How to Grocery Shop Faster Than Ever (Plus a Free Grocery Shopping List!)

Use our shopping insights, and you’ll be in and out of the grocery store faster than you can say “double coupons.”

The average time spent grocery shopping—not including time spent getting to and from the store—is 41 minutes, according to Time Use Institute. Whoa! That’s nearly an hour picking up bananas, bread and ground beef.  I would rather spend my time cooking (or eating breakfast for dinner), so I like to find ways to shop quickly.

To finish the chore fast, the key is having a well-organized grocery shopping list and a plan of action.

Download Your Grocery Shopping List Template

5 Tips for Speedy Grocery Shopping

Have a Grocery Shopping List

I actually make two lists: a healthy meal plan and a grocery list. I start building my grocery list around the staples we’ll need for the week, and then I add any special ingredients we’ll need for the meals on our meal plan.

Organize Foods by Department

This will speed up your shopping like nothing else—and our free printable will definitely help! Your grocery list should have “apples” and “bananas” next to “lettuce,” and “milk” and “yogurt” should be in the same column. (You get the idea.) This keeps you on track, and you won’t have to circle back to pick up peanut butter when you’re already in the frozen foods.

Follow the Same Path

Every week, your grocery shopping should follow the same well-worn path. I’m not sure if there’s science behind this, but I feel like when I follow the same routine, I can set myself to autopilot. My subconscious brain will help me remember to grab oatmeal as I’m walking past the cereal aisle!

Double-Check Your Coupons

I like to compare my coupons to my grocery list before I leave for the store. I mark anything on my list that has a coupon with an asterisk, and then paperclip any coupons to my shopping list. It means I’m not fumbling for paper coupons in the checkout lane, or running back to pick up a coupon item I forgot.

Keep in mind—your grocery store may offer special perks!

Shop on Wednesdays

Really, as long as you shop any day that’s not Saturday or Sunday, you won’t get caught in the crowd and your checkout speed will be faster. Bonus: Lots of weekly sales start on Wednesday, and that’s usually double-coupon day, too.

With the right shopping list, plus our insights and a bit of luck, you should be in and out of the grocery store in 20 minutes! Make sure you know all of our secret shopping tips before you go.

Lara Eucalano
Lara is a senior editor for Taste of Home who manages a supremely talented community of freelancers. She assigns and edits content about cooking techniques, kitchen tools and, of course, food trends. Prior to her work at Taste of Home, Lara spent a decade in the marketing field as a brand storyteller, content curator and project manager. In her nonwork life, Lara loves to read, garden and cook. (Not all at the same time!) Look for her at home in Milwaukee, keeping an eye on her mischievous flock of backyard chickens.