It’s an unavoidable task – in order to survive, we must eat and in order to eat, we must grocery shop. In the US, consumers make an average of 1.5 trips to the grocery store per week (per household). Occasionally you’ll meet someone who doesn’t mind grocery shopping or even describes liking it. But for most people it’s a chore. According to Consumer Reports, the top 3 most hated aspects of grocery shopping include too few checkouts open, congested aisles, and limited choices. Stores WITH plenty of open checkouts, clear aisles, and lots of choices are more enjoyable to shop at. Here are 10 additional tips that will help make grocery shopping less stressful (and maybe even enjoyable).
1. Go with a list!
When we shop with a list, we are more deliberate with product selection and we spend less money on impulse buys. Taking your list – whether it’s on your phone or on paper – also saves time by helping us stay focused on why we are there, without a lot of standing staring moments, trying to recall what we have and don’t have at home in the fridge or trying to brainstorm what ingredients to buy for dinner that night.
Have you ever left the grocery store after dropping $100+, only to arrive home still feeling like you lack meal parts? Having your list will not only optimize time and the amount left in your wallet, but also the likelihood you will leave with what you need to make meals.
2. Eat before you go.
Shopping hungry = impatience and more impulse purchasing. Even if it means sitting in your car and eating a snack before entering the grocery store, do it! When we shop hungry, we not only tend to spend more money, we also gravitate to foods that are ready to eat now instead of ingredients to cook up later. (This makes sense. right? Our bodies are needing to eat now, so we crave foods that are ready to go and don’t need cooked first.) Hungry and listless? That’s big trouble because a hungry brain will have a very tough time coming up with meal ideas on the spot.
3. Use an app.
I was out of town visiting a friend, and as we were sitting in our pajamas with coffee while her husband was at the market, she watched on her Todoist app and saw which items her husband had bought as he was putting them into the cart and checking them off the list! Gone are the days of same day trips to the market, going a second time to retrieve the items our spouse missed the first time.
4. Get your meal plan groove on.
Not sure what to put on your grocery list? By making a weekly meal plan ahead of time, you’ll not only be prepared for the week, you’ll have everything you need for an all-star grocery list.