Trips to the grocery store can turn into massive ordeals if you aren’t careful. If you aren’t prepared, you could end up spending literally hours roaming through the aisles. Following are some tips that will help your trip to the supermarket become more time-efficient—and low-cost.
Your grocery list can be your best tool to make your grocery store trip as brief as possible—or it can be your worst enemy. Before making your list (and you definitely should make a list for every trip you make), become familiar with your local supermarket of choice. Learn its layout and what products are in which aisles. Now, when you sit down to make your list, group the products together by which aisle they’re located in. Ideally, the top of your list will include foods in aisles closer to the store entrance, and the bottom of your list will include those items that are located furthest away from the entrance.
Never shop on an empty stomach.
It may not seem like a big deal, but when you go to the grocery store on an empty stomach, you’re sure to spend way more money on food than you would if you had made the trip after eating. And chances are that you don’t really need those items you purchased while hungry that were “impulse buys.” If you can’t avoid visiting the store while hungry, do yourself a favor and stick to your list.
Avoid the ready-made meal sections.
Those ready-made meals sure are convenient—but when you visit that section of the supermarket, you’re more likely to be tempted to make larger purchases. You may see something that isn’t on your list and think it’s a good idea…but impulse buys such as this are rarely good on your budget. Stick to what you really need—what’s on your list.
If you’ve never experienced the glory of checking yourself out at the grocery store, you simply must do it the next time you make a trip. Most shoppers stay away from the self-checkout area, as they’re intimidated by the machines or simply don’t want to worry about checking themselves out. But checking yourself out has a few notable benefits including: no candy in the aisle, so there’s less of a chance that you’ll make a last-minute impulse buy; fast, fast, fast—you don’t have to wait in line or wait for your cashier to figure something out. With self-checkout, it’s all on you.
Preorder deli items.
The deli can take quite a while, especially if there’s a line of people waiting for freshly sliced meats and cheeses. Thankfully, some supermarkets have noticed how frustrating this can be for shoppers and offer preordering via touch screen. Check to see if your supermarket offers deli preordering; if so, hit up the deli section first, preorder what you need, and pick it up after you’ve finished hitting the rest of the store.
These are just some of the things you can do to ensure that your supermarket trip is as time-efficient and cost-efficient as possible. What other tips can you think of?