You don’t have to stock up on turkeys and diapers while wearing a mustard yellow sweater! You don’t have to wear a name-tag or a team number, but you may want to set a timer to make the most of today’s tips.
1. Grab a hand basket as opposed to a cart. Unless you’re really stocking up for the week, this will allow you to be more nimble in the aisles.
2. Start in the vegetable area. Get your trip off to a healthy start. Grab the veggies off your list first, then fill in with fruits for the week. No list? Pick three vegetables: one that you can eat raw, one leafy green that will be versatile, and one starchy veggie (beet, turnip, parsnip, etc.) that you can roast.
3. Stick with what you know. Now isn’t the time to try a new brand or version of a product (reading those small-print ingredients lists takes time). Grab what you’ve already pre-screened as being healthy and tasty.
4. Grabbing a bunch of broccolli? That’s quick. Hand selecting a bag full of small (more tender) brussels sprouts? Not so quick.
5. Grab your bags before you go in. Maybe this should be at the top of the list.
6. Bag your own groceries. It may be different in your city, but in Oakland, a funny phenomenon occurred once plastic bags were banned…baggers seem to have disappeared! Avoid the whole dance of guessing whether your checker is going to bag for you, and just get a jump on it.
7. Keep an eye on the meat counter as you do the rest of your shopping. Dart over to grab your number when the line looks short (or try your odds at grabbing a number and trying to return before they call you).
8. Skip the bulk bins if possible. While I normally advocate for saving money and packaging when buying in bulk, the frustrating act of locating a tag and a working pen within the same quadrant of the store can add valuable minutes to the length of your shopping trip.
9. If you drive to the store, park in the first spot you see. It will take you longer if you shop in a busy area, to circle around and find a closer spot, than for you to park and power walk across the parking lot.
10. Ditch the basket or cart at the exit. It may be easier to use the wheels, but if you can carry all your bags in one trip, it’s usually quicker to avoid having to go rack your cart after you’ve loaded your groceries into your car.
Now with the time you’ve saved on your grocery shopping trip, you can apply those minutes towards washing and chopping your veggies, preparing your meats, and getting tonight’s meal off to a good start. Enjoy!
And if you somehow made it through the 90’s without seeing an episode of “Supermarket Sweep”, you MUST go on Youtube to watch a few minutes of this show. It will inspire you for your next grocery run : )
Image: Flickr creative commons: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rickh710/