Grocery shopping is something that must be done, but would be better done efficiently and as infrequently as we can manage. This month I’ll be sharing some of the strategies I’ve found most helpful in my 12 years of intentionally improving my food-management skills.
Yesterday: Create a Master Pantry List
Grocery Shopping Tip: Plan Your Route Through the Grocery Store
I know there have been trips to the grocery store where I have felt like the little boy in Family Circus: If a line was trailing behind me it would be meandering, backtracking, and illogical.
A little upfront thinking and stratagems can drastically reduce your grocery-store footprints – saving you time and energy and effort.
- Next time you’re at the store, pick up a store map. Most grocery stores have them near the entrance, but sometimes they are near customer service.
- Grab a highlighter and your master pantry list. Highlight the aisles that contain items you purchase. When I did this, I was pleasantly surprised to see that I only need to go down about 30% of my supermarket’s aisles.
- Sketch out a route from the entrance to the check-out that takes you by all the aisles you highlighted in the most efficient way.
- Now, this might feel silly, but study this personal traffic flow plan. Take it with you for the next couple times you go to make sure you follow it. Soon it will just be your habitual rut through the store, and when it is, you won’t even have to worry too much about forgetting your list, because you’ll be walking by your standard items and can be reminded in that way about what you need (or can grab an extra, just in case, knowing you’ll use it).
Once you have a habitual pattern through the store, the mental effort of decision making as you’re shopping will be surprisingly slashed. Try it!
Tomorrow: Match Your List to Your Route