I have to admit it. I hate doing groceries. I find groceries to be a repetitive activity. I wasn’t far into my grocery shopping career when I first started to play efficiency “games” in order to make grocery shopping more interesting. After a while the “games” became habits. Now I have a routine for grocery shopping that reduces the amount of time I spend planning, shopping and putting groceries away. Here are some tips to make grocery shopping more efficient:
Standardize your shopping trips
Try to do your grocery shopping at the same time each week. This will help you manage your supply of groceries more easily and reduce return trips to the store. Plan for one large shop and one supplementary shop each week.
Streamline your shopping list
Preparing a grocery list before visiting the grocery store will save you time while you are in the store and prevent return trips for forgotten items. Plus, it typically reduces impulse buying. When preparing your list:
- Have a standardized list of items you always buy and add the other items you need for the week.
- Prepare your grocery list in the same order as the grocery store is laid out. This will prevent additional trips to areas you have already visited and reduce the overall amount of time you spend in the store.
Pick your favourite store
Going to the same store each week saves time as you don’t have to search for items once you are acquainted with the store. Also, in order to create a list in the same order as the store is laid out, you have to know the layout of the store first.
Pack your own grocery bags
During check out, put items on the conveyor belt and pack your grocery bags, based on where in your kitchen the item will be placed. This will save you time while you are unloading your groceries into your kitchen. For example, items that are going into the freezer go in one bag while items going in the pantry go in another.
There are many inexpensive ways to outsource grocery shopping. Do you have a friend who loves to grocery shop? Is there perhaps a stay at home parent in your neighbourhood who would like to earn some extra income? Alternatively, order and pick up services like Grocery Gateway are an option. My favourite service for outsourcing groceries is Loblaws’ Click and Collect program. You simply order your groceries online, arrange a pick up time, arrive at the store and they bring your groceries right to your car! This service adds a small surcharge to your grocery bill but saves you the time you would otherwise spend touring the grocery store.
I would rather spend time doing an activity I enjoy instead of doing groceries. Am I alone? The tricks I use to streamline and standardize grocery shopping are not only satisfying but save me lots of time. Give them a try and see how much time you can reclaim each week.