Library School + Life Tip #10: Streamline Your Grocery Shopping

I’m writing this post on the topic of streamlining grocery shopping because I need to take my own advice. Seriously! Now, you’re probably wondering what the problem is, that I’m suddenly having this problem with grocery shopping. Well, it has a lot to do with my typical shopping style, plus where I live. Let me explain.

There’s a Food Lion right across the street from my apartment complex. Majorly convenient, I got into the habit of running to the store before or after work whenever I needed something, including quick and easy food items. In addition to cooking convenience, I’ve typically bought smaller quantities of things because I have to carry whatever I buy up two flights of stairs to our 3rd floor apartment. Great exercise, for sure, but I’ve tended to buy fewer items more often.

Well, grad school is obviously taking more time, so I have less time for other things.  Grocery shopping, even though I’ve gotten into the habit of doing it often, is not one of my favorite things.

Well, the past few days have added a new twist to grocery shopping! I’ve decided to retry a “plant-strong” diet (I like “way of eating” better), so I’ve been looking at recipes in an effort to branch out and try different foods. Lordy, I don’t know where some of those ingredients are in the store! Not only that, I don’t know what some of the ingredients look like! Ha! It’s taken four grocery store trips to three different stores to find everything for the first two recipes I selected, and that’s with the assistance of several grocery store employees! (“I’m so sorry we’re out of that salt-free chili powder!”)

I’m home now after another grocery shopping round (back to Whole Foods), but too pooped to cook either recipe! And I’m writing instead of studying at the moment! BUT my last grocery shopping stop of the evening was at BJ’s Wholesale Club,  and I think it was worth it, because that’s where I started formulating my own grocery shopping streamlining plan.

I’d already started buying some non-perishable grocery items from Amazon (believe it or not!), but I’m thinking that buying in bulk (from BJ’s, Walmart, and other stores) is one answer to my problem of too many grocery store stops.

It turns out that BJ’s also has vegetables and fruits in bulk too, but I’m going to have to find my way on that issue. Frozen veggies and large bags of carrots (one of my favorite snacks now) work fine, but I also want to take advantage of fresh, local vegetables and fruits too.

I’m sure that part of my grocery shopping crankiness right now is that eating better is taking more time, mostly because grocery shopping is taking more time. (I’m also missing my winter comfort foods!) In addition to buying in bulk when I can, I think I’m going to start looking at websites for my local grocery stores and farmer’s markets for information on stock and pricing. Maybe I’ll start making notes on Evernote, too, to help me remember where I find items I like at a good price.

It’s beginning to feel like I need to use some of my librarian-in-training skills in the grocery shopping and better eating arenas!

How do you streamline your grocery shopping? I’d love more ideas!!

Clipart from


About Lesley Looper

I'm a full-time library employee. I enjoy reading, photography, travel, blogging, and geocaching.
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6 Responses to Library School + Life Tip #10: Streamline Your Grocery Shopping

  1. I normally look in my pantry and then make a plan for the week. I know exactly what i need to make every meal. Then i look at the flyers for any exceptional deals. I walk in the store with a specific list. Not much deviation normally.

  2. I actually do a lot of my shopping online then pick up at the grocery store. LOVE it!

    • Lesley says:

      I’ve noticed that the Lowe’s Foods pretty near me offers that service! Thanks for jogging my memory about that! Glad to hear it works well for you. 🙂

  3. Hi Lesley,
    Kudos for trying to tackle the Grocery Shopping Beast! I usually do better in the warmer weather especially when the Farmer Markets are in season. I find fresh fruit at a reasonable cost, however the down side is that I have to eat them pretty quickly. I enjoy frozen foods, things that I can cook in the slow cooker– which does not require so much ‘on-demand’ attention. Have you heard of local food co-ops. I am not familiar with this, but I have had friends who participate and share the portions of fresh veggies & fruits from local farmers. I usually buy my meats in bulk because the cost are more reasonable and you can also freeze them in mass quantities. Good luck and let me know what you decide to do. Ge Ge

  4. LibGirl09 says:

    I don’t have anything to add, but I’m definitely taking notes. Good tips! 🙂

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