I’m one of those people who loves to grocery shop. It’s a meditative experience for me to lean on my cart and stroll down the aisles. I also get extreme satisfaction when I am able to shop for my groceries with the utmost efficiency. I have a plan in the back of my head: produce first, then outer aisles, then zig zag through the middle aisles and finish at the cash register. If I have to backtrack for anything I can’t help but feel somewhat disappointed in myself. I’m better than this!
If you’re as neurotic in the grocery store as me, then you will LOVE these tips I’ve collected from around the web (and some from personal experience). This is your master cheat sheet for becoming a seasoned grocery shopping pro. They might just help you save some money while eating a little healthier at the same time. You can thank me later. See you in the freezer section!
Plan your shop
I love to make lists, so this one is a no-brainer. You can do it the old fashioned way and use pen and paper, or use your notepad on your phone. I use my phone and delete items as I grab them. Try to group the items you need to buy according to their section in the grocery store. For example, produce, bakery, freezer section, etc. This will help you plan your route and avoid wasting time walking back and forth across the store. Heading to Costco? make sure you check out this game plan.
Focus on the outside aisles
This one has more to do with health than efficiency. The outer aisles in the grocery store tend to contain the freshest whole foods (or frozen ones). Think fresh fruit and vegetables, meat, dairy, and wholesome frozen options like Luvo’s new, good-for-you Planted Power Bowls. The inner aisles tend to contain more processed, non-perishable items that may not be the healthiest choice, like cookies, chips, soda and candy. Focusing your shopping efforts on the outer aisles will help you make more nutritious choices for your family, also be sure to use Luvo’s app CheckIt to find the best products for you and your family.
Look down for the deals
The way products are arranged on grocery store shelves is no accident. The premium, higher priced items are placed at eye level to encourage you to choose them first, while the more economical brands are usually on the bottom shelf. Learn more about the logic behind this here: The Secrets Behind Your Grocery Store’s Layout.
Buy in bulk and freeze for later
Things tend to be cheaper when you buy them in bulk. Whether you’re a single person or part of a large family, you can benefit from this tip: buy club packs of freezable things like chicken breasts. Simply divide them up into single portions, then freeze for later. I also do this with bread because as a single person I find it difficult to eat a loaf of bread or a bag of bagels before they start to get hard and moldy. I freeze the bread or bagels as soon as I get home. Then I just grab a single serving and toast or defrost as needed.
Make quick and healthy lunches using grocery store items
Knowing what to look for in the grocery store can help you become more efficient at meal prep at home. For example, grabbing a few pre-made items from the grocery store can make it easier to throw together healthy lunches for the week. Something like a healthy dip rounded out with some fresh cut veggies and fruit makes for a nutritious lunch. Get more great ideas from The Kitchn.
Pick the fastest checkout line
You always think you’re making the right choice until the super long line you avoided starts moving way faster and then the person two shoppers in front of you needs a price check on something and congratulations, you’re officially stuck in checkout line purgatory! Don’t let that happen to you again with these expert tips from The New York Times: How to Pick the Fastest Line at the Supermarket.
What are some of your favorite grocery shopping tricks? Share them with us in the comments section and be sure to sign-up for Luvo’s newsletter for more nutritious recipes and exclusive giveaways.