By Isabel Smith, MS, RD, CDN
Grocery shopping can be both a wonderfully relaxing and extremely stressful event; too many people, not enough stock, long lines and more. When it comes to making the trip to the grocery store relaxing and enjoyable, there are a few major things that can help you save time so you arrive prepared and ready to go. Use these 6 simple tips to help you conquer your next grocery store quest.
1. Make a List
First and foremost, the most important thing to do before you go shopping is to make a list of what you will need to purchase. Making a list can help you focus on getting what you need, prevent forgetting key items and can also help to save you time and money. Use our Reboot with Joe Shopping List Template to help you.
Tip: Start your week by planning the items you’ll need during your grocery shopping trip to keep you going for your three meals and snacks. Here are a few easy categories to add to your checklist when it comes to planning your grocery trip:
2. Find Fresh Food Fast.
When it comes to finding the healthiest food during your grocery trip it’s key to know where to look and what to look for.
3. Stay to the Perimeters
Plan your route at the store. Stick to the aisles and locations within the store that have the food you’re looking for (Hint: The freshest and healthiest food is along the outer walls of the super market). Taking unnecessary trips down aisles that have food you’re not purchasing can result in impulsive buys of junk food.
Tip: Get to know your grocery store; find out where the produce and food you purchase most often is located. This will help you save time during your trip and will help you to avoid purchasing packaged food in aisles that you don’t need to visit.
4. Avoid Sunday Night Shopping
This is another important factor to consider when it comes to having a stress-free and productive shopping trip. Shopping at busier times can make the process more chaotic and may result in having to go back for a second trip if items are not available.
Tip: Aim to start by shopping at different times of the day (evening, morning, lunch break- or whenever you can fit it in). Find a few times that are less busy than others that also work with your schedule and plan to shop at those times. Shopping when there are fewer people at the store will help you cut down on time spent shopping as well as stress.
5. Create a Routine
Creating a routine for grocery shopping can be extremely helpful when it comes to helping you get to the supermarket. Plan the activities both before and after you shop and try to repeat them on a weekly (or biweekly basis) – so that the trip to the store is just another part of your regular routine.
Tip: When it comes to creating a routine for shopping, planning to go once weekly on your way home from work (for example, Tuesday nights) and sticking to that routine as much as you can will help you continue to get there. Getting to the grocery store is perhaps the most important aspect of the shopping process – as being unable to go, or avoiding the trip to the supermarket can leave you unprepared with all of the food you need to make clean, simple and healthy dishes.
6. Have a Plan B
Life gets busy, it just does, so have a backup plan in place in case you cannot get to the grocery store on a certain day or certain week.