Grocery Trip Hacks
Grocery shopping CAN be fun and when it is, most would say it’s easier too! Check out the best grocery trip hacks to take your dreaded trips to the next level …and maybe start to enjoy them!
Believe it or not – I look forward to grocery trips these days! It is an experience that doesn’t have to be dreaded, and with a little planning and strategizing, can be fun and easy even with kids in tow. Read to see how to make the most of this necessary chore, and make sure you’ve subscribed to our VIP list so you don’t miss a thing!
Jennifer here! Trying to start enjoying your grocery trips, huh? Trust me, it is possible! Follow these little hacks to find out how you can take your boring dreaded trips to the next level, and actually look forward to making that routine task happen. Did I miss a great hack that you already have implemented? I’d love if you would share your best grocery trip hacks in the comments at the bottom of the post!
1. Don’t Leave Without A Plan
I get it, you’re in a hurry and don’t have time to make a plan. Plus, you do this all the time… pro status. You can make it this week without a plan. You know what you buy, right? Well, maybe it is right, until the time that it is WRONG. It will always be the time when making another trip doesn’t make sense, too. A plan is worth it, trust me. It seems like a good idea to figure it out as you go until that plan flops… badly. Like, you spend all day shopping around all impromptu like, only then get home and realize you forgot some major things. Let me tell you from experience – a plan helps! Even just a little look around and throwing together a quick list can make all the difference!
2. Take Inventory First
A little mental note doesn’t always cut it (see above) so making a quick trip around your house to see what you need to add to that list is a crucial step. You could think you’re good on something, come to find out one of your housemates actually put the empty box back… Classic kid move, right? Use a notepad app or Google Doc (on your phone) or a voice recording to do the list of low inventory, then transfer it to paper later if you must. I recommend putting a digital record on your portable device to make it easy and accessible if you have a moment and forget that cute stationary list.
3. Solicit Creative Help
This is the fun part. Fancy Pinterest meal plans anyone? I have a ridiculous number of boards that I have never tried anything from, so honestly I use another method to solicit ideas: our kids! If you also have housemates that eat with you, ask what they want! I outsource the meal planning to our oldest, and she comes up with some cool stuff usually! Even just a couple meal ideas from the kids can help spark the ideas to complete the week’s food plan. The cool thing is, even if you don’t make it to doing an official list, you can work with a low inventory list & a list of meal ideas. Having this info on hand means you just have to figure out what you need to make each, that you don’t already have.
4. Make A List, Check It Twice
Honestly, a list is the best practice for successful stress free grocery shopping. I find that the easiest trips happen when my list is compartmentalized by sections and stores. We go to a local & international market, and Kroger most weeks, and get about half of our list from each store. It is sooooo much easier to have a structured list to work off of, otherwise you’ll be that person going through all the aisles multiple times. I am that person when I don’t structure my list… and they know me at my Kroger, so just found out that the Kroger app has a new in store function! Thanks to the lady that saw me on my paper list, looking all confused. True story, so take it from me – it’s way more efficient to structure your list and use the in store app if there is one for your store. It literally tells you what items from your digital list are in which aisles. Magic!
5. Bring A Fun Partner
Having a good time shopping is all about the company. I bet there are some stores you avoid based on the crowd, right? So bring your own crowd, that you know is good, like your family! If your crowd is unpredictable, like younger kids, then following the structured list guideline will be ESSENTIAL! When shopping with kids, it is possible to make it fun, and letting them take the reins on some of the choices is a great way to do that. Giving them small tasks and keeping them engaged during the trip with conversation and involvement helps a TON. Also, surprising them with a little extra that they didn’t read off the list is always nice too.
6. Plan Your Trip Times
Helpful hint – grocery shopping is way easier and more fun when you aren’t saying “excuse me” every five seconds because everyone in the neighborhood is there at the same time as you. Check the peak times for your favorite store on Google, and find a little pocket of time that you can make it when it’s not typically super busy. I prefer mid mornings Monday – Friday, or really early Saturday – Sunday. For us it is pretty easy since we work from home pretty flexibly, but if you’re on a strict schedule, try really early, or really late if there aren’t any sweet spots during the day that you can make it work. The worst thing you’ll find with choosing those unconventional times is that they are in the middle of stocking. Better than an overcrowded store in my opinion, plus you may find it easier to ask an associate if needed.
How do you make the most of grocery shopping? Tell us all about it in the comments at the bottom of the page.
Until next time…
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The episodes are about 30 minutes so it’s perfect for getting ready before leaving, a car ride, or unwinding and having a snack after school. For us, it’s a great alternative to screen time and still engages the kids in a fun story. The amount of screens kids have to be on for school these days is so high, and we love to have them be able to stay entertained but still be present in their environments to enjoy time doing activities aside from watching TV or playing on their devices.