I’ve always enjoyed grocery shopping. It’s not an activity that I want to rush through; however, I have a daughter who accompanies me to the store and a busy schedule, so I can rarely grocery shop at a leisurely pace.
If you need to get into the store, shop, and get out quickly, then you may benefit from these strategies that can help you speedily shop for groceries.
Prepare a grocery list and shop by the list
If you have a grocery list, then you don’t have to spend time trying to decide what to get as you browse aisle after aisle of food. Of course, simply having a list doesn’t prevent you from taking a lot of time to peruse the shelves—you have to stick to the list! If your list is complete, then it will also prevent you from having to make impromptu visits to the store for forgotten items.
Organize your grocery list by aisle
Familiarize yourself with the layout of your preferred grocery store and determine the route you like to take as you shop. Use this information to order the items on your list so that they are listed in the same order as you’ll encounter them while walking through the store.
Plan meals well in advance so you can go to the store less often
If you plan out several weeks’ worth of meals, then you can avoid a weekly trip to the grocery store. Meal planning will also help you formulate the grocery list mentioned above. By watching the expiration dates on dairy products and storing fruits and veggies carefully, you can easily cut back your grocery shopping to one trip every two weeks.
Take advantage of grocery store alternatives
Are there grocery co-ops or CSA programs available in your area? Is there a grocery delivery service that works with your preferred grocery store? Have you tried purchasing items from an online retailer such as Amazon? See if these grocery store alternatives can decrease how much time you spend in brick-and-mortar retailers.
Buy in bulk
If you know you use a lot of an item, why not purchase it in a large quantity so you don’t have to pick it up every time you go to the store? This may also save you money because bulk quantities are often less costly than small quantities.
Shop during off-peak times
If you shop during peak times (weekends, 5:00-7:00 p.m. on weekdays, the days before major holidays, etc.), then you may encounter congestion in the aisles and have to wait in line for a long time when you go through the checkout. Shopping during off-peak hours will reduce your chance of encountering these delays.
When going through the checkout, place items on the conveyer belt with their barcodes facing the barcode scanner
Watch the cashier to determine where the barcode scanner is located. Once you have this knowledge, you can place your items on the conveyer belt so they are poised for scanning—the cashier will not have to spend time fumbling your items in order to find their barcodes and position them for scanning.
Keep your coupons organized and easily accessible
Your movement through the store will be slowed if you have to stop and shuffle coupons to see if you have one for a particular product. Additional delays will occur if you can’t find your coupons when you go through the checkout, if you have expired coupons, or if you accidentally grabbed an item for which a coupon isn’t applicable. Find an organization system that works for you so you can avoid these holdups.
Consider shopping without your kids
If your kids tend to slow you down while you shop, then see if you can shop at a time when your spouse can watch them or when they are in school.
I’ve noticed that I tend to spend more money when I’m in the store for a long time, so perhaps it’s a good thing I use these strategies!
What things help you grocery shop quickly?