The grocery store dash

A little preparation ahead of time can maximize your time spent in the grocery store.

Do you find yourself running to the store multiple times during the week, picking up odds and ends in order to piece meals together? This can be a waste of time, energy and resources (gas to and from the store). Many people lead busy lives and are juggling multiple responsibilities, but finding the best way to shop for food that works in your schedule will be of benefit. Michigan State University Extension recommends the following tips to make the most of your trips to the grocery store to save time and money:

  • Meal planning should be the first step when planning a trip to the store. If you can, make a menu for the week.
  • Make a list from your menu, taking into account what you have on hand and what you will need for your meals. Don’t forget breakfasts, snacks and beverages.
  • Categorize your list by department. Visualize the store you shop at and put your items in order of how you move through the store (or as close as you can).
  • Decide on a day that works best for you to shop. Many factors could play into this, such as financial resources, work schedule, family schedule, etc.
  • If you are taking children along, lay some ground rules or expectations; and make it fun! Allow them to choose one “treat” food, ask them to pick out a new fruit or vegetable for the family to try, download a scavenger hunt created by the United States Department of Agriculture.
  • Take time to look up sale ads from the local stores. Shopping at multiple stores to catch their weekly sales may add up to big savings for you.
  • Shop the perimeter of the store; stick to produce, dairy and protein, and only go into the center aisles for canned foods, whole grain breads and pastas.

Your time is precious – don’t waste it running in and out of the store multiple times a week.

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