Let’s get to the point, and fast — everyone is in a rush during the holidays. You’ve got gifts to give, and bells to ring, and there’s no time to waste. I’m a grocery-shopping pro, and have done it both the easy and the hard way.
Below are my five prime tips for an efficient, time-saving grocery shopping experience that are sure to relieve some of the stress off your shoulders. The holidays are exciting after all… Might as well make your errands easier, and save yourself more time to spend with the ones you love!
1. First Things First…. Make a Shopping List!
This should be common sense, but you’d be surprised… Even if you only need a bag of green beans and a bottle of wine, MAKE A LIST. Once you arrive to a busy store, the anxiety of the crowd may cause you to forget what you’re even there for! Personally, I handwrite a list and mark it off as I go, but some prefer to make a note in their smart phone, or use list apps such as Wunderlist.
2. Organize Your List by Department
As anal as it may sound, it’s actually a very helpful tip and makes your trip quicker and more efficient. A friend shared this idea with me years ago and it has saved me so much time! I like to circle around the outer ring of the grocery store and work my way down the aisles as I go.
My map*: Produce > Bakery > Deli > Meat > Aisles > Dairy
*It all depends on how your store is organized!
3. Inventory Your Pantry
Before you run to the store, take an inventory of your supplies. There’s no need to have 2 Nutmegs, and 3 different types of Garlic Powder (my pantry is overflowing because of this). Save yourself money, and your kitchen some space. Take a few minutes to double-check the fridge and pantry and see if you can mark anything off your shopping list.
4. Get to the Stores EARLY
Sure, it’s a pain in the ass to get to Trader Joe’s by 8 am, but if you wait til 10, it’s jam packed. Plus, it’s that much harder to get to the back of the store to the free samples and coffee…. The crowds are gone by dinner time, but then you risk the chance of the store not being stocked. Arriving early not only guarantees you a quicker trip, but also getting the items you need before they sell out.
5. No Time to Leave the House? No Problem!
In a rush or forgot something at the store? You’ve got a few options – order online and pick-up, OR use a delivery service/delivery app.
More and more grocery stores are offering curbside pick up where you order online, pull up to the store, and an associate packs your trunk up — all without you ever having to step out of your vehicle. Kroger, Wal-Mart, Target, Whole Foods, and Publix all offer this service (depending on location).
If you can’t leave the house, your neighborhood or city may have some delivery options available. Shipt and Instacart are both apps (in the states) where you can get groceries delivered and dropped off right to your front door. Think Uber Eats, but instead for groceries, and in as little as an hour!
Never leave the house hungry or without caffeine — and take a water bottle to go!
Happy holidays and don’t let grocery shopping stress you out! If you enjoyed these tips or found them useful, shout out @goodafeats on Instagram! xoxo – Amber