9 Simple Steps for Navigating through the Grocery Store ...

Most of us dread navigating through the grocery store, walking up and down the isles collecting what's on our grocery list. It can be irritating when you can't find something, or it's too crowded, or possibly your items are just scattered throughout the store. Hopefully with these helpful steps, navigating through the grocery store will be an easier and quicker task for you!

1. Plan a Weekly Trip

Navigating through the grocery store 4 times a month instead of 4 times a week, is much easier and less stressful (you'll also save gas!). If you work outside the home, it's also no fun to have to go the store after work when you want to relax. So a good idea is to plan a weekly trip, likely on a weekend where you have time to get everything for weekly meals and snacks.

2. Don't Forget Your Shopping List

Don't you hate it when you get all the way to the store just to realize you forgot your list at home? I've tried to "remember" my list and it usually ends with me forgetting key items and having to go back! So, don't forget it in the first place! Thankfully, we now have smart phones and can log our list that way instead of on paper- just remember to do that while at home so you don't miss anything.

3. Pick up outside Items First

For both health and convenience purposes, shop the perimeter of the store first. This is where the veggies, fruits, dairy and meats are located. Then make your way inside the isles for more snacky items, soups and ingredients. Stick to your list though, otherwise you can end up with a lot of unhealthy snack foods in your shopping cart!

4. Go by Sections

I always sort my shopping list based on what I'll hit first in the grocery store. I group veggies and fruits together, then meats, dairy, cereal and dry ingredients. I also have my food bagged by category (I lay it on the check-out aisle that way) so I can easily put away groceries more efficiently once I reach home. It definitely makes your life easier this way, especially if you have kids with you!

5. Avoid the Busy Days

There are certain times of the day and days of the week that are super busy. You'll want to avoid these days and times to make your trip faster and stress-free. Generally, evenings around 5-6 pm are really busy because everyone is there after work. Weekend mornings are good, but not late afternoon. You can check with your local grocery store also and find out their busy hours so you can avoid them!

6. Use Coupons

Coupons are wonderful for saving money if you remember to use them and checking the paper for current deals is another great option. I actually tend forget my coupons at home which is really frustrating. Now I leave them in the car so I always have them! Even if you save just $5 a week, it really adds up.

7. Only Buy Things You Know You'll Eat

Sometimes in hopes of eating healthier, I'll buy fresh fruits and veggies to snack on. I'll go overboard with them and end up wasting about half (sad!). So, instead of buying what you hope to eat, start out small and buy the good foods you know you love and will eat often. Spoiled food is a waste of money and nutrition, which can be easily avoided!

8. Set a Budget for Your Weekly Trip

If you go in to the grocery store knowing how much you can spend, you won't be tempted to buy a second pack of cookies or a ton of cereal boxes just because they're on sale. A budget is super important and actually less stressful because you can put back things you don't need! Your wallet will also thank you.

9. Don't Go While Hungry!

A big grocery shopping faux pas is to go while hungry. You will find that so many things sound delicious just because you're hungry! You don't need that box of pizza rolls or giant bag of chips. You'll be much more inclined to not only stick to your shopping list, but to pick healthier options because generally those aren't the ones we crave when we're hungry.

I don't know many people who love to grocery shop, but if you do I'm sure you apply at least some of these steps to your shopping routine! Would any of you ladies have more tips to share with our readers that can make navigating through the grocery store easier?