Shop Fast and Smart: 3 Grocery Store Strategies

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Man, I am really having fun with this new take-home 1-2-3 series!

In case you missed the first two updates, the take-home 1-2-3 series focuses on topics that are most important to consumers, offering 3 simple tips to address a common issue while outlining some homework so that clients can try out this advice on their own. Each installment of the series also comes with a free printable handout or infographic.

Let's continue the fun, shall we?

Today I want to talk about ways to save time in the grocery store.

Tip #1: Streamline Your List

One of the easiest ways to make your time in the grocery store more efficient is to put your shopping list into the order in which you'll find the foods in the store. Implementing this tip takes some work as you learn what goes where in the list. For example, you can group all the produce you're going to buy together (one of our editors even divides produce into the refrigerated and non-refrigerated sections of the larger produce section) all the baking supplies you need, etc.

By streamlining your list, you'll save yourself from wandering aisles looking for things. You'll also avoid retracing your steps because you forgot you needed an ingredient in a section you've already passed.

Tip #2: Do Your Research Ahead of Time

The Nutrition Facts label is a treasure trove of information, but if you spend your time in the store comparing and contrasting the nutrients in varieties of each food that you want to put in your cart, then you'll never leave the store.

To save time without letting nutritious choices fall by the wayside, do your research at home before you go. Manufacturer's data can be hugely helpful when it comes to evaluating sodium content, saturated fat content, and the presence of added sugars, along with exploring how much of various vitamins, minerals, and macronutrients you can find in each food. Do your comparisons before you hit the store and you'll save time as you pick up each item.

Tip #3: Be Aware of Your Space

Often the music played in the grocery store is timed to lure you to slow down and linger in the aisles. There also aren't usually clocks visible anywhere, just like in casinos.

Don't let the store trick you into spending more time there than you want. Practice mindfulness in the aisles, being aware of your pace as you move through the store. Checking your watch or phone every once in a while won't hurt either. Stay focused on what you want, get it, and get out.

Homework and Handout:

Start with tip #1. Each week, put your grocery list to work, arranging the things you need by where you'll find them in the store. Time yourself. Did you shorten your trip?

For tip #2, research 5 items from your list, comparing nutrition information for at least 3 different brands available at your store. Which option is best for your health? Why?

For tip #3, time two trips to the grocery store. One typical trip, and another during which you stay aware of your pace and surroundings. Which was faster?

And here's a helpful handout with today's tips!

Finally, here are over 20 ways to add some color (and key lessons) to your space...

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