We have all been there: you walk into the grocery store at a brisk pace, determined to get what you need and zip out within 5 minutes. But then, you see a new type of cheddar cheese on the shelf – one that you’ve never seen before. It only makes sense to see how it compares to your known and favorite brands, right? Then you face a similar situation with another food item, then another. The next thing you know, 15 minutes have passed and you have not even covered half of the items on your shopping list.
Like athletic sports, grocery shopping is a skill that can be improved and honed – you just need the right technique. If you want to become adept at fast and efficient grocery shopping, feel free to try the tips listed below.
1. Organize your shopping list
The traditional approach to compiling a shopping list is to just add items in the order that they come to mind, but we suggest that you don’t leave it there. If you take a minute to organize the items you have listed, you will have a much faster experience. For example, you can organize the items by food groups or by the section of the store that they are sold in.
2. Pick the right checkout line
Oh, the art of picking the best checkout line. So difficult, so counterintuitive. You might be tempted to choose a line based on the number of people in it, but a true shopping connoisseur looks at several different factors: the number of items each person has, their age and speed, the presence of kids or noisy friends.
3. Skip the shopping cart if you can
People are peculiar creatures in that we don’t like looking at empty space. We often have an urge to fill it up, and a shopping cart whispers to these dark tendencies. Thus, with a shopping cart, you may end up buying more than you need and spending more time just because you have the extra space. If you think that your pick of products won’t be too burdensome, you will probably benefit from a single basket instead.
4. Don’t shop on an empty stomach
The phrase speaks for itself, but it is worth repeating nonetheless. It has been scientifically proven that people who are hungry spend more time in the store than they need to and buy too much, even if they are following a strict diet and are limited in what they can eat. If you can, try wolfing down a quick snack before you set foot in a store.
5. Timing is important
No matter how fast you shop, you will be powerless to beat your top speed if there are lots of people in line before you. If you have a hectic schedule, you can benefit by shopping on the days and periods throughout the day when the fewest people shop. You can expect the largest influx of customers on weekends and in the evening, when people get off work.