Do you loathe going to the supermarket? Perhaps you find it tedious, time-consuming or downright boring. We get it.
Supermarket shopping can be a real drag, especially when you’re unprepared. So, how can you make the weekly grocery shop a quick and enjoyable experience?
These ten supermarket hacks will not only save you time and energy, but they’ll also lighten your purse strings. Ready to make your grocery shop a super-efficient one? Here’s how!
HACK #1: ALWAYS MAKE A SHOPPING LIST
If you go into the supermarket without a plan, your shop will take ten times longer. Audit your pantry and fridge, plan your weekly menu, and then write a shopping list before you hit the shops – and stick to it!
To make your life easier, keep a list on the fridge and write down items you need immediately (so you don’t have to rely on your memory). It can also be helpful to write your list under primary headings such as fruit and vegetables, meat and seafood, pantry, dairy and home to streamline your shop when you’re in the supermarket.
HACK #2: KNOW YOUR BUDGET AND STICK TO IT
It can be helpful to set a budget for your shop and stick to it. This will help you to stay on track and avoid impulse purchases. To do this, consider purchasing generic brands that are often cheaper than brand name items, or compare prices between different supermarkets so you get the best deal. You can also look for coupons or discounts on items that you frequently purchase.
HACK #3: NEVER SHOP ON AN EMPTY STOMACH
Eating a snack before you shop can help you to make better decisions and avoid unnecessary purchases, such as the end-of-aisle displays (chocolate bars, I’m looking at you), sugary sale items or sweet impulse buys.
HACK #4: PURCHASE IN SEASON FOOD AND BUY BULK (IT’S CHEAPER!)
Consider planning food for the week that uses in-season fruit and veg as it’s usually cheaper than out of season produce. Usually, the perimeter of the store is where you’ll find fresh food and other healthy items. Try to stick to this area and avoid the processed and unhealthy items that are generally found in the middle isles.
Moreover, pre-packaged items are often more expensive than buying items in bulk. Consider stocking up on items you use regularly, especially if they’re on sale.
HACK #5: BUY FROZEN FOOD WHERE POSSIBLE
Frozen fruit and vegetables can be just as nutritious as fresh produce. They also last longer and are often cheaper. Why not check out our article Your ultimate guide to freezing food which includes valuable freezer tips and tricks.
HACK #6: BRING YOUR OWN BAGS (ESPECIALLY PRODUCE BAGS)
Reusable bags help you save plastic and packing time. A top tip is to bring multiple small reusable plastic bags for your fruit and veg. Although supermarkets provide thin plastic bags, they’re often discarded when your produce goes into the fridge, contributing to land fill. You can purchase reusable mesh produce bags from a variety of retailers, including online.
HACK #7: SHOP ALONE IF POSSIBLE
Shopping with family and friends can often take more time. You may get distracted talking about different items, brands or dinner options. If possible, shop alone and you’ll be able to power through your shopping list much faster.
HACK #8: REDUCE YOUR MEAT INTAKE (AND SAVE BIG BUCKS)
Incorporating vegetarian or vegan meals into your weekly schedule is a great way to cut back on your grocery costs (as we all know, meat is expensive)! Eating less meat is also beneficial for your health as it helps you maintain a healthier weight and lowers your risk of certain diseases, whilst reducing your carbon footprint. Check out our 3 most-loved vego breakfasts and Vegan deli inspo articles for some fresh food ideas.
HACK #9: CONSIDER WHEN YOU SHOP
Do you habitually do your shopping on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon or straight after work? If so, there may be other less busy times that you could hit the shops. Early in the morning, or during working hours are often quieter, enabling you to power through your shopping list faster. Have a think about your schedule and consider trying a different shopping time – you may be pleasantly surprised at your time efficiency!
HACK #10: CONSIDER CLICK AND COLLECT
If you have never tried supermarket click-and-collect services, give it a go! By selecting your groceries and paying for them online, you can be mindful of your purchases, and reduce the time you spend in-store. Not only does this mean less stress, but it also reduces the spread of germs.
Can’t get to the shops but crave wholesome, delicious food? Simply head down to a Let Them Eat location near you.