11 Grocery Shopping Tips Every Twentysomething Needs To Know

Cleanup on aisle adulthood.

1. Don’t enter the store on an empty stomach.

A supermarket seems like the *best* place to go when hungry. A bakery? Deli? A WHOLE AISLE DEDICATED TO CEREAL?! But proceed with caution. Your appetite may steer your cart in the wrong direction and you’ll be leaving with too many bags (that, tbh, you can’t even carry).

2. Go in with a grocery list and stick to it.

Know what you need before you go and you won’t be distracted by those frozen personal pizzas and those chips and THAT CAKE. Going in with a goal will prevent overspending on items that you might end up wasting or that are not the healthiest option.

3. Start around the perimeter of the store and work your way in.

You’re now responsible for feeding yourself. Eat your greens. You’ll find the unprocessed and most nutritious options outside of the aisles.

If you’re worried about a pound of apples breaking the bank, only buy what you need for the next few days! There’s always more at the store. Also note that organic produce is typically pricier.

4. Bring coupons.

Check out Valpak and specific supermarket sites for discounts on groceries. It might save you a dollar or two on a box of Frosted Flakes, which would be GRRREAAAT!

5. When in an aisle, look up and down for lower prices.

The highest prices are at eye level. So tricky. WHO KNEW?!

6. Know when certain fruits and vegetables are in season.

You don’t have to buy raspberries only in the summer, but it’s good to know when produce is in season. This way you’re more likely to eat locally grown produce AT ITS BEST.

7. Know how long the food you’re buying is good for.

Don’t buy two avocados and watch one rot on the counter. You might not need to buy all the fruits and vegetables in one run if you’re not going to eat them in time. Buying only what you need will save you $money$ and keep food waste in check! Here are more great ways to eliminate food waste.

8. Know your cuts of meat.

9. Be sustainable!

When purchasing seafood, there are some fishing techniques that perpetuate overfishing. This is #notgood. Most grocery stores have a rating system. Seafood Watch gives great, detailed information on what is green-lit to buy.

Bring your own reusable tote bags. Tote-ally environmentally friendly and super cute.

Save the planet while you shop! #goodkarma

10. Know when to go!

If you go too late in the evening, the shelves may not be as stocked. Which means that specialty product you needed to make that dish you’re shopping for could be sold out. On the flip side, the pro to going later is that there won’t be a line swirling around and out the front door. (Shout-out to Trader Joe’s in Union Square.)

The BEST time to go is late morning to early afternoon. Shelves will either be restocked or in the process of it. You’ll have your pick of all the fresh product and won’t have to play a vicious game of bumper carts.

11. Shop for a well-stocked pantry.

You don’t have to do this in one supermarket sweep, but making sure you have the staples will ultimately save you money. Keep a stock of flour, sugar, olive oil, pastas, and rice. One night when you think you have to Seamless, you’ll be like, “OMG wait, I can make spaghetti or fried rice!” Yaaass #options.

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