Shopping for groceries is a regular chore for virtually every American household. Going to the supermarket can be time consuming and expensive, especially if little advance thought or planning is made prior to a shopping trip. This article will discuss some ideas and tips to help shoppers spend less of their valuable time at the supermarket. |
Make a Meal Plan
Planning out your meals for the week will save you a great deal of time of the supermarket. Once you know what dishes you plan to cook, you can put the ingredients on your shopping list and get them all at once. This technique saves multiple trips to the store to get the "missed" ingredient that you need for dinner.
Use Online Shopping Services
Online supermarkets are a relatively new trend that allows shoppers to order their grocery items online and have them delivered to their door. The time-saving aspects of online supermarkets are obvious: no more driving to the store, roaming the aisles and standing in a checkout line. Although you may want to buy your fresh food in person, online supermarkets are a great option to buy canned foods and other goods. The online option can save you time by cutting down on the number of items you need to buy in person at the supermarket.
Buy Nonperishable Items in Bulk
If there are certain dishes or foods that you like to eat regularly, buy the nonperishable items in bulk when they are on sale. This will save you both time and money. For example, if you eat spaghetti every week, buy several boxes of pasta and several jars of sauce to get you through the month. This tip applies to non-food items as well: if you see a sale on your brand of toothpaste or toilet paper, stock up. This will save you the time of buying the same items every week.
Go to Familiar Supermarkets
Nothing can slow you down more at the supermarket than having to hunt through the aisles for every item. Pick a regular supermarket for your grocery shopping and get familiar with the layout. Once you know where all your regularly purchased items are located, you can speed through the shopping process in no time.
Use an Affinity Card and Electronic Coupons
If you like to save money by using coupons, don't use the cumbersome paper coupons that you have to scan individually. Many large supermarkets now have affinity or "club" cards that will give you discounts and allow you to electronically load coupons for scanning at the register. Not only does this save you time when you check out, it also saves time at home by eliminating coupon-clipping from your routine.
Shop During Off-Peak Hours
Supermarkets are most crowded during certain, predictable times of the week. Weekend afternoons are the busiest times, which mean that you will spend the most time at the market if you go there on Saturday or Sunday afternoon. The best option, if you have to go on the weekend, is early in the morning. If you do your food shopping at 8 on a Sunday morning you will both beat the crowd and find the best selection of goods.
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