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The Whole Deal™ on Efficient Shopping

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I'm one of those people who can wander a grocery store for hours, weaving in and out of the aisles, often times doubling back just because.  However, this means that sometimes wonderful and unintended purchases end up in my grocery basket and raise my total bill beyond what I'd expected to pay.  The best way to combat this?  Have a game plan.  This week's tips are all about efficient shopping - for better health, a faster trip and a smaller checkout total.Remember, each week, we choose tips to be featured in our weekly The Whole Deal™ blog post. Every chosen tip gets a $25 gift card, so submit you tips and recipes here.And now for this week's tips on speedy shopping.From Hillary M.


I follow a meal time schedule Monday-Friday. I eat Breakfast at 7:30 Lunch at 12:00 and Dinner at 5:30 with a 10:00 fruit and another fruit/pretzel snack around 3:00. The times don't need to be precise everyday and if it can't be followed exactly a granola bar always comes in handy. Doing this allows me to see what I actually eat more clearly and helps me to plan my grocery list. I always prepare dinners at night making sure to leave left overs for my lunch the following day. You'd be surprised at how much you save at the grocery store when you get what you NEED.I also bring a calculator with me (small enough so when people see me they don’t think I am too anal). I set a limit and get the necessities first, if I have money left over I let myself indulge.

From David B.


So others have already mentioned using coupons, bring your own bags, focusing on non-processed purchases.My tip is to shop quickly. Time is money, so organize your shopping list so that you are not having to zig-zag across the store. By the way, this is also helps other shoppers and the store (since it can serve more people per hour).I go counter-clockwise around our store, starting by loading up with produce (organic sweet potatoes are an all-around good value, by the way), then fish, meat, cereals, eggs, milk, cheese, wine (you can’t skimp on those red wine bioflavanoids and reservatol ;)). Usually, by the time I get to the checkout, I have just enough time to grab some glutino frozen pizza. Total time: 10 minutes.

From Grace:


Having just moved to the district, I was ecstatic to learn that there was a WF just blocks away from my apartment. Since there are so few grocery stores in the city to begin with, my boyfriend and I have decided that it will most efficient- time, effort and cost-wise to make a big trip on the weekend and prepare meals (dinner especially) ahead of time for the week ahead. This way, we can buy in bulk and not have to worry as much about food going bad by freezing leftovers. Since we are both fairly health-conscious as well, we are taking advantage of the steaming option that our rice cooker offers.

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