How to Save Time at the Grocery Store

Just in time for the holidays, Domestic CEO is here to help you with 4 tips on how to save time (and money) at the grocery store!

Amanda Thomas
5-minute read
Episode #85

If you're like most people, going to the grocery store isn’t at the top of your Favorite Things To Do list. It’s something many of us enjoy a little, but it’s mostly done out of necessity. We have to eat, therefore we have to go purchase food from time to time..

To help you get in and out of the grocery store faster than you can say Ready Whip, today I have 4 tips to help you speed up your shopping experience. Try one, or all of these tips, and see how much less time you can spend roaming the aisles of your local grocer:

Tip #1: Shop With a List

The first tip on how to save time at the grocery store is to shop with a list. Have you ever heard men complain about women's shopping patterns at the mall? It usually has something to do with how they wander around, look at everything, pick 10 things up only to put them back after trying on, buy bags of clothes, then return home to complain they have nothing to wear. Men don’t understand why women would waste all that time at the stores. Generally, when they go to a store, they typically are going in for specific items. They get in, they get out.

The same principle applies to the grocery store. If you enter the grocery store without a list of the items you need, you are going to be relying on your memory and the cues you get from the store “SALE” signs to help you determine what you need to buy. If you have a list of the things you need to buy, you can be in and out in much less time, and be guaranteed that you have everything you need to feed your family.

To get your list of items you need, do a little meal planning to decide what you are going to eat for the week. From that plan, you can put together a list of the ingredients you will need. Then, take a peek into your pantry and fridge to see what staples are running low. Once you have this list, you are ready to have laser-focus when you go into the store. It will get you in and out in no time flat! See also: The Case for Meal Planning

Tip #2: Check Sales Online Before You Go

One thing that eats up lots of time at the store is stopping to check out all the sale tags. You know that you need pasta sauce, but when you get to the store there are 10 different brands, and some of them cost 2-3 times as much as other brands. You suddenly find yourself staring at pasta sauces for a good 6 minutes, trying to figure out which brand you should purchase. If only you had known which brands would be on sale before you got to that aisle.

Almost every grocery store, with the exception of some of the smaller mom-and-pop places, have websites with all their sales items listed out. Pop onto the website of your favorite store and you can easily plan down to the brand what you need to buy.

I also like to do this step before I do any meal planning because it helps me determine what I’m going to make each week. If I go onto the store’s website and see that pork roasts and chicken breasts are on sale, I can come up with a few recipes that use those 2 meats. Since meat is usually the most expensive item on a menu, going with the meats that are on sale will help you save on your weekly grocery budget.