It can be overwhelming, anxiety-inducing, and a real energy drain. Supermarket shopping can be the absolute worst. But what about making smart choices and flowing through the aisles, light as a feather? You can achieve that, by having a strategy and understanding how supermarkets work and operate.
Did this ever happen to you? You go to the supermarket, get distracted by all the discounts, buy an incredible amount of candy and too little actual food, and you find yourself outside the supermarket having spent way more money than intended? And you’ve bought so little food that you will probably have to go again tomorrow. If not, I guess it’s just me this happens to. *Wink*
Supermarket shopping is sometimes the most draining experience of my life. Sometimes I give up entering when I see the long line of people waiting at the cash registers. I feel claustrophobic and simply walk away. But sometimes I have to do it. First of all, in my neighborhood, that particular supermarket is open 24/7 and the best option for finding items I can’t find anywhere else. Or are way more expensive in near-by shops.
But there can be a better way of dealing with supermarket shopping. There are some strategies you can implement so you won’t feel exhausted or overwhelmed, or tricked by the supermarket into overspending.
3 strategies for supermarket shopping, in an efficient almost pleasant way
1. Never shop on an empty stomach
This is my number one rule! Remember when I said that I tend to buy all the candy and a little bit of food? It almost always happens when I go shopping on an empty stomach. The hunger somehow alters my brain into craving so many things I see!
Science backs up this piece of conventional wisdom. Multiple studies conducted on shoppers showed that when you’re hungry, you’re likely to spend more money than you intended, very often on items you didn’t need. One particular study focused on non-food items and how hunger actually makes you buy stuff you can’t even eat!
I do not like to buy many cosmetics, but sometimes when I’m hungry and walking through supermarket aisles, I find myself staring at all the gorgeously-wrapped cosmetics. I feel the urgent need to get me a night face cream and a day face cream, and foot cream and 1.000 types of shower gel. Sometimes I give in, and I find myself using these items once a year until I throw them when they’re past their expiration date. Way past!
2. Try to remain mindful
Speaking of the cosmetics aisle, did you know that supermarkets are constantly trying to trick you into buying more than what you wish to? No, the markets themselves aren’t sentient or out to get you, but the whole upper management designs the places so that you will be inclined to spend, spend, spend!
The basic layout is always very similar – and it is so for many of the countries I’ve visited. You go in, the produce is on the right, and you tend to go through it in a counterclockwise motion until you find the registers on the left. And so on. They usually put the dairy in the back of the store, because most people want to get some dairy product, be it a Greek yogurt or some milk for their coffee.
They draw you in so that you can see many other products on your way there. And according to research, people fall for it. When exiting the store, 50 percent of the things people have bought are things they didn’t set out to get.
So try to remain mindful every time and focus on the products you really need. Do you actually have any need for that beauty product? You should know the layout of the supermarket, so make a plan and stick to it. Don’t take any detours. Just go to the aisle of your choice!
3. Make a list. And stick to it
The old-fashioned way is really the best way! When you’re planning your meals or before you enter the store, type up a shopping list with everything you might need for the next few days. Hey, if you shop at the supermarket, better get supplies for a longer period of time, because if you make more visits there, you have more opportunities to slip up and break the bank on frozen meats or more ice-cream than humanly imaginable.
Supermarkets have on average over 60,000 different products, and this is how they get you! The variety is astonishing and it can stun you while there, leaving you unable to make decisions. It’s no shame, it happens to everybody!