The longer you stay in the grocery store the better chance you have of increasing your receipt total with impulse purchases.
My partner is amazed when I run to the store to pick up the groceries, how quickly I come back after leaving. For her it is an easy 60-90 minute shopping trip. I thought I would pass along a few ways I get in and out so quickly for those who are wanting to cutting down on their trip.
Plan Ahead. When you have your list of items to buy and you have any coupons ready to use then you don't have to worry about missing any items or having to make another trip. I also eat something before going if I'm already a bit hungry, so I'm not tempted by chips and soda pop.
Map It Out. I usually shop at the same 2-3 stores and I have a pretty good idea where 90% of the items are. With that in my mind I am ready to plan my route without doing any backtracking through the crush of people or going down aisles that I know are not on my list.
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Outside to Inside. I prefer to get my produce first and then work my way around the outside "ring" of the store, then going into the middle area. If I have quite a few heavy items to pick up I leave room in the cart so I don't crush the produce.
Price and Size. I'm not brand loyal on most food items, that allows my eyes to taken in the price and the size to determine the best value for what I need on the list. If I have a coupon I take that into consideration at this point and if generic is cheaper, I will leave the coupon behind on the shelf for someone else.
Constantly Moving. I don't stop to enjoy a pretty holiday display or look over the flowers wishing I had a bouquet. Unless I'm stopping to decide on an item from my list, I keep walking toward the nearest item on my list. Milk to Eggs to frozen foods and on.
Asking for Help. If I can't find what I need from the aisle chart, I wait until I've come across an employee and then ask them to point the way. It does seem to save time if I'm still shopping and not finished when I ask.
Record Keeping. If you are like me and you have a monthly food budget, this is where you will see me adding up (rounding up) the cost of items to stay within budget. IF, and only if I have enough money left over, then I will get the junk food at the bottom of the list.
Recheck Your List and Cart. While I'm standing in line I go over my list to make sure I haven't forgotten anything and I go over my cart to make sure the items I have are ones I definitely need and not impulse items. This is also a good way to keep my eyes off the checkout candy so I don't add to my cart.
Rain-checks. If an item I wanted that was a good deal and they were out, it is as I walk towards the door that I will stop at the customer service desk to get my rain-check. Doing it right when I find it is sold out just adds time to my shopping trip - I just star the item on the list so I remember.
For more help with your shopping, please read through The Psychology Behind Store Layouts that I wrote up a couple of years ago.