Due to my crazy work/life schedule, I’m usually only able to go grocery shopping on Saturdays. Unfortunately, at that time the store is almost always packed, with many of the items I need missing from the shelves. And it’s not easy to social distance, either!
It’s very frustrating to say the least.
What day/time do you usually do your grocery shopping? Has this changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic? Let us know by leaving a comment in the section toward the bottom of this page.
It makes sense that people who work 9ish to 5ish during the week would need to shop on the weekends. In fact, grocery stores in the U.S. average 29 to 30 million shoppers each day Monday to Thursday, compared with 33 to 41 million shoppers on Friday to Sunday, according to the Time Use Institute.
Here are some helpful tips for knowing when it’s best to shop, according to a piece from today.com citing information from the founder of Money Talks News:
To Get The Best Selection
- Shop early: Early to mid-morning is the best time of day for the finest selection.
- Shop on the day new ads comes out: Shop later in the week and the sale items may be gone.
- Get the inside info from department managers: Ask a department manager what day(s) new shipments of fresh food (fish, meat, produce, etc.) or hard-to-get items (I’m thinking of you, disinfectant wipes!) usually arrive.
To Avoid Those Pesky Crowds
- Shop early or late: The most crowded times to shop are midday on weekends and between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. on weekdays when most people are getting off of work. Shop at 8 a.m. or at 8 p.m. any day, and your odds of running into that neighbor you really don’t want to run into goes way, way down.
- Don’t shop immediately before major TV sporting events: If it’s almost time for the Big Game, many people flock to the grocery store to load up on snacks, cold cuts, and drinks. So stay away! If you’re not a big fan, go when the game is actually on.
- Avoid weekends: Certainly, weekends are the busiest days to shop, with Saturday being, let’s face it, horrible! Mondays and Tuesdays are the least busy, but stores may be out of a lot of items, especially if sales start on Wednesday.
Now of course you may not be able to adhere to these optimal grocery shopping occasions, due to your own crazy work/life schedule, or because of the COVID-19 situation. I know I’d love to be able to shop on Wednesday mornings, for instance. But that just ain’t happening!
One other thing, which I’m sure you already know. Try not to shop on an empty stomach. I’ve done that too many times in the past. Then days later I’d see something in the pantry or refrigerator and wonder, why did I ever get that??
Record All Your Groceries!
Panel members: So no matter what day or time you are able to grocery shop, please remember to record all of your purchases.
If you purchase an item (fruits, vegetables, etc.) that doesn’t have a barcode, use the on-board Non-Barcoded Items List if you have the NCPMobile App, of if you have a scanner, use the Barcode Reference Booklet.
Note to NCPMobile users: Use the Non-Barcoded Items List in the app for recording these purchases. Do not scan the barcodes in the Barcode Reference Booklet.
Have a great weekend, and if you’re grocery shopping this weekend, my thoughts are with you!
- All About Barcodes (December 13, 2019)
- What’s In A Store Name? (August 28, 2020)
I like to shop around 11:00 am on wednesdays. Because it’s the beginning of new sales and the supplies are still plentiful. Also , I find very use food items marked down because the expiration dates on packages are nearing and I sometimes find very good deals on needed items.
I prefer to go shopping on Mondays, Tuesdays, wednesdays because I find it less crowded and not too many people during that time. Coronavirus has also played a big part in when I go shopping, as well. There’s seems to be less people shopping and I like that a lot.
I am an INSIDER: I’m a cashier at a Kroger Marketplace store in Michigan, reportedly the busiest store in the state. As for Mondays being a good day to shop?! ABSOLUTELY NOT!!! Sundays used to be our busiest day, with Monday trailing just a bit behind Sunday, but lately, Mondays have been a nightmare. And, because of the pandemic, most days, out of nowhere, all of a sudden the checkout lines are halfway to the back of the store! And it doesn’t help that a lot of employees quit when the pandemic hit, mostly the courtesy clerks (baggers). The baggers we do have are either outside getting carts, in the bottle room, or doing some type of cleaning, like the restrooms; so us cashiers are stuck doing 2 jobs and only getting paid for 1. Once our state opened back up for the most part, our days started to get a little more back to the way they were, which is a relief. During the quarantine lockdown, every order was between $300-$600. Now it’s rarely even over $300. Wednesday mornings, or any part of the day really, is the best time to shop. Other good times, as others have mentioned, are around 8-10:30 or 11am except on weekends (when it starts picking up by 9am), or after 8pm on any day. Hope that helps!
I shop after work during the week around 1:30pm. I find it less crowded and I can make it home before rush hour.
I go early morning before 9:00 am or after 8:00 pm and not on a Friday night or Saturday night.
Before COVID-19, I shopped between 2 and 4 am at walmart super store. I would always go friday morning before work (I start work at 5am) because walmart stocked everything on thursday night. However now that walmart closes at 10pm and opens at 6am, I shop friday night or when I can.
Retired. Watch Grandkids Wed. & Thurs. Grocery shop Wed. or Thurs. 3-5 pm. Ads come out on Weds. no problems with stock or crowds.
I am retired and watch my Grandkids on Wed. & Thurs. I do my grocery shopping Wed. Or Thurs. Afternoons 3-5, as the weekly ads start on Weds. not too many customers on those days& no problem finding what I need.
My husband and I are both in the high risk category so I do online for everything. I order through Walmart.com for home delivery and then for perishables I order through Walmart online for curbside pick up. My husband is on oxygen 24/7 and I have arthritis so I’m very thankful for the curbside pick up, that way I only have to lift every thing once. Our Insurance has an online mail order for all our prescriptions which is very helpful.
Very good info
I shop early every 3 weeks. If we run out of something, oh well we will make do.
I think in the evening is.
I am high risk and on disability at the moment so I splurged and paid for a year of delivery to my door from a well known box store. Although it was a substantial amount up front (almost $100), it has been one of the best things I’ve done this year! Typically, early in the week is the best time for delivery, forget about weekend delivery!!
I ride my bike everywhere. So when it comes to shopping trips I tend to prefer to go after the air has cooled a little later in the evening. I went on Friday…. Big mistake. Check out lines were long! I think what adds to this is that Walmart isn’t open overnights anymore. Which late night on the weekends is when I used to do my shopping before the covid pandemic. I will plan my next shopping trip for a different day.
I usually go early in the morning or afternoon.
I shop Saturday mornings. My wife has the onset of dementia, so a friend of ours keeps an eye on my wife while I shop. Shopping on Saturdays is not the greatest, but it’s my only option at this time.
I usually late mornings or early afternoons on weekdays.
I find Friday evenings are best for the stores in my area. Saturdays are super busy.
With a husband doing dialysis and a 84 year old mother, I shop every Saturday at 6 am. This is certainly not my favorite time to be awake, much less grocery shop but it is the time set aside for those with susceptible family members. No surprise that there are only a handful of people in the store at that time.
I like to go early morning since that’s when senior hours are here where I live. Then on Tuesdays the one store I go to, because I can walk, has a senior discount of 5%. But when I have someone taking me to the store, then it happens when they are available and we usually go to a different town to go for groceries, as that store has more to choose from. My biggest problem is the stores don’t have a lot to choose from or shelves are really empty. My other issues is shopping online, because even though the stores might be listed in my scanner, the bar codes on the items won’t scan!
Due to our busy schedule too we mostly do our shopping on Saturday. We go early when the store opens. We buy bulk so we do not have to go grocery shopping much. For those items that we need frequently we do those later at night.
My shopping time varies. But I like to shop when most people are working. I’d say any where between 11AM til 1pm in the afternoon. Fresh food items are normally out after delivery. It’s easier to get in and out in no time.
We shop on Wednesday nights. We have those crazy schedules as well. The best times for us is on Wednesday nights. The later the better. Our main store restock the shelves then. We’re there as they are putting out the fresh items. Then on Thursdays we go to the butcher or the poultry shop for fresh meat, chicken. Check your store or store flyers to see when their stores have the start of the sales. Oh, my store have less people there as well.
The best time for me is early in the morning when they first open up. You can be the first to catch the sales
I go shopping in the after noon.
I prefer early mornings but often do it both mid afternoon and evenings
When I worked I always shopped after work or during lunch hour. I avoid Saturday like the plague. Now I shop early to mid morning and they aren’t busy. And I could care less about distancing, this virus needs to develop herd immunity, which won’t happen with everyone paraoid about going out.
It depends on the day.. sometimes it’s early others it’s late.. I have to work around work schedule..
So true. I look at it this way, I’m protecting myself and my husband whose with me most of the times. We both have our masks on. My stores are very careful as soon as we’re finish with the shopping carts we clean our hands. When we get home we have clothes in the garage we change into, just either the kids or the grandkids run out for hugs and to help with the bags. We do our part as much as possible to stay healthy.
Monday morning after the Chiropractor visit tying two trips into one. The sales that began the previous Wednesday are still on with the bonus of “Manager’s Specials” in the meat department. Steaks that were prepared for weekend shopping but didn’t sell are marked up to half off with pending “Sell By” dates. I’ve gotten $50 worth of ribeye for $25 in multi pack!