The 3-Step Working Families’ Guide to Convenient Groceries

fruits-grocery-bananas-market.jpgAs working parent royalty, I know we all dread those grocery trips!  Between getting sucked into spendy impulse buys and wandering the aisles trying to find that one thing you don’t want to forget, I would rather be home eating icicle covered frozen meals than go shopping.  Does stopping for bananas every three days get you down?  There’s hope. I have spent many years avoiding the grocery store as much as possible and I am proud to share my strategies for success in cutting back on grocery time!

  1. Have a Plan

So, if your family is anything like mine you probably find yourself stopping at the store 3 or more times per week for a few forgotten things, last-minute items and, well, a bottle of wine.  How do you combat those store trips that make it hard to budget and waste your precious after work time?  With a plan.  Creating a grocery plan is as simple as documenting everything you have purchased over the course of a week.  Then create a data source with this list – check out my blog smart devices that can help you– or an Excel spreadsheet to a handwritten list in a notebook will do.  We are extremely lucky that our Rewards card for Fred Meyer (Kroger brands) tracks everything we buy!

  1. Use a Shortcut

A shortcut in grocery shopping can mean MANY things.  For us, the real miracle has been in utilizing ClickList from Fred Meyer (almost all major chains have a variation on this and WalMart is now doing it).  This is an online ordering tool where you can place the order online and they bring your groceries out to your car when you pull up.  You read that right – you can get all your groceries with 5 minutes of online clicks and without stepping foot in the store!   Gone are the days of distracted buying, wandering the aisles, and forgotten meal components.  The ordering takes me about 5 minutes thanks to the website keeping my order history available and I can usually pick up later that same day.  Keep in mind there is typically a small fee but if you are a dual-working household with kids it will feel WELL WORTH the time you get back (even if I do occasionally still have to stop for a bottle of wine ;-)).

On the horizon for many families is at-home grocery delivery.  More to come as this becomes available (there is currently a start-up in Florida delivering Costco goods and Amazon Now is growing exponentially).

  1. Keep a Routine

“You’ll never change your life until you change something you do daily.  The secret of your success is found in daily routine.” – John C. Maxwell.

Okay, maybe convenient grocery shopping doesn’t feel life-changing for you just yet; but wait until to find several ways to simplify your routine to make more time and space for you, your spouse and your children.   Having a routine as to how you compile your grocery list throughout a week, what day you order and when you pick up can become part of reducing life stressors.  My husband picks up our groceries with Connor (3 yo) on Sunday Morning and then takes him out for a breakfast sandwich at Starbucks.  They both look forward to this and I usually get a nice quiet morning with the baby!

Do you have other shortcuts for grocery shopping to share?  Please add them in the comments!

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