Disclosure: Some of the links on this page may be affiliate links.
Shopping for groceries needn’t be time-consuming. Here are some tips for fast supermarket shopping so you have more time for other things in life.
1. Use an ordered list
Aim to have the groceries listed in the approximate order you would come across them in the supermarket. That way, you save time by only traversing the shop once; no need to go back and forth for different items.
This is much easier to accomplish than it sounds; first divide a blank piece of paper into five or six subheadings, for example: 1. Fresh Fruits & Vegetables; 2. Canned & Packaged Foods; 3. Cleaning Supplies; 4. Dairy Items; 5. Personal Hygiene & Miscellaneous (the actual headings best for you will depend on your store layout). Then simply make up your list by putting each item you need under its appropriate subheading.
2. Add to your list as you run low on an item
Instead of setting up your ordered list right before going to the grocery store, keep it handy at home and add to it as you remember during the week.
You’ll save the time and hassle of having to make extra ‘catch-up’ grocery trips by having ample opportunities to remember much-needed items before going shopping.
6. Online grocery ordering makes your life much easier
Take advantage of online grocery retailers; these will you save a lot of time. For example, Blue Apron and Hello Fresh deliver ingredients for ready-to-cook meals (plus recipe) to your door. This saves you a lot of time.
Graze delivers healthy, tasty snacks to your door, customized to your tastes and nutritional needs.
Most local grocery chains will pack your order for you, meaning you only have to drive up to pick it up. In some areas, these stores will also offer home delivery for a small additional fee.
Even if you don’t have home grocery delivery available in your area, you can still get a decent selection of non-perishables delivered from Walmart and Target in just the same way that you would order clothes or other home items. This means you’ll have a much quicker time when you go to the grocery store for your remaining items.
3. Only bring coupons that correspond to items on your list
No need to take your entire collection of coupons to the supermarket; you’ll only be slowed down by having to hunt for the right ones before checkout.
Instead, before going to the grocery store, quickly look to see if any of your listed items correspond to a coupon you have. If so, you can save time and money at the store by grabbing the relevant coupon(s) as you head out.
4. Go to the supermarket when it’s less busy
You’ll save lots of time shopping and at checkout if you go when the store is less busy. The least busy time you can go will depend on your work schedule and on the supermarket hours. That time will be different for everyone.
For those who work a normal daytime shift Monday to Friday, the best time of day is usually in the weekday evenings, the later the better.
Weekend days are frequently busiest of all; and while they might sound convenient, who really wants to spend precious weekend moments doing grocery shopping? It’s also helpful to avoid store promotional days that are busy for other reasons (e.g. senior citizen discount days, unless of course you are in that category and would therefore benefit from it!)
If in doubt, ask the cashier at checkout which days or times they consider particularly busy or less busy at that particular supermarket; they’ll know.
5. Keep on the move
Try to keep your cart moving. Your total grocery shopping time will be much faster if you are on the go the whole time. Also, you then won’t be tempted to waste time (and money!) on things you don’t really need. If you find yourself stopping for no real reason, get moving again; you’ll be surprised at how much time you save with this tip!
In fact, I regularly shop faster at the grocery store when I have my kids with me than without. The secret? The kids like for me to keep the cart moving and they get upset if I stop.
There are plenty of ways that you can speed up your grocery shopping. Try them out; you’ll have more time for other things in life. Enjoy!