How to grocery shop faster? You may be thinking, “I already zip in and out of a grocery store in record time two or three times a week.” How fast you walk and grab isn't what matters but the frequency is.
People cite lack of time as the #1 reason they don't plan out their shopping and use coupons. But I say that people actually do have time, and they're already spending it on shopping. They just don't realize it.
They aren't taking into account the amount of time, not to mention money, wasted by shopping frequently, with no plan and very little savings.
Ask yourself: How much time did I spend last month shopping for consumable goods?
Likely more than you think. Most people's first reaction when determining how to grocery shop faster is to only think about bigger shopping trips – and not count all the small stops someone in the family has made. Stops like: the dollar store, the gas station, the quick run into the grocery store to grab “just a few things”.
Not only do all those minutes add up fast, so do the dollars. I want to help you discover how to grocery shop faster – so think about the last time you meant to make a quick stop for just two or three things. While you intended to just grab a couple items, they somehow brought friends along to the register, didn't they? How many unplanned items did you end up buying? And how much more money did you end up spending? Your “quick” shopping stop was, undoubtedly, heavily influenced by either “what looked good” or the thought process that it's “just a couple bucks”.
“But”, you may protest, “those other couple things were things I'd forgotten we needed. And that little treat was well deserved.”
Oh, I have no doubt you could use what you grabbed, nor do I question the treat. But I also don't doubt that you likely ended up paying retail price for most, if not all, of it. You fell victim to a basic shopping trap researchers discovered:
That's why retailers love frequent shoppers. If they get frequent shoppers with no plan, and no coupons, even better. They know that just walking in the door, you're good for a sale. And the longer you're there, and the more often, even more sales. In fact, research has shown that more than 70% of all purchases are unplanned in the grocery store.
The bottom line for consumers who want to learn how to grocery shop faster is this:
Frequent shopping wastes time and money. The formula to cut your grocery bill and actually spend less time shopping is one and the same: make a plan, use coupons, shop less often, and stock up.
How to grocery shop faster
Why shopping less frequently works:
- You actually spend less time getting coupons ready than you would spend on multiple need-based runs. Plus, by planning and using coupons, store incentives, and deals – you eliminate paying retail. You've covered what your household needs for 50% off or better. That translates into a $100 shopping trip costing $50.
- A large trip naturally makes it easier to say “no” to unplanned purchases. The already full cart and dollars it represents is an easy way to keep impulse spending in check. Grocers design carts to be extra huge for a reason: shoppers are apt to throw more items in – if they've got the space.
- Stocking up during a price-slashing deal, gets you through until the next deal on that item – which is usually about 12 weeks – perpetually avoiding both retail prices and ever running out of something.
- Efficiency is significantly increased with a well-planned trip:
- You get everything you need and eliminate extra trips to the store, which are costly.
- You can hit more than one store, and cherry-pick all the deals, in less time, and for a lot less money.
- You eliminate the once wasted hours wandering stores, aimlessly looking for dinner inspiration and trying to recall what you needed to pick up.
- You no longer backtrack and zigzag the store, wasting time and energy.
- You don't stand in the aisle endlessly comparing brands, prices and sizes of products. You've already pinpointed the best deals, and that's what you're grabbing and moving on. Make your decision based on logic – from home – with the ad & coupons in hand. If you want help, you can use our free coupon database – or upgrade to see those coupons matched to your local grocery sales each week.
How to grocery shop faster – the bottom line:
With a plan and coupons, you're in and out of the store, spending much less than ever before – in energy, money, and most importantly, time.