A spontaneous trip, an annoying chore, or a perfectly executed plan. Most of us have different approaches when it comes to the weekly (or daily) grocery shopping, yet there are certain aspects we should all be aware of when dropping by the closest store for a quick snack.
Do come prepared! A shopping list is always handy, but not everybody likes to plan ahead for an entire week of food. Nevertheless, even if you enjoy the more spontaneous approach, where you only decide what you want upon seeing it in one of the shelves, a little preparation can still be a life saver.
While you might not be aware of what you want, you probably do know how many meals you will be able to have at home in the upcoming days.
So, don’t storm in right away! Before entering the store, at least take a note on your phone with the maximum number of items you could get on that occasion. That way you make full use of the opportunity and can possibly save yourself a later trip.
Do remember to bring your own shopping bags. Since plastic bags are no longer free of charge at stores, most people have become accustomed to bringing their own sustainable alternatives to make the transition between store and home.
However, you don’t need to stop there. There is still plastic that you can avoid further along the way, as for example when making your selection of fruit and veg, or the less healthy but equally tempting choice of pastries. Those items can easily be placed in a small cotton bag that you can reuse on later occasions.
So, consider this a small reminder and do
upgrade your set of shopping bags to fully cover the range of your usual items of choice.
Don’t take up all the space in front of shelves with your shopping cart. Every now and then you might need a closer look at a selection of items when you’re unsure of the best option. If that happens, do place your shopping cart in a convenient position, so that other customers are still able to pass through or simply get a proper look themselves.
The same goes for when you run into someone at the store you actually enjoy talking to. Nothing wrong with catching up, but don't block an entire alley for that purpose.
Do consider the timing of your trips. While it might seem like a good idea to make use of any free time to cover the chore, you can easily end up being stuck in the peak time queues for much longer than anticipated.
Do remember that some people cannot chose when to complete the task due to their work schedule, so make sure to familiarise yourself with the customer frequency at your local store.
Do use the hand sanitiser provided in all stores across the country. By now it should go without saying, but it is a small step that helps protect yourself and others. Since most grocery stores are busy throughout the day, be sure to apply sanitiser before and after you’re done.
Be mindful of something most of us were already taught as kids: we look with our eyes, not our hands. Considering an end to the pandemic is not yet in sight, do try to only touch those items you plan on buying.
Most expiration dates are clearly printed on the top or front labels, so, don’t turn each item by hand! Moreover, you should prioritise those things that are at the front, since stores organise items in a manner that is designed to avoid wastage.
I have to admit that there might be an exception to this rule, namely avocados. I think we all know that it is impossible to really tell if they’re ripe unless you feel their texture. But does that mean that it is okay for each customer to pick up as many avocados as they feel is necessary before deciding which ones to buy?
Maybe our dear readers can help clear up this issue for me in the comment section, your advice would be most welcome!