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How to spend less time in the supermarket

Photo credit: Matthew Horwood

Supermarkets this week have eased restrictions on some household items, but don’t be fooled into thinking it’s an excuse to go shopping.

There are new opening hours at many of the UK supermarkets including, Tesco, ASDA, Morrisons and Aldi. Tesco has introduced a new one-way system, while Morrisons have opened up quiet hours. Lidl has even lifted buying restrictions on all items other than toilet paper. Although, we always recommend you check with your local store for individual times.

The supermarkets have also said they will continue with their deep cleans and you can always do your bit by wiping down your trolley at one of their cleaning stations.

However, you’ll still want to try and reduce the amount of time that you spend in supermarkets. Lots of people are still using them and just because your own hygiene might be immaculate, it doesn’t mean other shoppers are just as good.

Here are a few ideas to reduce the time you spend at the supermarket:

Have a shopping list

Whether it’s written down or using an app, make a shopping list before you go to the supermarket… and remember to take it with you. If you’re going to have any chance of getting the things that you want, you need a plan. Plan, plan and plan!

Group together items

When making a list, try and group items together based on your knowledge of the store.

Supermarkets tend to have a similar layout to try and encourage you to spend. They display the fresh groceries first and put the bread and milk at the back. This will prevent you from having to go back to the other side of the store if you forget something.

Only get what you need

The mighty shopping list serves many purposes when it comes to shopping. Your supermarket shop begins before you even leave the house. Have a look in your cupboards and your pantry to see what you already have. You may even be surprised to learn that you have plenty of pasta already! This will save you time (and money) when buying things.

After all, there is nothing worse than realising that fresh chicken breast that you’ve bought is now out of date.

Never go on an empty stomach

This is perhaps the cardinal sin of supermarket shopping. Even if it’s a snack, eat something before you go.

We’ve all been there, you go to a supermarket with tens of thousands of items just teasing your taste buds, and what we do when we’re hungry? We buy everything! Do yourself a favour and don’t waste your money.

Meal plan

We are all used to leaving on-demand lifestyles and having what we want, when we want it.

Have you ever got home after spending £100 on shopping and realised that you don’t have anything for dinner? Yep, we’ve been there too.

Meal planning isn’t the sexiest of things, but we’re living in unprecedented times. Plan and save yourself a few quid while you’re at it.

Get the right tools for the job

You may not have realised, but you can now make contactless payments up to £45. So if you can avoid handling cash by taking your card instead, do.

Creating a shopping list on your phone is also a handy way to keep track of what you’re buying. You can set up shareable lists on most phones, which allow you to collaborate with your household on the things that you need. If you’re all out getting the same items, you may end up with four packs of flour, instead of one… and yes this has happened.

Don’t go at all

Better yet, if you can avoid the supermarket altogether, why not? Try and get an online delivery slot if you can, and if you do have to wait a week, check through the freezer and cupboards to see what you can use up in the meantime.