Unpopular opinion here: I love to grocery shop! I know most folks dread the task, but for me, the grocery store can be my happy place where I tend to decompress and focus on food rather than what might be worrying me in real life. It’s my little zen session. But even I know that the process can still be time consuming and tiring despite the best intentions. It happens to the best of us, but food shopping does not have to be something to dread. Rather, with a few strategies, it may even become something you can enjoy as much as I do. Here are a few seemingly minor yet effective tricks you can employ to lessen the stress of grocery shopping!
It may seem obvious to park closest to the store, but trust me here: park closest to the cart return area instead so that when you are done loading your car and ready to get out of there, all you have to do is quickly put the cart back and go. After shopping, the last thing you want to do is walk around figuring out where to return the cart.
Shop Less Frequently
After many years of perfecting my grocery shopping habits, I can attest to the fact that time efficiency is paramount when it comes to enjoying shopping! In other words, the less frequently you have to head to the store, the more time you have to do other things! Think of meal planning as an investment of your time, then stick to your plan and shop for that period, committing to not going again until that “cycle” ends. Of course, grocery shopping is going to feel like a chore if you have to keep running out to do it every other day.
Forget Comparison Shopping
Prices matter, but so does your time. Ditch the idea that you have to stop at several stores to get everything you need and/or compare prices. Dedicate yourself to your most preferred store and stick with it for better or worse.
Experiment with Timing
Shopping is not going to be enjoyable when the store is super crowded. Play around with the timing and see what your personal “sweet spot” might be. Late at night is a wonderful time to shop. Ditto for Friday evenings or super early in the morning.
Load the Conveyor Belt Smartly
Organizing your items efficiently at the checkout will have the cashier thanking you but it’s also going to save you time and effort back at home when you’re unloading and organizing the kitchen. Keep like items together; heaviest items first tapering down to the lightest at the end.
Finally, avoiding stress at the store is all about mindset. Instead of getting aggravated, be grateful for abundance. And my biggest tip: treat yourself to a special cookie at the end as a reward for doing a great job!