If you are like me, you may be finding yourself at the grocery store more than once per week!
I try to make my trips as productive and efficient as possible!
The following tips may help you, too!
Make Your List As You Go Along with the Week
I hate standing in front of the refrigerator and trying to make a grocery list last minute before I am about to go to the store!
I end up forgetting about items that I realized I needed earlier in the week and I feel pressure of time, so I end up overlooking items we need.
I keep a pen and paper on the counter or refrigerator (or for you high-tech, modern folks, you can keep your phone handy – as if you don’t already! Hee…hee!) and jot down what I realize we need as I am cooking or packing lunches throughout the week.
You can find some great notepads/writing paper and pens at Save Dollar Store! Check it out!
Darn! Getting low on cinnamon? (Immediately write it down!)
Just used the last piece of salami for your son’s lunch? (Write it down!)
This way, by the time you are ready to go to the store, you have your pre-made list handy!
Go At Odd Times
If you are working daytime hours, it may be more challenging to do this.
I find that Tuesday mornings are the best time for me to go to my local store.
There is hardly anyone in the store and the lines are a little more open.
If you do work late hours, you may want to try to go later at night, say, around 8pm or 9pm.
If you have to take the children with you, you can prep everything for the next day ahead of time and make grocery shopping the last major activity before you go home and go to bed.
Also, if you have little ones, I find that infant carriers and diaper bags that are easily manageable make a big difference!
Check out some of these at Ergobaby!
Shop for Non-Parishable Items First!
I learned this the hard way!
These stores today do not want to hire enough cashiers!
There are only one or two lines open at a time, so, obviously, you have to wait longer to get checked out.
One time, I waited 20 minutes in line while a cashier was so busy talking that she spilled the customer’s laundry detergent all over the conveyer belt!
She had to shut down her line and I had to move to another line, where I waited 25 minutes to check out!
My frozen food had thawed by the time I had gotten home and I was fuming!!!
So, now, even though the meat and frozen isles come up first, I start at the middle of the store and grab all of the non-perishables first and THEN grab the meat and frozen very last!
Oh? You use the self-scanners?
Sometimes, there is a longer line for these!
And stores are training you to do the job of the cashier!
That way, they do not have to pay a cashier and they can save more money at the cost of your time, energy and expense!
You are being sucked into a trap if you use these!
Shop at “Mom and Pop” Stores
It may be more appealing to go to a large grocery store chain and get everything at once.
What I realized though, is that the produce and some of the other products were FRESHER at the smaller stores.
Also, the customer service may be better, too.
When I complain at the larger chains, they do not seem to care.
When I complained the one time at my local “mom and pop” store, I had immediate and appropriate customer service!
The manager apologized for the inconvenience over the phone and when I brought the product back to the store, he not only replaced it, but gave me more of the product to make up for it!
He said that if I ever have any other trouble, to please just let him know and he would take care of me.
Now, that’s a good store!
So, do I pay a little more for my produce and is it a little more inconvenient to go out of the way to drive there rather than go to the major chain right across the street?
But it is worth it because I know that the produce and meat are fresher and the customer service is impeccable!
This is where I want to give my time and money!
Not to a major chain that is just looking for ways to save money and could care less about my shopping experience!
Don’t Stress the Grocery Cart!
Stores today strongly encourage you to walk your grocery cart all the way to the grocery cart corral in the middle of the parking lot to place it when you are done shopping.
In fact, my local major chain just started putting signs up to get you to organize your cart by size!
Large carts over here!
Small carts over here!
Let me tell you something…
Don’t worry about it!
If you have children with you, you are not going to want to have to haul an empty grocery cart all the way to the corral on the other side of the parking lot while your kids are already buckled into the car!
Be thoughtful when parking your cart in between your car and someone else’s, though, so that the cart does not hit their car and/or so that the other person can get into their car easily.
I believe we are made to feel as though we have to take on this task, in addition to our task of shopping, and we don’t!
Again, another tactic by the grocery store chains, themselves, to get you to do a job that they used to pay someone to do!
If you don’t remember, they used to hire people simply to go out to the parking lots and get grocery carts.
So, do not stress this one little piece of your shopping experience!
Park that cart and get on your way before your ice cream melts and the kids have a breakdown!
It is the grocery stores’ place to take care of that.
Grab Your Cape!
If you weren’t a super shopper before, you may be now!
Hopefully these 5 tips help make your shopping experience easier and more efficient!
And, if you are saying that online shopping is your way of truly being a super shopper….great!
Let me warn you!
You may find that a future of strictly online shopping may leave you homebound too much and eventually you may go stir crazy!
Shopping can be an outlet.
An escape from feeling trapped in the house.
Could you imagine if all we did was sit at home and shopped on our phones because there were no stores left open due to lack of our business?
Would we ever get out to explore, touch, feel and try on new items?
Would we ever really get out to simply get some fresh air and change of scenery?
Look around your house….
Could you imagine never leaving because there is no place left, really, to go?
So, think about that before you make a full switch to online shopping.
Sounds good now, but when that is all that the world becomes someday and there are no stores left….we may feel very differently!
Well, I’m off to the store!
May God Bless You and all of your future shopping endeavors!