When I worked in corporate I shopped for groceries like some people shop for shoes. We had no budget. I planned very little. I bought what I wanted. And what the kids wanted if they were with me. I hated grocery shopping. Really hated it. That’s probably why I bought whatever I wanted. It was retail therapy. And I spent hours in the grocery store.
But when I made the transition from corporate project management to lifestyle coaching and blogging, I made huge lifestyle changes. Smart shopping was now a necessity and I spent more time buying groceries. At one point I was almost committed to eating out several times a week. We couldn’t do that and still meet our weekly food budget without multiple fast food nights. No Bueno. So I had to make shopping work for my schedule and my budget. After a couple months of trial and error, I discovered a few time-saving shopping tips.
These five (5) time saving shopping tips make shopping more enjoyable, less costly and more efficient. This post may contain affiliate links. That means if you follow the link and purchase the recommended product or service, I will get paid a small commission. I only suggest products and services that I have used and love, and I know you will too.
Saving Time Before You Get To The Store
Stop Clipping Coupons
I hear some of you gasping and clutching your pearls. I am not against couponing, but I wish I had an algorithm to do it for me. How many hours each week do you spend searching for, clipping and organizing coupons? And then more time planning your shopping trip to ensure you use them all. The time I invest in finding coupons isn’t worth the $10 I *might* save each week. I did not coupon extremely. Plus, at a discount store, you don’t need coupons.
Download the App To Save Time
In the digital age of the new millennium, most stores now have an online presence. Using the store’s app you can find the weekly sales, stores your savings card (if they have a loyalty program), download in-store coupons (see I told you I didn’t hate them), and get meal ideas, recipes, and much more. Now there is a mobile app, Flipp, that combines store circulars and digital coupons from all your favorite stores in one place. Download it on your Android or Apple device and get started today.
Make A List To Save Time Shopping
One thing I haven’t let go is making a list. You don’t have to capture every single item on the list, but you can use it as a guide by listing the major items. It will also help with meal planning. If I know I am getting chicken breasts (because they are on sale, of course) I can select the other items to complete that meal. My favorite grocery list app is Cozi. It’s a FREE shared family calendar app, that also features a grocery list function.
I love Cozi because everyone in my family can contribute to the list, so nothing gets missed. And it’s on my phone, so nothing gets lost. If you’re not familiar with Cozi, you’re missing out! Try it today by clicking here.
Time Saving Tips While in The Grocery Store
Once inside the store, there are a few things you can do to keep your time roaming the aisles to a minimum.
Buy the Sale Items
Stick to the list of sale items to save time and money. Featured items are prominently on display, so you don’t have to search for them. They are also kept in quantity, so you shouldn’t have to take a rain check. I find it best to align your shopping day with the store’s weekly circular rotation. So, if the new sales start on Tuesday, shop on Tuesday. Or as close to Tuesday as possible. I know that doesn’t work for everyone, but it just a tip. It’s worth a try at least once, right?
Save Time By Shopping Small
I used to shop at major grocery chains. I had FOMO – fear of missing out. If I wanted fresh salmon, lobster tails, radicchio and Haagen Daaz I could get it all on the same trip. Honestly, I have never bought radicchio, and I’m not even sure I’d know how to identify it. Now I shop at smaller, usually discount branded stores. There are fewer choices to make, the stores are smaller and easier to navigate. I can get in and out of the store within an hour.
My favorite place to shop right now is Aldi. You can purchase the same items you get a major store chain, for a fraction of the price. When was the last time you got slices of smoked gouda cheese for less than $2?
These shopping tips can save you time and money. Which ones will you use on your next trip to the grocery store?