Ah, buying groceries. Funny how a chore that leads to something as wonderful as eating can be so excruciating sometimes, right? If you dread that obligatory trek out to your local market, it’s probably because you’re not approaching it in the smartest way. Yes, believe it or not, there’s actually strategy for grocery shopping. And we’re here with 6 tips for making your grocery shopping process easy as pie.
1. You’re Probably Settling When It Comes To Vegetables
Don’t be afraid to dig around for the best-looking produce. Sure, it might look weird, but if you’re paying good money for fresh produce, don’t just take whichever one’s on top. Especially if you won’t be using it for a few days.
2. You’re Probably Not Paying Attention To How The Store Is Laid Out
You may have heard people say to shop for groceries “just around the edges” of the store? There’s a reason for that. The areas you want to hit for all the good-for you fresh stuff (produce, dairy, meat) is placed around the edges of the store, and all the processed stuff is in the middle.
And the dairy section is usually placed as far from the front door as possible, to make customers have to walk through the aisles with other products to get there. So don’t be tempted to spend money on sugary stuff you don’t need. Just walk in a big circle around the store to hit all the fresh food, and if you really need something like cereal or canned goods, hit them up after.
3. You Probably Do More Grocery Shopping While Waiting To Check Out
You know what it’s like: You grab your items in a flash and get stuck behind five people with huge carts of stuff waiting to check out. Torture. So you start looking around while you wait and oooh magazines! And they’ve got the peppermint gum you like! And before you know it you’ve tacked on another $20 worth of stuff. They do that on purpose.
Keep yourself distracted while you wait. Get on your phone, pull out a book, check over your list one more time. You’ll be glad you did later.
4. You’re Probably Not Planning Your Recipes Before You Go Grocery Shopping
The number 2 worst mistake of grocery shopping (after going shopping when you’re hungry) is going without a game plan. If you just go knowing that you “need groceries,” you’re likely to spend way too much on stuff you think you’ll use that you really won’t.
Plan out your recipes for the week (or two weeks, or however long you go without grocery shopping) and figure out exactly how much of each ingredient you need. Then organize it by the aisles in the grocery store, to keep yourself from wandering around looking for things and getting tempted into buying other things.
5. You’re Probably Not Chatting Up The Employees
Usually people want to get in and out of the grocery store as fast as possible. Which is understandable. But chatting with the employees at the meat counter and the people stocking produce can really pay off. They can have information about which items are the freshest, where things came from, and what the best deals are that might not be obvious if you weren’t paying attention.
6. You’re Probably Shopping When Everyone Else Is Shopping
Sunday afternoon, right? Or maybe around 5:15 in the evening, on your way home from work? Yep, that’s when it seems like the whole world is also grocery shopping. Plan to go shopping at off times instead like Saturday mornings or even on your lunch break. Save yourself the headache!
What other tips do you have for optimizing your grocery shopping? Tell us in the comments below!