Whether you loathe or love going to the grocery store, there are some additional challenges to grocery shopping that present themselves as you get older. Getting around might not be so easy, the products you require might be more specific, and certain shelves may no longer be quite so easy to reach. The bottom line is, however, that grocery shopping is a necessity. Save time, stress, and even potentially money with these 10 helpful tips to make grocery shopping easier for seniors:
1. Write a List
The most obvious suggestion is to never rely on your memory and rather write everything you need down. Think about the week ahead. What meals would you like each day? Are there any special events you should prepare for? Take a look around the house. Are any of your ingredients dangerously low? What are you missing? This is an important process because it only takes one forgotten item and then you’ll have to do the whole journey again.
2. Stick to the List
Now here’s the tricky part: do not buy anything that you haven’t planned to. By strictly enforcing this rule, you will shut yourself off to all unhealthy temptations and potentially expensive impulse buys. If you see something you really want, rather make note of it for next week’s shopping list, as this will give you time to evaluate whether you actually need it or not.
3. Never Shop Hungry
This classic piece of advice still rings true. If you’re hungry, then your willpower will be diminished and your stomach will make decisions for you. Only go to the store after you’ve had a decent meal or at very least develop a pre-shop snack ritual.
4. Look out for Deals
The art of locating any worthwhile deals can take practice, but once you get the hang of it, you can shave dollars off of your final total. Look out for store fliers, ask about any membership perks, and spend some time online researching coupons. It’s also a good idea to keep all printed materials in the same place as to not lose any along the way.
Undeniably, the best way to get to your local store is to walk there, as this means free exercise, fresh oxygen, and a boost to the mood. However, if getting around in the outdoors is difficult for you, then it may be worth looking at some assistive equipment (such as a lightweight rollator or a mobility scooter). If you live far away and have to drive, then always aim to park close to a shopping cart area. This way, you can transport your goods to your car without having to return to the store.
6. Shop During Quieter Hours
One big advantage of the retirement years is that you can shop whenever you want, especially when other people are stuck in their offices. Use this benefit as often as possible. The environment will be less stressful, the shelves will be fully stocked, and the checkout queues will be less busy.
7. Have Fun
For some people, this concept may seem impossible, but the trick is audio. You don’t usually need to hear anything while you’re shopping, hence why you might as well fill your ears with the music you love or an audiobook you’ve been meaning to get around to. Your overall experience will be much more enjoyable for it.
8. Make Friends with the Employees
Another method of furthering your shopping enjoyment is to make friends with the store workers. They will appreciate your familiar smiling face whenever they see it, and they may even give you some inside tips on special offers that nobody else knows about.
The last part of your shopping adventure can often be the most stressful. If someone else is bagging the items for you, make sure that they don’t overpack your load. Look into hands-free reusable bags which are not only easier to carry but are also better for the environment. Once again, this is another scenario where mobility scooters can make a big difference. And finally, never be too shy to ask for help!
10. Get it Delivered
Of course, you can always skip the shop altogether and simply get your items delivered to your door. Many stores offer a curbside pickup solution too, allowing you to collect your groceries without having to walk around the endless aisles searching for what you need. One should also consider purchasing all of their non-perishables online (toiletries, canned food, cleaning products), as this will help to lighten your shopping load significantly.