Top 3 Tips to Spend Less Time in the Grocery Store

My objective when going to the grocery store is to spend the least amount of time possible in the store, yet get everything I need, eliminating the need for a special trip later. (Research shows that the more time you spend in the grocery store, the more money you spend.) I usually end up going every week to 10 days, depending on how many meals I am cooking at home. My tips are below:      

  1. Go when it is not crowded. It takes less time and the shelves are usually well stocked. Five o’clock at the end of the week is the worst time. Saturdays are also bad. Early morning and late at night are usually good times. My sister goes after line dancing which gets over at 7:30 p.m. The other sister sends her husband with a list at 7:00 a.m. on Sunday morning.
  2. Shop at the same stores. This way you don’t spend time searching. I regularly shop at two different chain stores. One store is less expensive, but doesn’t have everything I buy. I shop there when my other store doesn’t have many items I want on sale.
  3. Make your list according to the layout of the store. That way you just go down the list in order and don’t have to crisscross the store (taking more time, more chance to forget something, and more temptation  to buy things you don’t need). I make my list on an envelope and stick any coupons I want to use inside. I write both the item and the price on the list.  If it is on sale, I write S. If I have a coupon, I write C. Sometimes I don’t buy the brand on sale or use the coupon because I check the other brands and compare prices on the spot, looking at my list with the price.
    coupons

If you have tips that work for you, I would love to hear about them. Just hit the comment section and send a note.

-pointers by Peggy

13 thoughts on “Top 3 Tips to Spend Less Time in the Grocery Store

  1. I carry an inexpensive calculator in my purse. Even though I’m pretty good at math, it helps me compare ounces to ounces, etc., quickly.

  2. I use the calculator on my cell phone to compare prices.
    I also think organizing my grocery list by store section helps a lot!
    One new trick – I try to pack the grocery bags or at least line the items on the checking lane conveyor belt by type of food (and frozen, refrig, or canned/dry). This keeps the cold items cold for the ride home as well as making the unpacking go quicker as similar items are together.

  3. I double check my list when I’m waiting in line to make sure I haven’t forgotten anything. I also start making out the check while in line. While shopping, I avoid aisles that don’t have anything on my list. When my kids were little, I waited until my husband was home to watch them, then I would go get groceries. Less distractions and saved time!!

  4. Another few tips that I use myself:
    – Always compare the price per pound or kilo of similar products
    – Buy in bulk and use your freezer (you will get a better price!)
    – Pay cash. It hurts more than paying with a credit card
    – Be careful with special offers. Is it really cheaper than what you usually buy?
    – Compare prices of canned, frozen and fresh vegetables
    I hope that I helped to save some more!

  5. Hi, Cheryl. To avoid driving back to the supermarket just for a gallon of milk you have forgotten, (and use gas for nothing) I have made a standard shopping list for myself (on my PC). On my list, I have put all the commodity items, such as milk, sugar, salt etc. And just before I go shopping, I print it out and I check this list. And then I add all the stuff that I need for the food that I have planned to cook during the week. Hope it helps. I have an example on my site that you can download for free. Kind regards, James

  6. Nice post at Spend Smart. Eat Smart. » Top 3 Tips to Spend Less Time in the Grocery Store. I was checking constantly this blog and I’m impressed! Very helpful info particularly the last part 🙂 I care for such info a lot. I was looking for this particular info for a long time. Thank you and good luck.

  7. Good post. Something that has helped me has been the printable grocery list maker that is on my fridge and I can record what I need anything without having to hunt for a pencil and paper and then I just print it out and go to the store and I find that when it comes time to cook I won’t be missing any ingredient.

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