6 Creative Ways to Make Grocery Shopping More Efficient
Grocery shopping is an essential part of adulting. Getting fast food for every meal is expensive, unhealthy, and unrealistic. For that reason — a regular trip to the grocery store is a regular habit for almost every single American family, regardless of demographic.
Although it is a basic necessity, grocery shopping can be downright tedious at times. Parking lots get crowded, shopping carts are difficult to handle, and loading up endless bags of food from your car to your house is exhausting. As a necessity, grocery shopping shouldn’t have to feel like such a massive burden.
Hundreds of years of commercial shopping have taught humanity a thing or two about how to shop. Here are a few outside-of-the-box ideas that can help you out with your own grocery shopping:
1. Take Advantage of Grocery Pick-Up
While most people will remember the days of Covid-19 as being difficult, dreary, and downright disappointing, a lot of innovation sprung out of this period of time. Businesses worldwide developed solutions that would make products and services accessible to consumers while keeping the risk of transmission low. One such innovation that really picked up during the early days of the Coronavirus is grocery pick-up options.
Today, you can complete a digital shopping cart full of all the items you wish to purchase. You’ll pay when you check out online. Once the order has been processed, an employee will gather all of the items you have selected and place them in compact bins.
When you create an order, you also select a pickup time. This is when your order will be ready for you. Simply drive to the designated location, and an employee will load all of the groceries into your car for you. All you have to do now is drive home and unload. Easy as pie!
2. Get Your Food Delivered
An option that is even easier than grocery pick-up is having your groceries delivered straight from the store to your home. Larger grocery chains have started building up a fleet of company vehicles that can quickly and safely transport a variety of goods straight to the consumer.
The main difference here is that grocery delivery typically comes with some sort of service charge. After all, the company has to send a vehicle and an employee to drive to your specific address to make a delivery. That convenience is worth it for some, but simply picking up an assembled order will be at least a touch cheaper.
If you only need a couple of items, you can look into more localized delivery options such as DoorDash and UberEats. Not only can you get a restaurant order to go, but some delivery services will pick up everything from hair products to over-the-counter medications if you don’t have the time to make a run to the store yourself.
3. Download Helpful Applications
Major grocery chains often have a downloadable smartphone application that can be of great service to you. These apps have search capabilities that can tell you exactly where items are located, what’s still in stock, and which products can or cannot be shipped to your home.
If you really want to get into the weeds, you can use the app from your grocery store of choice to plan a shopping route throughout its aisles. By searching the location of each item on your shopping list, you can map out a path that takes you to everything you need without ever having to backtrack.
Even if you don’t need to plan an exact route through the store, having the app pre-downloaded to your mobile device can be a good idea for many reasons. If you think of a last-minute item that wasn’t originally on your list, you can quickly search it up and find it in minimal time. You can also use the app to check prices that aren’t listed or to see if there are any special deals going on that day.
4. Divide and Conquer
Many parents will tell you that going grocery shopping with their children is one of the most difficult tasks for them to accomplish. If you’re currently parenting some young ones, you can probably sympathize. Shopping with children is widely recognized as an inefficient endeavor. However, there are some creative ways that you can use to enlist their help rather than fight against them throughout the entire trip.
An ordinary shopping trip can be transformed into a game of hide-and-seek, a scavenger hunt, or even a relay race. Come up with a game that you think your little ones would enjoy. Make sure to keep it respectful; other shoppers shouldn’t feel inconvenienced or bothered by the actions of your family.
While the ultimate goal is to make shopping more enjoyable and efficient, you should always make safety a high priority. Make sure your kids don’t wander off without a companion. A tag team effort will get the job done just as well, without adding any additional concerns to your errand run.
5. Check the Store’s Google Page
Google is the world’s most popular search engine for good reason. This online tool provides high-quality information at an astounding pace on almost any electronic device. An online search may have been what brought you to this article in the first place. Besides helping you to find the information you’re looking for easily, there are some other lesser-known tools that Google provides that can prove useful.
Search up the grocery store you plan on going to. When the correct store pops up, click on it to bring up a new Google view that shows various stores in the area next to a local map. When you select a business, you can view the times when the store is busiest and during which hours there’s not so much foot traffic.
While this information is just an estimation, it can help you pick the best time to run your grocery. Instead of going right after work when the store is packed to the brim, consider waiting to go a little later when fewer people are expected to be present. Aisles will be less crowded, and checkout lines will be a lot shorter, meaning less time ultimately spent on your part.
6. Get a Personal Shopper
Did you know there is such a thing as a personal shopper? This job is just like it sounds. A personal shopper goes shopping on behalf of another person. This is a common service provided to the elderly or others who can’t leave their house for one reason or another.
A personal shopper can help you out in a pinch from time to time. They basically combine the benefits of grocery pick-up and delivery into one service. The main difference is that you can communicate more intimately with your personal shopper. This becomes an ideal option if you’re particular about specific items, such as produce or cuts of meat.
Grocery shopping may never be one hundred percent fun. However, you can make it much more efficient and enjoyable if you put your mind to it. With all the grocery shopping you’ll end up doing over the years, looking for areas of improvement is certainly worth looking into.
Featured Image Credit: Photo by Matheus Cenali; Pexels; Thank you!
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