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Did you know there is an art to shopping at the supermarket? There are most definitely unwritten rules, so listen up so you won’t have to learn through hard-won experience. The Leave Homer Blog even has our own printable download for that fearful first grocery shop! Guest author Lisa Barton-Collins has some tips for you. Over to you Lisa!
First up, a few words about ordering online. This is a fantastic service if you stick to non-perishable items and have it delivered to your place of work. Pay attention to the size of the item you are ordering; it is very easy to be surprised by a 1 kilo jar of jam when you thought you ordered the 125g, for example.
There is nothing wrong with ordering meat or fruit and veg, or even frozen items online. But I like to be able to see exactly what I am getting before it goes in my trolley. Plus, it’s harder to keep these things at the correct temperature if they are sitting at your desk all afternoon. Now, let’s get to the rules of the supermarket proper.
Seriously. It will help you meal plan and budget properly, so you don’t get to the checkout and can’t pay your bill (embarrassing!) because your trolley is full of impulse buys like socks, DVDs, small appliances and magazines. If you are worried about sticking to your budget, keep a running tab on the side of your shopping list, so there are no surprises in the end. Round it up or down to the nearest $1 as you go, and the tally will be reasonably accurate.
Get to know your preferred supermarket so that you know where everything is and you don’t waste time wandering around aimlessly. Write your shopping list in the order of how the items appear on the shelves and save yourself even more time. Most supermarkets have a map and they can give you a copy if you ask nicely.
Do not shop on an empty stomach! Your hunger will drive you to fill your trolley with all sorts of bad food choices, whether you are dieting or not. Choose a healthy snack to eat while you are pushing the trolley if you need to.
Stick to the left, and keep your trolley with you at all times. Handle the trolley the same way you drive, with confidence and mastery. Do NOT be that person who leaves their trolley at the end of each aisle, everyone will hate you for it and who needs that negativity in their life? Not you. Don’t do it.
Generic brands are great quality most of the time, so don’t be a brand snob. You could save yourself upwards of $10 per shop if you opt for generic branded items. That’s an extra 2 beers at the pub, or a bottle of wine! If it makes you feel better, put your sugar or flour into a fancy jar when you get home.
Check out the supermarkets secret timetable. What day is the meat on sale? (normally Wednesday) When do they mark down the seafood? Sometimes the trolley traffic flow changes depending on the day or hour – the weekend will be entirely different as the supermarket will be full of people who do not supermarket like a boss. Sometimes (if you are in the city) there is an unofficial singles night, and it probably won’t be Thursday or Friday night. On singles night, it might be a special code to put bananas in your trolley, so, umm…it pays to be aware ok?
Be kind to everyone in the supermarket, because supermarket Karma is a real thing. Let the frazzled Mum with 3 items go in front of you, help the pensioner unload their trolley onto the conveyor belt. If you don’t want your fricken animal cards, just take them and give them to the nearest child. You will feel good, and the Checkout Mafia will notice. They will be nicer to you and pack your items with care. Sometimes if an item is hard to scan, they will just give it to you for free. True story. It’s all part of Supermarketing like a boss.
Got any tips for the supermarket for us? Share, it increases your supermarket karma. Honest.
Lisa Barton-Collins of Mrs B-C’s House of Chaos is a Brisbane Mummy Blogger who cooks, crafts, restores furniture, and swears.