. You need to check to see what you already have on hand to see if you really do need more hamburger or flour or eggs. I call this Shop Your Stock.
You won’t always need to shop your stock, as you’ll know if you have recently bought something, like a ten pound bag of flour. But if you can’t remember how many cans of olives you have, for example, don’t be like me and buy olives at the store every time you go just because you might not have any at home. I now have 10 cans of olives.
One Stop Shopping
I recommend, wholeheartedly, to get all your shopping done at the same store. I understand that specialty stores are wonderful resources and sometimes your basic store just doesn’t have everything you need. If you do need to stop at more than one place, try to limit yourself to two. Just the time it takes to get in and out of a store and traveling from one place to another will eat up your time super fast.
Also, when you make your shopping list you’ll want to divide your list according to what each store will have. This doesn’t necessarily mean making more than one list. You can just use a highlighter or symbol next to an item to denote that you should get at one of the stores.
Grocery Shopping with Rewards Programs
If you are already apart of the shopping scene, you know that nearly every store has some sort of reward program for their loyal shoppers. To be honest I find them rather annoying, but I love being able to find coupons and great deals every now and then.
Pick your favorite store, and I recommend being apart of any and all offers they provide. My store not only offers digital coupons but also gas discounts and airline miles.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a mega coupon lady, and I don’t always check my app to see if that one item happens to have a coupon that I need to add before checking out. But there are legitimate discounts to be found! I like to occasionally splurge on something I don’t normally get, but do, because of its discount.
Coupon clipping can very time consuming, even if it is online or on your phone. I think this is what frustrates me the most! I love getting the discounts I just don’t like having to work for them. There is also a trap here, and you have to decide how you want to use these discounts to your benefit. Are you going to reference the weekly ad before picking your menu for the week, or are you just going to see if anything you need is on sale. Trust me when I say, the first way takes a lot longer.
Online Grocery Shopping
Online shopping sounds so impressive, and I’m entirely jealous of the areas of the country that offer this option. There are several grocery stores like Fred Meyer and super-centers like Walmart that will even bring your groceries to the car! I kid you not!!
There are a few big name options that will bring items to your door like Amazon or Full Circle, but don’t forget there are lots of small name and local deliveries during the summer that deliver dry goods, produce, or meats.
Unfortunately I don’t have any local or national companies that delivery to my car or my door these fabulous food, (excepting Full Circle and maybe some others I don’t know about), so I won’t be able to assist you directly with setting any of these services up.
Also, these links are not affiliate links and just for your information!
Therapeutic Grocery Shopping
Ok, I’m pretty sure a lot of people don’t actually like to shop, but there are few rare finds who take great pleasure in it. My hope here is to give a few ideas of how to not dread it quite so much and maybe make the outing more fun.
Go with a friend – Have a friend that also need to do grocery shopping? Make it a date! It might not be the fastest way to get in and out of the store, but I’m sure it will be way more fun. Not only to have somebody to chat with it gives you camaraderie with each other. Also, maybe it’s the only time that you can make time for each other and you are still being productive.
Self medicate – I’m not really suggesting actual medicine, but rather indulge in something that will help you pass the time. A latte or tea, an audio book, your favorite rock band, or even stopping in the bakery for a cookie might be good ways for you to help make your shopping experience better.
Make it a game – Clock yourself and see how fast you can get in and out (just don’t forget anything). Write out your list in order by the store aisle or section and see if you never have to double back. If you don’t have too much to get, try avoiding getting a push cart, and haul that hand basket all over the store for a little workout.
Treat yourself – Sometimes a job well done deserves an award, and if you are motivated by that sort of thing, by all means buy that magazine, candy bar, or nail polish.
Making a List
Yes, I recommend you actually make a list. It doesn’t matter if it’s on paper, on a napkin, on your phone, or written on the back of your eyelids. Some stores even have a list as a part of their phone app that will sort by aisle number which can make life so much easier and zoom you through the store. It’s also pretty easy just to jot things down by section: produce, dry goods and cans, meats, bakery, etc.
Most times if you are trying to follow a recipe, it will call for specific amounts of ingredients. While most things might be rather vague or inconsequential, sometimes you need to get just the right amount (such as one pound of sausage or 5 pounds of roast). As you reference the recipe during your list making, jot down how much you need for those type of items. You’ll be happy you did if you see chicken stock on your list, but you don’t know if the recipe calls for one cup or one quart.
I truly hope these shopping tips will help you and perhaps make your shopping less dreadful. Do you have any tips that you would like to share? Please comment below! I’d love to hear your ideas.
Continue reading other topics in the Meal Planning series.
3. Six Best Grocery Shopping Tips (Oh, that’s this one!)