How many grocery stores do you shop at every week? Do you always go to the same store or do you shop for the sales?
Over time, I’ve tried it all. I’ve done the coupon thing where I would match the coupons with the best deals. I’ve chased the loss leaders all over town. I did the “stocking up” thing so that I would always be buying items at the lowest price. Before I had my third child I would shop at the discount store (Aldi) for everything I could then go to Kroger to finish the list. When I was pregnant I couldn’t handle two stores in one day so I gave that up.
None of those approaches are wrong. Each family has to decide which approach works best for them. And just like me, your approach may change over time.
Here’s where I’m at today with shopping for necessities and groceries. I shop at Meijer. Why Meijer? Because I can get just about everything we could possibly need on a weekly basis there. Their prices are good and now that I’ve been going there for a while I know the store pretty well. Being familiar with the store allows me to spend as little time as possible on shopping for the week. It also makes me more able to steer away from the “buy this just because you’re here” items and stick with what’s on the list.
Here are some of my tricks for maximizing my happiness and minimizing stress and over-spending at the grocery store.
- Make a list. Use it. Stick to it.
- Always park at the same door.
- Always park beside the cart corral. I started this when I had infant children who I wasn’t willing to leave unattended in the car while I returned the cart. I still do it because it saves me time and energy. I am always able to do this because I normally shop during the day. In the evening you may have to park farther away to get a space by the corral but totally worth it for me.
- Bring your re-usable bags.
- Try to shop at a regular time. This will allow you to get to know some of the cashiers and which ones you might prefer to avoid.
- If you use coupons arrange them in the order you walk through the store.
What do you do to make your shopping life easier? Do you shop at one store or all of them? Please let me know. I’m curious to know how others approach this task to make it easier. How might using this or a similar approach to your weekly shopping benefit your family?