Grocery shopping can be an enjoyable and therapeutic experience as you stroll the store, wander the aisles, explore new foods and talk to the staff about cooking techniques and recipe ideas. However, we all have had those days when our calendars are crazy and our schedule are packed. Grocery shopping is still a must, but we need to get in and get out as quickly as possible. The next time you are pressed for time, try these grocery store hacks and make your time at the grocery store more efficient.
#1 Don’t Shop Hungry
This is probably one of the most valuable grocery shopping tips out there, but don’t shop when you are hungry. When hunger strikes, you are more likely to fill your cart with items not on your grocery list and let your eyes wander for too long. For a more pleasant grocery shopping experience (for you and your fellow shoppers), avoid grocery shopping when hungry.
#2 Avoid Shopping After Work
If you can, avoid grocery shop after work. This is when most people do their shopping before heading home for the day. Checkout lines may also be longer at this time as well, so skip the crowds and try to steer clear of grocery shopping after the work day.
#3 Make a Grocery List
Creating a grocery list may sound obvious, but an official list makes grocery shopping easier. Plan out the meals you want to eat for the following week then build a grocery list based off of your menu or create a list that follows the floor plan of the store with categories. List all of your fresh produce together so you can pick up all of your fruit and vegetables at once. Then do the same for meat, frozen items and shelf stable foods. Sticking to the grocery list will also save you time and money.
Need some recipe ideas? Check out our seasonal meal prep guide. We also have created a guide for those who are Paleo and Vegan.
#4 Shop the Perimeter of the Store
Shop the perimeter of the grocery store first, since this is where all of the perishable items like fresh fruit and vegetables, meat and dairy are located. Shopping the perimeter promotes real, whole food options, but don’t forget to pop into the middle section of the store for your favorite pantry staples.
#5 Avoid Sales Unless It’s on the List
Unless items are on your grocery list, don’t buy them (yes, even if they are on sale). However, if you and your family need a lot of one specific item, shop in bulk. Great items to purchase in bulk include coffee, grains, nuts and seeds.
#6 Take a Picture of Your Pantry
This may sounds silly, but before you head out to the grocery store, take a photo of your pantry, fridge and freezer that way if you can’t remember if you need an item or not, you can pull up your photo and refer to it for a point of reference. If you don’t remember to take a photo of your pantry, make a list of the items you do have so you can keep track of items you already have stocked at home.
#7 Check the Unit Price
Checking the unit price of items will give you an idea of how much you’re really paying per item. Many times, one product looks less expensive than another, but really it’s because you are getting less of it, so be sure to check the unit price when grocery shopping.
#8 Fill Up on Fragile Items Last
It’s easy to start grocery shopping by picking up your produce first, but avoid this. Instead, hit the inner aisles for heavier food items like jars and canned goods then proceed to the produce aisle. This will ensure your fruits, vegetables and freshly baked breads won’t get crushed.
#9 Bag Like Items Together
When waiting in the checkout line, place like items together so they will be bagged together. Frozen items should go together so everything stays as cold as possible while other items like fresh fruit and vegetables can go together and more delicate items like farm fresh eggs and breads can be placed by one another.
Use these grocery store hacks the next time you grocery shop and make your time at the grocery store more efficient.
Remember to tag us @SimpleMills so we can see your weekly grocery haul.