By Ashley Martens
Grocery shopping. You either love it, or you hate it. For some people, grocery shopping is a necessary evil, while grocery shopping can be incredibly enjoyable and even a therapeutic experience for others.
Whether you are a novice at grocery shopping or you have been grocery shopping for years, we could all use some helpful tips on how to better grocery shop the aisles. Here is your easy guide to grocery shopping.
#1 Assess the Aisles
Before grabbing a grocery basket or cart, assess all of the aisles, including the perimeter of the grocery store. By planning ahead of time what grocery aisles carry your favorite kitchen staples, you can avoid mindlessly wandering down each and every aisle wondering what exactly you need to purchase and thereby wasting precious time.
#2 Avoid Shopping After Work
If possible, avoid grocery shopping after work. The end of the work day is when most people do their grocery shopping before heading home and calling it quits for the day. At this time, checkout lines may be longer, and stores may be extra crowded as everyone decides what to make for dinner. Not to mention, everyone may be hungry after a long day. (Cue the hanger). If you can, steer clear of grocery shopping after the end of the workday.
#3 Keep a Current Inventory List
An easy way to know what you need when grocery shopping is to keep an updated inventory list of what food items you already have stocked in your kitchen. That means checking the kitchen cabinets, fridge, freezer, and pantry.
Keep this list on your phone, so you can easily access it at any time. If you are not a fan of inventory lists, then simply take a photo of all of these places before you go grocery shopping. That way, you can easily reference it when you are grocery shopping.
#4 Read Ingredient Labels
Reading labels can be a real doozy and may be tricky when you are short on time, but if you have a moment to mindfully grocery shop, do so. If you do not recognize an ingredient, then odds are your body will not either, so look for brands that handpick their ingredients with a purpose.
Rather than focusing on calories, focus on items made with real, recognizable ingredients that will be both nourishing and satisfying. Fill your grocery basket or cart with foods that only include nutritious ingredients and nothing artificial like additives, artificial dyes, or fillers.
#5 Research Food Brands and Companies
Before venturing down the grocery store aisles, research food brands and companies whose mission is to use nourishing ingredients that work hard to support your body’s optimal health and well-being.
Food should give your body more of the good stuff like fiber, minerals, and vitamins and less of the not-so-good stuff like gluten and sugar. Be sure to research food brands and read labels before buying.
#6 Shop at One Store
If you really want to be efficient when grocery shopping, do all of your shopping at one grocery store, that way, you are not stressed running around town and making multiple stops along the way. The same can be said for online grocery shopping.
Instead of placing orders on a bunch of different websites, and thereby creating more bags, boxes, and packaging materials, place all of your online orders on one app or website. Plus, you are reducing the shipping supplies needed to package up your order, which is good for the planet. Look at you creating a more Earth-conscious home!
#7 Travel Home with Like Items Together
Whether placing items in your grocery bag, basket or cart, put like items together, especially when traveling back home. Plus, this will make it easier when it is time to check out at the cash register.
Frozen items should go together so everything stays as cold as possible when heading home, while other items like fresh fruit and vegetables can be paired up. More delicate items like baked bread loaves and farm-fresh eggs can be bagged together, so they avoid getting crushed or squashed.
Weekly grocery shopping does not have to be a total drag. Instead, employ these seven simple steps the next time you go grocery shopping and enjoy the trip with complete and utter ease.
Meet The Author
Ashley Martens is a Health and Wellness Writer based in Chicago, IL. With a background in digital marketing coupled with her knowledge of general nutrition and a lifelong passion for all things health, wellness, fitness and nutrition, Ashley offers a healthy alternative to traditional writing. You can learn more about Ashley and her writing on her portfolio.