Browsing the supermarket aisle is always fun, but doing it week after week can get old, especially if you have other errands to take care of. It's important to be more efficient when shopping for groceries to avoid wasting time and potentially forgetting some grocery essentials. Here are a couple of tips that will help you be more organized:
- Keep a list. Lists are always crucial to organization, and just to make sure you don't forget anything or buy unnecessary items, document your weekly grocery needs. There are plenty of ways to do so — you can keep your own Google Doc, a text document, or a simple notepad. There are even free printable grocery lists online that let you check off which groceries you need. A good one to check out is the very detailed Ultimatest grocery list (they even have a vegetarian version).
- Use apps. Experiment with grocery shopping apps and consider keeping a running list of groceries on an app like Ziplist, which lets you sync up with lists of other people on your phone for convenience. You can even use discount-seeking apps like Grocery Pal, which shows you what items are on sale, and coupon locator apps like Coupon Sherpa or Yowza!!. The coupon apps will display bar codes, which the cashier can scan to give you the discount.
- Time it well. Pick the right time to go grocery shopping. You want to avoid going when there are crowds, because shopping and waiting in line for the cashier may take longer than usual. It's also good to go before the supermarket rush because most items will be in stock; this will prevent you from having to go back if a certain item was not available. The best dates to shop may differ depending on the grocery store, so be sure to observe your supermarket and pick up the crowd patterns. Lifehacker suggests Wednesday night as an ideal time because "many grocery stores release their new sale advertisements that day but also honor the sales items from the previous week." Personally, I like going on Saturday nights to avoid the crowds.