Sometimes it seems like grocery shopping trips are a waste of time — you go to the store, fill your cart with food you don’t really want, and then return home to find that half of it is no longer edible.
Treating your grocery shopping like a sport can help you save money, time and mental energy. Here are some ways to make sure your next trip to the grocery store is efficient and effective:
- Plan ahead. Research recipes beforehand to plan out your meals for the week. This allows you to shop only for items that you need instead of buying ingredients for every dish at the store. If you have money set aside for groceries, make sure to calculate how much you have left before shopping so that you don’t exceed your budget.
- Make a list. Take time before your shopping trip to create a list of items needed for all of your recipes. You might not be able to remember everything when you get there, or may realize that an item is missing from a recipe and have to go back to look for it.
- Shop at off-peak hours as much as possible. If you have the luxury of choice, pick the hour with lowest traffic. If peak hours are between 3 pm and 6 pm, this is the time you want to avoid.
- Go through your cabinets before going to the grocery store so that you do not buy duplicates or food that has gone bad. This will save money and prevent waste of food as well as lack of space in your cabinets.
- Never shop hungry! When you are hungry, you tend to buy more impulsive items like snacks and sweets that could be avoided.
- Plan your meals before you go shopping, and then make sure you have all the ingredients you need. This will prevent you from buying more than necessary and it will help you prepare meals with ease.