How to Save Time Grocery Shopping

Grocery shopping can take up a lot of valuable time, especially if you need to make repeated trips because of items you may have forgotten during your first round. An average trip to the grocery store can take even longer if you are shuffling children and dragging your spouse along with you. Whether you do your grocery shopping at your local organic market or with one of the large chain retailers, you can make the process more efficient by getting organized. Save time grocery shopping by putting together a list of things you need, doing your research ahead of time and hitting the store during quiet hours.


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    Schedule a grocery shopping trip for the same time every week.
    • Choose a day of the week and time that the store is not busy. Try shopping early in the morning or late at night.
    • Choose a time when the store is stocked. While shopping late at night helps you avoid crowds, there may be little to choose from when it comes to fresh produce and meat.
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    Pick a favorite grocery store. Going to the same store every week will save you time because you will know exactly where to find the items you buy most frequently.
    • Shop at other stores when they are having a sale on certain items, or if you need something special for a meal.
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    Plan ahead. Before you go to the grocery store, decide what you will prepare for meals and pack for lunches in the coming week.
    • Check your pantry, fridge and freezer for snacks and staples you might be low on.
    • Poll your family. Have a standard place where you kids and spouse can make requests or note things that are needed. An erasable board on the fridge might work.
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    Make a list. Keep a standard list of items that you need to buy every week, such as milk, bread and coffee. Add to the list every week before you shop.
    • Organize the list according to the aisle in your grocery store. You will be less likely to forget things, and you will avoid having to visit certain aisles or areas more than once as you check your list.
    • Make several copies of your standard list so you do not have to re-write it every week.
    • Download a grocery list template online. You can also get a mobile phone application, or app, for your smart phone. Check out for samples.
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    Download one of the many applications available for your smart phone or tablet. Apps such as Grocery Gadget and SplashShopper will store your shopping lists and remind you of the things you might need.
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    Bring only the coupons you need. Sifting through your coupons as you shop can be a hassle and slow you down. Take only the coupons that correspond to items on your list.
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    Work your way through the store, aisle by aisle. Do not get distracted by displays and free samples. Follow your list and buy only what you need.
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    Leave the kids at home. While it may seem like you could use the help of kids and spouses, you will move more swiftly on your own.
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    Help your bagger. The person bagging your groceries at the checkout counter will probably appreciate your help, and you will save time.


  • Eat something before you shop. Grocery shopping on an empty stomach might cause you to buy more than you need, or spend too much time sampling items on display. You will also be able to focus better when you have a full stomach.
  • Consider grocery shopping online to save time. Many grocery stores will deliver groceries that you purchase online. You can also take advantage of regional and national online grocers that deliver or ship to you, such as Peapod and NetGrocer.

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Categories: Shopping