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.
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)