Grocery Shopping Tips to Save Your Sanity


Grocery Shopping Tips to Save Your Sanity - Columbia SC Moms Blog

One thing I’ve learned in recent years is that grocery shopping can be a very polarizing subject. I find that most either love it or hate; there is no in between. When I asked my husband how he feels about it he said, “I despise grocery shopping with every fiber of my being.”

Luckily for our family, I am one of those crazy people who actually love it. I find the whole process soothing and satisfying. Each week I look forward to putting together a meal plan and a grocery list, and making the actual trip itself. I meander the aisles looking for the best deals and get this strange sense of accomplishment when the total is under budget. But I know for many others, grocery shopping is another chore that just has to be done.

No matter where you fall on the love-hate spectrum, here are some tips for grocery shopping here in the Midlands.

First Things First: Make a Plan!

Failure to plan is a plan to fail, especially when it comes to grocery shopping! One of the biggest lies I tell myself is, “I don’t need a list—I’ll just figure it out when I get there.” Don’t do it. Let me spare you some stress.

One way that helps me plan is to create a weekly (and monthly) meal plan. Having a list of meals to shop for helps me know exactly what I will need to buy for the week and takes the guess work out of dinner time. It also helps me stay within our budget since I’m not buying things all willy-nilly.

Once you have your meal plan, don’t forget your list! Creating my grocery list by sections (meats, produce, pantry, dairy, etc.) helps me get all my items in an efficient way by preventing me from running all over the store several times. Also, keep a running tally of what you put in your cart so you know exactly how much money to expect to spend when you check out.

There’s an App for That

Looking to find good deals on your favorite items but don’t have the time or desire to make several stops? Check to see if your favorite grocery store has an app! I may or may not have at least five different store apps on my phone currently. I can check the apps for their weekly deals, which can sometimes dictate my weekly meal plan. The store apps and apps like Southern Savers are also helpful when you want to compare prices of the same item across different stores.

Shop Local

Even though Columbia is a growing metropolis, there are still several local places to get your grocery staples. Shopping locally has many benefits. Local produce is usually fresher and will taste better because it is sold shortly after being picked. Shopping locally also improves our local economy by keeping the money within our community. Some great places to shop locally in the area include the South Carolina State Farmer’s Market, Soda City, and City Roots Farm. For a more extensive list, check out our article on local farms.

Grocery Pickup

I’ll say it again. I thoroughly enjoy grocery shopping under normal circumstances. However, when I was a million months pregnant, walking around a grocery store was not exactly my idea of fun. During times when I really wasn’t feeling it, grocery pickup services were a lifesaver!

Several stores in the area offer this service for a small fee, while some do it FOR FREE. That’s right. All my grocery shopping haters unite because someone will do your shopping for you at little or no cost. I used my local Wal-Mart’s grocery pickup service, but more grocery stores are jumping on the bandwagon. Kroger, Target, and Lowe’s Foods also do grocery pick up services at low or no cost. If you’re willing to shell out a few extra bucks to not leave the house, some companies like Shipt and Instacart will actually deliver the groceries to your door! If you’re an Amazon Prime member, you can order groceries through Prime Pantry as well.

Whether working to make grocery shopping just bearable or more enjoyable than it already is, the important thing is figuring out what aspects make this weekly necessity work for you, your budget, and (maybe) your sanity.

What tips would you add to the list?

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Katie has lived in the Columbia area for most of her life and loves calling the Midlands home! After graduating from USC (Go Cocks!) with a degree in Early Childhood Education, Katie taught at a Christian school in Lexington, where she met her husband, Chris. After having her first child, Katie traded the classroom for staying at home, where she still gets to practice her passion: teaching young children, this time her own. Katie recently had her second child, only months after returning to work as an early interventionist in the Columbia area. Katie is blessed to be able to stay at home with both of her littles, Caroline (2) and Micah (4 months). If she’s not chasing her babies, you can find her serving her church family, baking a yummy dessert, pretending to enjoy exercise, doing some sort of craft or reading a good book.


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