We spend a whopping 60 hours each year doing grocery shopping! That’s time you could have spent doing things you like – exercising, cooking, or even sleeping. And it’s no surprise really. Stores carry an average of about 40 000 items, so it’s no wonder we take so much time to do our weekly shop. But this needs to change. With our tips, you’ll be in and out of the store in no time!
From choosing when to go shop, to actually making the shopping list, there are many things you can do to shave off some time and make your shopping trip more efficient. We have all the tips you need to make your shopping trip run like a well-oiled machine!
Many people choose Saturday as grocery-day, because they work during the week. Unfortunately, this means that most people are in store – at the same time! By shopping on a weekend, you are adding upwards of 10 minutes per shopping trip, and most of this time is spent in queues and trying to get through the crowds. If at all possible, try shopping during downtimes, which are usually when the store opens in the morning or just before closing time in the evening.
Besides running the risk of buying snack foods your wallet (and your waist!) can’t handle, shopping hungry is not good for concentration. We’ve all done it – you get home with five shopping bags, and yet your forgot to buy the items you need most. So, concentration is crucial! If you feel hungry on your way to the store, eat a quick snack like an apple to keep you from getting starved.
We cannot stress this enough. Yes, you may have a photographic memory, but in a store full of distractions, you run the risk of not only forgetting what you wanted to buy, but also buying more than you actually need. When you draw up your list, do a quick stock check on what you already have in the fridge and the pantry.
Develop an idea of what you want to make for dinner before you go to the store. This will save you the hassle of figuring out a menu on the fly while shopping.
Write your list in the same order as the store aisles. This way, you will move efficiently through the store without running back and forth between the first and the last aisle.
Do we even need to explain this? About 160 000 plastic shopping bags are use EVERY SECOND. And unfortunately, most of them end up on the landfill, or even worse, in the ocean! Do you part and take your own reusable shopping bags with you when you shop. These days there are many awesome and quirky designs to choose from, so no more boring bags! Some stores even offer a small discount if you use your own bag!
Plan your movement through the store in such a way that your refrigerated items are placed in your cart at the last minute. We often lose track of time while shopping. The chilled items you added in the beginning of your trip might have been there for half an hour to an hour already, thus increasing the risk of spoilage.
Like crows are attracted to shiny things, our attention is drawn to the bold, red letters of “Sale” signs. But items on sale are not always the cheapest option. Don’t assume just because it’s in a sale bin, that it’s the most affordable. Look on the shelves and compare it with similar products – you might find a better deal!
Shelf stockers pack the produce in such a way that the oldest is in front, while the freshest is stocked at the back. This is called this the FIFO (first-in, first-out) method, which aims to avoid fresher produce being bought first, with older produce left behind. So, if you want the freshest fruits and veggies, look at the back of the shelf for packets with the latest sell-by date.