Shopping in this day and age is super stressful. With how busy we are dealing with other tasks, shopping online and visiting stores has become not as enjoyable as it used to be. I remember those days when my mom and I would "shop" just to browse and see what was new and trendy. Browsing has become an unnecessary thing in our super busy lives. Sometimes I miss those lazy Saturday trips to the store and shopping with her. This week, I will be talking about shopping time-saving tips to help you get things done in a streamlined way and save money too! Read more to help keep your precious time in your day.
These shopping time saving tips will help you during the year AND during the holidays.
Shopping Online Time Saving Tips:
First, if you shop online often, these tips are for you.
Have a list of online stores that you shop often. Keep a bookmark list of stores that you frequently buy on your computer browser. This will give you a place to glance. It convenient if you cleared your cache on your browser, and your computer doesn't have the website any longer. Some stores are not visited every month, so doing this will also remind you or other family members what site was used to purchase which item.
Have a separate email address just for e-store newsletters. Getting bombarded with emails is not fun. But, using a different email address for them can be an easy way to keep you informed of deals and specials that are happening right now so you can take advantage of them. Through your email provider, you can create a task that will move all those emails to a folder to review once a week. Microsoft Outlook calls it "Rules." Read more about it and how to do it here.
Use recurring subscription shopping features for food and other products. If you buy items online over and over again, try doing recurring scheduled shipments of those products. Amazon Prime offers Amazon Family where you get up to 20% off when you do 5 subscriptions.
Some other sites offer diaper subscription purchases. Visit this post I found online. Stock Up From Home – 18 Best Diaper Subscriptions
There are food delivery services popping up everywhere these days. Some of the ones we have used in the past are Sun Basket(affiliate) (check out my review here) and BlueApron. There are places that will also deliver food, like Instacart(affiliate). When you make an account, you can see all the stores their staff will go to for you.
***AD*** from Released Repurpose Reorganize: My List Simplified journal is a wonderful organizing tool for planning a move or a renovation. Use it to corral all the to-dos.
Now, let's talk about ways to save time when shopping in person.
In Person Shopping Time Saving Tips:
Get the app for the grocery store. There are lots of coupons and offers on these apps and if they have a rewards program, you can get even more benefits. Some of these apps also have a grocery list section so you can generate your grocery lists right in the app - it is super easy to do.
Figure out how much you spend on groceries each month. Then, budget that amount each month in the register. At the beginning of each month, allocate the amount of money you usually spend on groceries in your checking account. Then, as you use it, adjust this allocation in your register. This tip works well if you use a money management app like Quicken.
If you choose not to use an app, make a printable customized grocery list just for your family. Using a spreadsheet app, you can easily add all the columns and categories you need for your family.
Dividing the sections up into how your store is organized works well, so you are not flipping back and forth on your customized paper grocery list while walking through the store.
Color-coding the parts work excellently too. You can include columns like specific types, descriptions of the items, a checkbox for the needed column, and bought column.
If you have coupons for particular products, you can add a "C" next to the item to remind you when you are at the store. Here's just a small example of our extensive grocery list.
If you don't want to get too detailed, using a printable like the one below works great for a smaller household with minimal dietary restrictions.
Hopefully, these tips save you time and money when going to the stores. They do help us. And, I don't have to go to the stores often. Yay!
But wait! Now it's time to give you some tips about the crazy holiday shopping season. Read on to help you make the most of your holidays.
Saving Time During the Holidays.
Start shopping now. The best deals and ample stock is BEFORE Thanksgiving. If you send gifts like flowers or wine, schedule them now, and have them delivered closer to the holidays.
Like to shop online? Start shopping now when the sales are still going on. You can get discounts on shipping and other items before it gets too close to the holidays. For example, shop while you are waiting for your hair appointment. I like to email myself links of what I want for a particular person, and when I get home, I order them. I prefer to purchase stuff from my computer instead of my phone.
Make a master spreadsheet to manage your mailing list for the holidays. Make labels by merging your list into a label format in a Word processing software, like Microsoft Word.
Instead of sending out greeting cards, personalize picture greeting cards. Then when your picture greeting cards come in, all you need to do is print out your labels and stick them to the envelopes with your return label and stamp and mail. And, you are done.
Use bags instead of wrapping paper for wrapping your gifts. When my kids were younger, we would get many gifts from my parents, though my parents were not into wrapping the gifts. So instead they would buy the presents and leave them with me to wrap. What fun, right? I am happy that it is over. I determined buying gift bags was better and saved me time when it came to assembling, and it saved me money as well because I would reuse the bags for the next year's presents.
Making these changes to your holiday route will help your holiday season become more enjoyable and less stressful.
Well, there you have it. I hope these shopping time saving tips help you throughout the year.
Now it's your turn. What is your favorite shopping time-saving tip? Please leave a comment below.
Please note the link above is affiliate links through Amazon and at no additional cost to you, I will receive affiliate fees if you click through and decide to make a purchase.
Wow you have covered so many different shopping topics here. I love the idea of getting your online shopping organized. I forget about that and also clutter up my inbox with newsletters.
I am so not a shopper, so I do what I can to avoid it. You have some great ideas here on how to do just that - I liked the suggestion to have a separate email address for store flyers. I keep two email addresses, one for personal/business and one for anything I buy or order online. I find most of my allotted spam ends up in that buying account, which makes my main email so much easier to deal with.
I'm not a big shopper, so anything that makes it easier and quicker the better. I used to have a printed grocery list that I created, just like you suggested. It was laid out just like the store. I would create the list and my husband would do the shopping.
I also have lots of memories of "shopping" with my mom. In fact, until recently, it was still her favorite thing to do when I visited. Aside from mom-time, though, I'm not a big fan of the time and energy that goes into shopping, so I appreciate time and money saving tips. I liked your point about downloading the store app. It's something I started doing several years ago, and I've saved a ton by loading digital coupons onto my store card and through other offers.
Diane N. Quintana
I love your memory of "shopping" with your mother. I'm not much of a browser. I have a couple of stores that I used to like to browse through - the Container Store being one. I love your grocery shopping list idea - in particular having a column to mark that you have a coupon for a certain item. I think that makes a lot of sense. Thank you for these tips!
I don't find shopping overwhelming, although it's less pleasant and requires a bit more time management due to the pandemic. I'm not doing a lot of in-store shopping except for groceries. To keep fewer shoppers in the store for health/safety reasons, sometimes there are lines to get in, and lines to checkout. So the idea of going "quickly" to the store has changed. I have to plan for additional time. I have a simple list system for groceries. We keep a pad of paper on the fridge. As we run out of an item, we add it to the list. I grab it when I head to the market. Since most of the products we buy are fruits, veggies, protein, and dairy, I'm only visiting a few of the aisles. I don't really need a chart.
I've thought about creating my own printable grocery list, separated by store section, including items I buy every week (every two weeks right now) and with space to write in others, but I'm super conscious about cutting down on paper, so I haven't done that. Instead, I use memo pads I receive with advertising for shopping lists, and write my items in imaginary sections on the page corresponding to store sections. It's working very well and I rarely have to backtrack because I missed something.