Grocery shopping is one of those menial tasks that doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon—but it can be nearly painless if you make a plan and stick to it. The health and financial benefits of a home-cooked meal are difficult to exaggerate. Instead of letting grocery shopping hold you back from that, develop a system to make it as hassle-free as possible. Here are a few quick tips for making grocery shopping easy.
1) Stick to the perimeter of the store. Vegetables, fruit, meat, and dairy products (the healthy stuff) tend to be placed on the perimeter.
2) Don’t go when you’re hungry. This one should be obvious, but it bears repeating, as impulse buying eats up time and money. See #3 if you absolutely must go with an empty stomach.
3) Make a list. Plan your meals for the week and list your ingredients. For extra savings, use the sale flyer to guide your eating for the week.
4) Pay with cash. This goes with sticking to your plan, as paying with cash reduces the urge to add impulse items. Studies have shown that those who pay with cash tend to be more budget conscious than those who don’t, meaning you’ll be less likely to drop a few more dollars for that impulse snack at the register.
5) Make grocery shopping part of your routine. Pick a day to check the sales, a day to make the list, and a day to do the shopping. Get in and out.
Long, expensive trips to the grocery store are usually the result of impulse shopping. By treating grocery shopping like any other task, at work or at home, you reduce the risk of getting mired in the store. Although it seems time-intensive, you will quickly find that you develop a list of favorite recipes and a feel for the rhythm of shopping for sales. By making grocery shopping easy through a few simple habits, you can live a happier, healthier life.