10 Ways to Efficiently Grocery Shop


Did you know that The Marketplace at Brunswick Crossing now has a Weis Markets supermarket on site? Talk about convenience for your grocery shopping needs.

As you already know, grocery shopping can be a time-consuming task to fit into your schedule among all the other activities like work, taking the kids to soccer practice, and your evening yoga class. But going in with a plan and an understanding of how to efficiently grocery shop can make your experience much easier. After all, who doesn’t like saving time (and maybe even a little bit of money, too)?

To help you make the most out of your grocery store trips, here are 10 tips on how to efficiently shop for groceries.

  • Plan Weekly Meals: A good first step for getting ready to grocery shop is to take a minute to sit down and plan out your weekly meal menu. The more meals you can pre-plan for the upcoming week (or longer) the easier it will be for you to know what you need at the grocery store. Doing this sort of planning will also greatly help with the next tip.
  • Make a List: Once you know the items you need to make your meals, you can begin to make your full grocery list of all the items you need. If you usually go to the same grocery and know where most items are located within that store, try to organize your list by the aisle each item can be found in. This way you can check things off your list in order, as you go along.
  • Don’t Go Hungry: One of the biggest mistakes people make when grocery shopping is going to the store hungry. Doing so can give you the urge to buy just about every item you see. You’re certainly not going to get any less hungry by seeing all of the delicious food that’s on display. Be smart. Eat before you go grocery shopping and you’ll likely save yourself from giving in to the impulse to buy items you really don’t need.
  • Buy in Bulk When Necessary: If there are certain items that you buy every time you go to the grocery store and that you know you’ll use regularly, see if buying them in bulk will save you time and money. Often times, buying these items in bulk will be cost effective in the long run and save you some time on subsequent visits to the store because you’ll already have what you need at home. But be sure if you’re buying something in bulk that you are going to be able to use it all before it goes bad.
  • Make a Pricing Spreadsheet: For those who really like to stay organized and on top of things, try keeping your receipts from each grocery store trip and entering the data from them into a spreadsheet. This can serve as a price list where you can compare and contrast the cost of different brands or the cost of the same item during different times of the year. This can also be a good way to assess whether or not buying certain items in bulk would be a good idea, as making a spreadsheet like this will help reveal some of your shopping patterns.
  • Clip Coupons: Grocery store coupons are still a common mailbox filler, but nowadays, most grocery stores also put their coupons online for you to view and print at your leisure. Take a look at either the mailer coupons or the ones online and identify items on your list. Using coupons to purchase these items will save you some money and perhaps allow you to buy more of certain items.
  • Check Specials: Beyond the coupons that are available for each grocery store, most stores also have daily/weekly specials for their valued customers and loyal rewards card members. Most grocery stores encourage shoppers to sign up for store savings cards, which can be scanned at the register to give some incredible savings on specified items. When going down the aisles, look for signage that shows what special savings are available at that time.
  • Stock Up on Sales: Much like buying certain items in bulk, stocking up on sales items can be beneficial from a cost standpoint and give you more bang for your buck. Again, like buying in bulk, it must be an item that you use regularly and that you’ll use before what you buy goes bad. However, oftentimes, items can be frozen to increase their longevity. So if there’s a great sale on one of your favorite items, don’t hesitate to stock up.
  • Embrace Store Brands: Popular brand names are often no better than the generic brands that are sold right next to them for a fraction of the price. When you buy big brands, part of what you’re paying for is their advertising and the peace of mind of knowing you bought something you’ve seen on TV or tried before. But if you give the store brands a try, there’s a good chance you won’t even notice the difference. But what you will notice is the savings you accrue by shopping this way.
  • Shop During Slow Times: A crowded grocery store can be overwhelming and cause you to spend more time shopping than you’d like. This is why one of the smartest grocery shopping tips you could follow is to avoid peak hours and go during slow times. Avoiding peak hours between 5-7 p.m., paydays, and holidays is wise. Going late at night or during work hours is the way to go. Grocery stores often get their deliveries on Tuesday nights, so during the day on Wednesdays is a great time to go.