Maybe you love wandering through the grocery store, staring at shelves, trying to decide what to cook only to come home with the same old stuff or (this is the worst) you spent $200 and have absolutely nothing to cook that night.
Or maybe you don’t like it. Maybe you’re like me and hate it. You need to grocery shop faster.
But you feel lost about how to do it better.
Well chin up–because there really is a way to shop more efficiently every single week. I’ve done it for years and never even realized it was happening and now I’m going to share it with you. With this plan, it’s completely possible for you to shop TWO STORES in under 45 minutes (including checkout and loading the car!)
Now truth be told–you will have to do some planning before you head out. No secrets there. You can’t just blunder through the store and expect the right ingredients to jump in your basket.
- Stock your simple pantry and fridge. In case you missed it, you need to keep the basics like butter, flour, frozen vegetables, and spices on hand all the time. That means you can cut your shopping list and searching the store by about 80.3493% each week. I know your simple pantry will probably look a little different from mine, but that’s okay. Use my list found here on my site or write your own and make sure these things are always on your shelves. Then you’ll just need to add the few extras to your list to round out a dish. This is the key to it all.
- Make something that at least looks like a list. Never. I repeat never wander aimlessly through the store buying Slim Jim’s and canned tuna without a purpose. You’ll spend a ton and still find out you’re missing ingredients. You may hate the idea of making a list but the truth is, they work. Take a piece of scrap paper or type it on your phone, but at least try to jot down the main items you need. We could even go further and say that you might write down what you want to eat on a certain night of the week–ahem–we won’t call that meal planning. That makes us sound too type A.
- Never shop hungry. You’ve done it. Eyeballed the powdered donuts or bought popcorn chicken in the deli when you didn’t need it. Don’t slow yourself down by shopping hungry. Have a snack with you if you haven’t eaten yet or try to get something before you go in.
- Know your store. Don’t wander looking for sun dried tomatoes. Especially if you have three kids trying to run your ankles off with the shopping cart. No tomato is worth that. Abandon ship! Head for home! Or at least shop in stores you are familiar with–get to know the layout and for heaven sake, if you can’t find something, ask.
- Shop alone and early in the morning if you can. Who else is grocery shopping with a line of tiny feet these days? Yep. Me too. It will slow you down, so if you can go it alone do it. (Like all us moms didn’t already know that!) If you have to take along the kids, give the older ones a job to do like marking off that awesome list you made or getting items into the cart. And the earlier you shop the fewer crowds you’ll have to face. Try to get your shopping done before 10 a.m. if you can–even you Saturday shoppers can do that.
Grocery shopping doesn’t have to be an all day event. You can do it faster and more organized when you take 30 minutes to know what you’re after, and make a plan. Check your cabinets to see what you already have and don’t buy another one until you’re running low.
How do you grocery shop more efficiently? Share your tips and tricks with me in the comments.