5 Tips to Zen-ify Your Grocery Shopping Trip

We know cooking is better for us and our families than eating out.  Yet Americans eat more than half their meals from restaurants and fast food establishments. (Mark Hyman, Huffington Post).  

Let's face it, it's impossible to cook if you don't have groceries so step one is to make grocery shopping more bearable, maybe even enjoyable.  Here are some tips:

  1. Shop at an off time of day.  I shop immediately when the store opens.  It's usually me and three or four other people standing outside the entrance waiting for them to unlock the automatic doors.  Parking is a breeze, the produce is fresh, the employees are friendly and I'm done by 9 AM.  If you're more of a night person, 8 PM is also an excellent time to shop as long as you've already eaten dinner.  Which leads to my next tip...
  2. Never go to the grocery store hungry.  The experience will be exhausting and you'll end up with a cart full of items you can eat instantly.  I keep almonds in my car and in my purse to avoid this situation.
  3. Listen to music.  Wandering the aisles with your favorite Pandora station or a podcast that you really love will make the experience a lot more enjoyable. 
  4. Go to the same store every time.  It's no fun navigating a new grocery store.  It takes longer and they may not have the items you've come to rely on.
  5. Create a reusable shopping list.  We use a Google Spreadsheet to keep a running list of the things we buy most frequently.  Before a shopping trip, I print out the list and check off the items I need for that week.        

Do you have any tips for making grocery shopping a little less dreadful and a little more zen?