5 ways to make grocery shopping more fun

5 Ways to Make Grocery Shopping More Fun

Ah, the grocery store! A wonderful, climate-controlled destination that’s fun for the whole family! (Uh, okay, maybe not.)

I, personally, would rather shop for groceries than a new pair of shoes. Visiting a new grocery store (especially one of those health-slanted ones with the huge bulk section and drool-worthy prepared-foods counter), gives me quite a thrill. I picked the town where I live partially because of the grocery store chain nearby.

But I get that not everyone feels that way, and that a trip to the grocery store may send shivers up your spine. However, whether you’re just trying to save money by curbing restaurant meals or have realized spending more time at the grocery store is the best way to meet your healthy-eating goals, making food shopping work for you is important. Here are five ideas for making the grocery store less scary and more pear-y. (Less overwhelming and more like a melon? I’m trying here.)

  1. Go with a list. Wandering around the grocery store without a list can be frustrating and time-consuming. You work your way through the whole place just to realize you really should buy some bananas, but now you have to make the looooong trek back to the produce section. Or, worse still, you get to the car or even home and realize you forgot the essential ingredient for that beef stew you were going to make. So before you go, take a few minutes to write down what you need! Consult with the recipes you plan on making for the week, and check in with the rest of the family to see what they’re low on. Bonus points for grouping your list together by the food’s location in the store (yup, I’m a grocery store nerd and totally do this).
  2. Go with a friend. Even the most unwelcome activity is more enjoyable with some company. Do you have a friend who loves to grocery shop? Entice them to come along with a promise to help them out with something they dread doing, or make a fun day of it by rolling other activities into the day, like seeing a movie beforehand.
  3. Don’t bring your children. I know, this is a luxury and not always possible, but whoa, having kids with you while you shop is like having your dog with you when you volunteer at the kitten-and-tennis-ball shelter: Crazy! If you do bring them, you better bring entertainment, and it’s a good idea to let them be a part of the process by picking out some of their own items (just make sure they’re choosing between a couple healthy items, rather than getting their choice of sugary cereals).
  4. Go when it’s empty. As much as I love shopping, I hate cruising the aisles when it’s crowded. Do not go on a Saturday. I repeat, do not go on a Saturday. My suggestion is to go early in the morning, especially Sunday if you can swing it, or later at night, once the after-work rush is over.
  5. Let someone else do it for you. We have entered the age of online ordering and grocery delivery service, Hallelujah! I had a client once who really wanted to plan and shop for meals, but the thought of actually going to the grocery store gave her major heartburn. Luckily, she was in a position, both financially and geographically, to enter her order online and have the groceries delivered to her house. Score!

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