If you’re a parent juggling work and home on a daily basis, here are 10 tips to help you shop effectively.
Grocery shopping is to a lot of mothers, retail therapy. Not only does it make for a nice change of scenery, but is also a fun way to serve the family she loves.
However, while an exciting activity, there is every reason to optimise on the experience and to do so, is to learn how to shop effectively.
Here are 10 easy tips to help busy mums in Singapore shop effectively:
(1) Organise your shopping list
In the essence of saving precious time and energy, hitting the store with a systematically put together shopping list is never a bad idea.
Figure out exactly which items require replacing and organise them by categories—you don’t want your toothpaste parked between the oven mittens and abalone mushrooms.
A proper sequence does help you shop effectively. How? It eliminates haphazardly shopper behaviour, cutting out completely the tendency to run around like a headless chicken, especially when you’re in a hurry. This patterns also aids with aisle navigation in that, rerun trips are avoided altogether.
(2) Plan your budget
Determine how much you're willing to spend on a certain item beforehand—so that, when you get to a particular section in the supermarket, you don’t spend more than 30 seconds deciding if Item X goes into the shopping cart or not.
Sticking to the budget is not only a great time-saving tool but also ensures you don’t overspend. A big part of parenting is being able to make smart financial decisions on the fly without draining up more resources than you have at a given time.
(3) Leave the kids at home
When planning a trip to the supermarket, make arrangements for your toddler to stay home with daddy, grandma if daddy’s coming with, or a reliable sitter if grandma’s too far away.
Kids get restless easily and because they have a short attention span, get bored very quickly. The last thing you want while in the middle of picking out tampons, is to stop and deal with unruly tantrums and creating a scene.
(4) But if you have to bring them…
Get them to behave or tie them to a pole outside (just kidding!). If the children have to come, then delegate the task of watching them to Daddy. It will give you room to shop effectively.
You won’t have to worry about the little rascals running amok and breaking things and you’ll be at peace knowing they’re in good hands. This in turn, will make your errand a smooth-sailing endeavour, and just maybe allow you to finish even sooner than expected.
(5) Pick a store and stick to it
As the saying goes, “Stick with what you know!” If you have found a store that is spot on where your buying needs are concerned and has the right prices, make it your one-stop grocery shopping destination.
It helps to know where everything is so that you don’t have to figure it out as you go along. Also, if you’ve found a supermarket where the service is atrocious, the produce poor and the check-out lines endless, then, very simply, stop going! Anything that sparks up a fuss isn’t worth it.
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(6) Split the list
If shopping is always a ‘couples’ affair for you, then get your husband involved—and not by asking him if you should go with the pink kitchen towels or the blue ones. Because quite frankly, (in bold letters) he doesn’t care!
For a more effective use of his time and to make the effort count, split the shopping list with him. For example, if you’re doing perishables, then get him to take on the household cleaning items. It cuts the chore in half. Supermarket shopping isn’t a romantic escapade, so don’t make it one.
(7) Weigh it and tag
Don’t forget to scan items for price if the price tag is missing. This step comes in handy if you’re the kind of shopper who needs to know how much you’re spending before you see the bill.
For perishable products, remember to take those to the scale and have them weighed and tagged for price—before you hit the check-out. It’s easy to be preoccupied when you’re a parent so having a rhythm helps.
(8) Get in and get out
Being a busy mother, you have better things to do than spending four hours at the store. If you’ve observed steps one through six, it’s safe to say your shopping’s right on track. The trick is in purchasing only what you originally planned on, so you can get in and get out—stress free and no dramas!
(9) Quick check-out
Finalise your purchase decisions by taking one last look into your cart before you proceed to the cashier’s counter. You don’t want to start going through item by item when it’s your turn to pay.
It’s not only going to agitate other shoppers and the service staff, but slow things down and lead to longer queues. Don’t be selfish and mind your manners. Other people have hectic schedules, so be a conscientious consumer and shop effectively.
(10) Load and go!
When loading the trunk of your car or minivan, separate the perishables from the non-perishables for easier unloading and storage later. Thawing frozen goods could potentially lead to a soggy mess during the ride home if managed poorly. Therefore, ensure the dry items are isolated from the wet.
Give these 10 tips a shot and shopping will never be the same again. Designed to encourage you to shop effectively and manage your time better, we hope these guidelines will prove beneficial for the long term.