How to Shop Less (even for groceries and essentials) to Save Time and Money

What if I told you there was a way to avoid going to the store as often, even when you need necessities?

stop going to the store so often

There was a time when I loved to shop.  And I don’t mean shopping for fun, with no objective in mind.  No, I used to love grocery shopping, or shopping for necessities.  When my kids were young I would often go by myself.  My husband would stay home with the kids and I would take my sweet time as I went up and down each aisle.

But somewhere along the way shopping stopped being fun.  It became a time suck when I could be doing a million other things.

I started to dread the time spent shopping.  Therefore, if there were ways to avoid spending as much time in the stores as I was, I was all for it.

Maybe you feel that way.  Kids have extra-curriculars, housework needs to be done, commitments fill your calendar and the last thing you want to do is squeeze a shopping trip in there.

Let’s not forget the added stress of what is going on in the world right now.  I don’t know about you but I find shopping pretty stressful nowadays.  With many different regulations and rules in place for the current pandemic it can be overwhelming trying to keep up with all the new changes.

Staying out of the stores means I don’t have to deal with those stresses, AND it gives me more time to be doing what I’d rather be doing, like being outside or hanging with my family.

There are little secrets I’ve learned along the way on how to avoid going into the stores as often.  Of course, there are always times I need to go regardless, but I’ve drastically cut down the amount of times I go to the store in a month.

If you are feeling you want to do the same, today’s post is for you. 🙂

HOW TO SHOP LESS 

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Shop online.

We live in an amazing time where we can buy a lot of what we need online.  A favorite of many people is ordering from Amazon and you can get a Prime Membership to get discounts off certain products, along with faster free shipping.  In some areas you can get certain items the same day!  (That would not be my area, because that’s what life is like when you live in the boondocks…)

You can also set Amazon Prime up so that they send you different items you order every single month or every two months or so.  This is great for products you need to replenish on a regular basis.

Depending on where you live you may even be able to order all your groceries online and have them delivered.  Where I live we can order some non-perishables, but I mostly use online ordering for toiletries, Christmas and birthday gifts, and other things I may need that are not groceries.

Ordering online also can help you save money because you know exactly how much your bill is going to be before you hit the checkout button.  Sometimes when shopping in store you can add up your items in your cart incorrectly and then you get to the cash only to feel blind-sided by the amount of your bill.

Stock up when shopping.

When you do go to the grocery store make sure you stock up.  Instead of buying one week of groceries do at least two, or even up to a month at a time.  If you are looking for various ways to stockpile, check out this post here.

Make and bring a list when you go so you don’t forget anything and you get enough of everything you need.

Warehouse shop or shop in bulk.

This goes hand in hand with stocking up when you do get to the grocery store, but to make stocking up easier hit up a warehouse store where you can shop in bulk.  We like to go to Costco every few months to stock up on some items.

Grow your own food.

If you can grow a garden it’s an excellent way to avoid the grocery store.  There’s absolutely nothing faster than heading out your back door into your backyard to pick dinner from the garden.  It’s extremely satisfying as well and you know it is chemical free so it’s a great,healthy option.  It will also save you money, and it will encourage you to eat in season.

Take advantage of grocery pickup.

Okay, so this isn’t completely avoiding the store.  You still have to drive to pick up your order, but you don’t have to actually go in the store at most places which means it’s going to take you a lot less time to get it done.  I always feel such a relief after I do a grocery pickup order because I just drive in, call the number on the sign in the parking lot, and wait for an employee to come out and load the groceries in the back of my vehicle.  More and more stores are offering this service.

On top of it saving you time, you are going to save money by doing grocery pickup.  You put your shopping order in online which means you can watch the amount of your bill add up before you check out.  If you are going over your budget you can easily take something out of your cart.  Sure beats getting to the front of the store only to watch the cashier ring everything in as you stare in horror at the numbers going past the amount you had planned to spend but now it’s too late to say anything.

MAKE SURE YOU ARE PREPARED BY PLANNING

The best way to avoid going into the store as often is by making a plan.  Do up a meal plan and shop accordingly, schedule in when you will go to the store, and start tracking how long different products last around your house.

At first you may find you go to the store more often than you want and may be frustrated that it feels like your objective of avoiding the store isn’t working.  However, if you stick with it you will find little tweaks and changes you need to make and eventually you’ll notice you aren’t going into the store as often as before.

As I mentioned above, this plan will save you time but I especially love the money it saves me.  I don’t know about you but every time I take an extra trip to the store I always find something that wasn’t on my list that I feel I suddenly need.

If you feel that making less trips to the stores, whether it be to the grocery store or just the stores in general, try some of the tips above.

 

 

 

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