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Kendal at Home Blog

3 Tips to Make Grocery Shopping Faster, Easier for Older Adults

Posted by Lynne Giacobbe on September 27, 2013 at 7:55 AM

grocery shopping older adultsThere are many joys to living independently: You’'re able to remain in the home you love; you don’'t have as great a need to eliminate clutter; and you can manage eating, exercising, and other activities according to your own schedule.  

But living independently also has its downsides. For one, you still need to complete many tedious, time-consuming errands like grocery shopping. The good news is there are several tips older adults can follow to make grocery shopping faster and easier. Check out these grocery shopping tips to make living independently even more blissful:

Shop During Non-busy Hours

While some older adults enjoy the bustle of a busy supermarket, many older adults (especially those with health concerns) prefer to get in, get out, and get going. If you fall into the latter group, the simplest way to make your grocery trips faster is to shop during non-busy hours. 

“I’'ve noticed the best times to shop are early in the morning on weekends (around 9 or 10), or later in the evening on weekdays (around 7 or 8),” Thorin Klosowski says on Lifehacker. “Not only is the store less populated with people, it’'s also the in-between time for shifts at my grocery store, so it’'s easy to find a checkout person.”

However, the times that work well for one person may not work well for you. That’'s why it’'s important to switch up your routine to discover your best days and times to shop.

Organize Your List by Aisle

If you always shop at the same one or two grocery stores, an easy way to get in and out more quickly is to organize your shopping list is by aisles. “Organize your list by the aisles in the store, and stick to the list,” Klosowski advises. “When you try to improv in the store, you end up backtracking and wasting time. You’re also more likely to grab items you don’'t need when you backtrack because you get exposed to advertising twice.”

If you aren’'t familiar with your go-to grocery store’'s layout, plan a non-shopping trip to help you get organized. Take a pen and paper or tablet to the store, and slowly walk down the aisles, jotting down aisle numbers and which products are in which aisles as you go. When you return home, store your notes with your other grocery shopping items, such as reusable bags and coupons, to use when creating your next shopping list. 

Choose the Right Checkout Lane

Even the fastest, most organized grocery trips can go awry when it comes time to check out. The problem with checkout lanes is there are just so many variables: Do you go to a cashier or use self-checkout? Should you avoid getting behind customers with a stack of coupons? Is it best to stand in a lane with fewer people with more items or a lane with more people with fewer items?

Dan Meyer, an Apple Distinguished Educator, tackled the last question on his blog. According to Meyer, it’'s better to pick the lane with fewer people, no matter how many items they have. “You attract more people holding fewer total items,” he explains. “When you add one person to the line, you’re adding 48 extra seconds to the line length without even considering the items in her cart. Meanwhile, an extra item only costs you an extra 2.8 seconds. Therefore, you’'d rather add 17 more items to the line than one extra person!”

Looking for more useful independent living tips? Check out the free download “11 Ways to Age Successfully at Home” today!

Photo Credit: jazzijava

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Topics: living independently, aging at home

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