Grocery shopping is a tedious chore that everyone needs to do. After all, we all need to eat. Luckily, by instilling 5 habits into your routine, you can make grocery shopping easier and faster than ever before.

1. Create A Game Plan

You don’t just want to go to the grocery store without a game plan. You need to have a good idea of what you need prior to actually going to the store. Try to think about the upcoming week. How many meals are you planning on eating at home? Do you pack your lunch for work? Likewise, you want to pick out several breakfast and dinner recipes that you might want to try out that week. You could even take it a step further and develop a full-blown meal plan for that week. That way, you can identify exactly what ingredients you need and how much of it you need. Always triple-check all of the staples that you regularly use to ensure you don’t forget anything. Really take time to map out your upcoming week and plan your meals and you should have a good game plan going to the store. This can help you avoid making unnecessary purchases, as well.

2. Make and Bring A Shopping List!

This is a must. You absolutely do not want to go to the store without a list. No matter if you plan on buying a couple of things or the whole store, you want a list. You’ll also need shopping bags and a shopping bag holder. I never go to the store without one. While I like to think my memory is excellent, if something isn’t on my list, there is a high probability I will forget it only to find myself having to grocery shop the following day!

After all, you probably have millions of things going on in your mind. Going to the grocery store without a list is an easy way to forget something you need. By having a list, you can save both time and money.

3. Organise Your List Properly

This can really speed up your grocery shopping experience. You want to figure out which grocery store you usually go to. By doing this, you can get a good map/layout of the store in question. This will allow you to effectively group all of the items that you will find aisle by aisle. If you don’t know the existing layout, just write your items based on the section they should be in. This will allow you to organise your list effectively for efficient shopping.

4. Always Stick To The List

You made the list for a reason. Do not improvise while you are at the store. Taking a list should keep you from buying things you don’t need which can help your budget and your waistline. It can be very easy to get swayed into buying something because of the bright packaging, the samples that are handed out, and just because it looks good. If things aren’t on your list, you don’t need them. If you really want something, give it some time and put it on the list for the following week.

5. Shop During Off-Peak Hours

This is a major one. While not everyone is going to be fully capable of utilising this strategy, it can save you a lot of time. If you are able to fit in grocery shopping during off-peak hours, you should do it. Avoid going to the grocery store during weeknights and on Sunday afternoon. This is generally when the stores are the most crowded. Making time to grocery shop in the morning before work on weekdays and even on weekends can save you a lot of time and stress because the stores will have shorter lines and fully stocked shelves.