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!
Tip #3: Map Your Route
The next thing that will save you time is to evaluate how you navigate through the store. To be the most efficient in your trip, try to walk through each area you need to visit only once. When you enter the store, always turn the same way first. Then, following your list, start weaving your way up and down the aisles that have the items you need. If there is an aisle that has nothing you need, don’t waste your time walking down that aisle. As you make the turns around the ends of the aisle, make sure to grab the items from the back of the store that you need so you don’t have to backtrack to grab them later.
Now, you may be thinking this is easier said than done, but I promise you it can be very easy to never go down the same aisle twice. The trick is to have your shopping list organized by categories so that all produce is together, all meats are together, all frozen items are together, and so forth. You don't want to run back into the pet supplies aisle because you jotted down a reminder to buy Fido's dog food along with all your dairy items.
To help you out, here is a free downloadable grocery shopping template that I've created just for you. You can print it out and take it to the store, or use it to help you create a shopping list template of your own.
Tip #4: Go at a Different Time
The next tip to having quicker grocery store trips is to try going at a different time. Typically weekends and Monday evenings are very busy at grocery stores. Most people are stocking up on their days off from work, or after the first day of work each week. If you want to avoid the crowds, you may want to try going on another day.
Even if you aren’t able to make it to the store on a different day, you can start experimenting with what times work best for you. What you’ll find is that many people have a set time that they go grocery shopping. Adjusting your time by just 15 or 30 minutes may have a big impact on the crowds you will encounter at the store. You may find that if you make it to the store at 10:30am, you can be in and out before the moms who went to the 9:30am spin class at the gym next door stop in before heading home.
There are other factors to consider rather than just when people in your neighborhood are working. Weekday mornings tend to be a little quieter, but you may run into the stay-at-home mom crowds, which means that you should be prepared for more kids in the store. If you live in an area with lots of retirees, you may find there are certain times of the day when more of them are at the store, meaning the traffic in the store will move a little slower and there will be more check writers at the checkout. And remember that less customers means that the store will likely have less staff to help, so while you may be able to get through the aisles faster, if there are only a couple of cashiers, you may find yourself waiting in line for twice as long.
So those are my 4 tips on how to save time at the grocery store. Do you have any other time-saving tips? Share them on my Facebook wall, or tweet me @thedomesticceo. Also, keep your eyes out for next week’s episode on grocery store etiquette. You can still be the most polite person in the store, even if you are moving through at lightning speeds!
Until next time, I’m the Domestic CEO, helping you love your home.