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Curious - how long do you spend in the grocery store?


SKL
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I mean, I'm in and out as fast as possible.  Even when I used to take my tots and do the whole household's grocery shopping in person, we were in and out in maybe 20 minutes.  Without little kids, we're talking 2-10 minutes to shop (depending on whether I have to search or if I'm shopping for a party).  Usually the longest part is waiting in line, but I try to go at times when there aren't lines at the self-checkout.

I was playing around with a Covid risk calculator, and it offers various scenarios that they consider common.  The standard length of time for grocery shopping was 1 hour.  I literally can't imagine spending a whole hour in a grocery store.  Ever.  But it made me wonder - is that common?

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My brain does not comprehend a week's worth of shopping in under 20 minutes. Like...I had to reread that a few times. Less than 10 is if I am only grabbing two things or whatever. And even then, by the time I grab them and check out...it's pushing 10. 

My normal is an hour, pre covid. I do delivery now, mostly. If at the Super Walmart it could easily be 90 minutes, and has been known to be around 2 hours. I often leave with two full to the brim carts of food, enough for 6 people and 5 pets. 

When I return from Walmart with groceries, after pushing the heavy cart, loading the van, unloading at home, and putting it away I feel like I've gone through the  wars or something. 

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About 15 minutes for the normal weekly shopping at Aldi.
I have never spent an hour in a grocery store, ever. But grocery shopping trips have taken that long (and longer) when I had to take a bus to the store and two buses home - so I wonder whether the risk calculator factors in the entire experience and not just the actual time in the store.

Edited by regentrude
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I'd also estimate that I average around 30-40 minutes in the store when I'm doing a normal grocery run, which is usually somewhere in the $150-$200 range. It usually takes me right about an hour from the time I leave my garage until I'm back, and 15-20 minutes of that is driving time.

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I used to spend at least 45 minutes once a week in the grocery store when DD was small. That was with a list and trying to hurry. 

I don't think I'll ever willingly use anything but curbside pickup from now on (quick trips excluded, of course). It's just so convenient. 

Edited by MercyA
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A small grocer like Trader Joe’s would take us at most 10 minutes because we spend some time looking at seasonal items. A large supermarket like Costco would take us 30 minutes because of all the walking around and picking what we need. 

Pre-Covid era, we would sometimes spend over an hour at Whole Foods but that is because we eat our lunch there and have coffee there. Same for a Japanese supermarket we go to that has a cafe in store with yummy ramen. 

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When I shopped in person, yeah, it took an hour. The stores here are HUGE and people use grocery shopping time as social time. The aisles are always crowded with people chatting and la-di-da-ing in the snack aisle. 

I am not particularly worried about getting Covid at the grocery store, because like I said, it's HUGE (the size of a Home Depot or Lowe's) and well ventilated. I do curbside now just because it saves so much time.

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I could see it if they had a nice cafe and I was with people I'd like to chat at a cafe with.  🙂

Where I used to go with my kids, it was a plaza that had my organic food market a few doors down from a Panera.  So my kids and I would share a half-and-half at Panera.  Or we'd go to the nearby bookstore and chill at their cafe.  🙂  Fun memories.

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There are other people in my grocery store so, no, there is no doing a weeks worth of shopping and getting out of there in 15 minutes even if you are the model of efficiency.  You might get away with getting a night's worth of groceries in 15 minutes if you go at the right time of day.  Maybe 2-3 nights if you make really simple meals with very few ingredients.  I'm the queen of the surgical strike, but my stores are either too big or too crowded for the timing to be completely up to me.  

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30-40 minutes.  It's not for trying to be inefficient.  We shop mostly the perimeter, go first thing in the morning, and stick to the list (which is written out in store order).  But we don't have self check out, and the cashiers/baggers are encouraged to be chatty, so we end up standing in line for about 10-15 of those minutes.

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3 minutes ago, MissLemon said:

When I shopped in person, yeah, it took an hour. The stores here are HUGE and people use grocery shopping time as social time. The aisles are always crowded with people chatting and la-di-da-ing in the snack aisle. 

I am not particularly worried about getting Covid at the grocery store, because like I said, it's HUGE (the size of a Home Depot or Lowe's) and well ventilated. I do curbside now just because it saves so much time.

Yeah, I think lots of factors are going to influence shopping time.

How many people you shop for and how frequently you shop

The size of the store (small Aldi versus Costco/Sam's/Super WM) -- a larger store is going to take more time simply because there's going to be more walking involved

How crowded the store is

Etc., etc.

Even though I'm a relatively fast, organized shopper I've never felt there was any moral superiority or anything regarding it. I just don't like being around people, and therefore prefer to get in/out as quickly as possible. I could easily read some issues into that, of course. I've often wished I could relax and enjoy shopping more than I do.

I also agree that Covid risk in a grocery store is probably not much at all.

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16 minutes ago, MissLemon said:

When I shopped in person, yeah, it took an hour. The stores here are HUGE and people use grocery shopping time as social time. The aisles are always crowded with people chatting and la-di-da-ing in the snack aisle. 

I am not particularly worried about getting Covid at the grocery store, because like I said, it's HUGE (the size of a Home Depot or Lowe's) and well ventilated. I do curbside now just because it saves so much time.

Yeah, it takes several minutes just to walk from the back of the store to the check out at Walmart. Let alone buy anything! And all the personal care and pet stuff is across the store, on the other side of all the clothes/housewares/etc from the rest of the grocery stuff. 

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10 minutes in smaller places like Trader Joe's and ethnic grocers. 20 minutes at Whole Foods and Costco. This is mostly because I make a list, plan my routes inside the store mentally, start moving fast when I hit the store. I don't make discretionary purchases in the store anymore - so, no buying snacks that look good, stopover at the bakery section etc. I save the browsing and buying fun stuff for online shopping!

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a weekly shopping

1 hour drive to town with supermarket.

20 minutes Woolworths, 20 minutes Aldi.  5 minutes butcher shop. 1 hour drive home

we do swimming lessons on the same day.

during lockdown we aren’t meant to travel that far, the very small shop close to me is extremely expensive. We buy the bare minimum there and are in there for 10 minutes max.

 

Edited by Melissa in Australia
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I go once every two weeks.

Aldi takes me at least 40 minutes from the time I walk in the door until the moment I walk out of the door.  It takes at least 5 minutes just to checkout, and that’s if I’m the only person in line. If I wait behind a person or two, it’s a bit longer. About 15 minutes of my time in Aldi is just on bagging the groceries. And I’m not going slow. I’m booking it because I HATE grocery shopping, but it takes TIME. So 20 minutes to gather, 20 minutes to checkout and bag. 

My cart is filled to the BRIM (actually things are usually popping up over the edge and I have stuff on the bottom shelf of the cart) when I go to Aldi, and I separate out the cold stuff to put into 4 different coolers once I get to the car. It takes time to bag it all up into small enough bags that can fit in the coolers. I need the coolers because as soon as I’m done in Aldi, I head over to Walmart to finish the shopping and the food has to stay cool. And after WM, it’s a 25 minute drive home.

 

When I used to shop inside Walmart, it was never less than 1.5 hours from the moment I set foot in the door until I was back in the car.  In Walmart, I always would stop in their clearance aisle, but only spent maybe 5 minutes tops in that aisle, so there was a bit of dallying there. There’s just something about the huge layout of the store that takes time.  I can never go into Walmart without having to walk the entire length and width of the stupid place.

If I went every week, instead of every other week, I’d expect it would take about 1/2-2/3 the time for 1 week’s worth of stuff.  

Edited by Garga
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9 minutes ago, mathnerd said:

10 minutes in smaller places like Trader Joe's and ethnic grocers. 20 minutes at Whole Foods and Costco. This is mostly because I make a list, plan my routes inside the store mentally, start moving fast when I hit the store. I don't make discretionary purchases in the store anymore - so, no buying snacks that look good, stopover at the bakery section etc. I save the browsing and buying fun stuff for online shopping!

Our Trader Joes is so packed always I can't imagine being in and out that fast! 

How many things on a list are we talking? 

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Just now, Garga said:

 

 

When I used to shop inside Walmart, it was never less than 1.5 hours from the moment I set foot in the door until I was back in the car.  In Walmart, I always would stop in their clearance aisle, but only spent maybe 5 minutes tops in that aisle, so there was a bit of dallying there. There’s just something about the huge layout of the store that takes time.  I can never go into Walmart without having to walk the entire length and width of the stupid place.

If I went every week, instead of every other week, I’d expect it would take about 1/2-2/3 the time for 1 week’s worth of stuff.  

This makes me feel better, lol!  

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Until I discovered grocery pickup pre-pandemic, I would spend a minimum of 2 hours in the grocery store every 7-10 days.  My cart often was overflowing and if my kids had been better about not driving a cart into my ankles, I would have taken one of them along to drive a second cart.

With my medical problems (RA), it was exhausting, difficult work.  I nearly cried when I discovered how easy grocery pickup was (and that it had been available for a year before I tried it).

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Just now, ktgrok said:

This makes me feel better, lol!  

🙂

I plan to spend 4 hours out of my house for “grocery shopping”.  It’s 50 minutes just in drive time, plus I stop and get a taco for dinner at Taco Bell and read my book in the car for 30-40 minutes (precious alone time.). That leaves 2 hours and 30 minutes for the actual shopping between two stores. Oh, wait! I forgot Petsmart. I can get in and out of Petsmart in 10-15 minutes, but I’m only there for a few cans of catfood when I go. But I do stop and coo at the cats in cages whenever I go there.

Petsmart is often included in my 4 hour shopping adventure, but I don’t have to go there every time I shop.

I’m writing up my shopping list right now and will go tomorrow night. I hate going. I am not looking forward to it. 

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I no longer shop in person, but when I did, I went to Aldi and finished up at Walmart. My list is organized by store and aisle. It took 2 hours total - about 45 minutes Aldi/1.25 hours at Walmart. They're only about a 5 minute drive apart. Aldi is always packed, and Walmart just takes forever to get anywhere in the store. I seriously can't imagine shopping for a week in less than 20 minutes.

We have a grocery store called Woodman's here that is MASSIVE - you get a workout in just walking the store. I only shopped there a few times because it just takes forever to do any shopping. Checking out is usually 5-10 people per line - Ugh. My MIL loves the store though. 

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For my normal Aldi shopping (1 week's worth of food for 6 people), it's probably 45 minutes, including bagging. Unless they are super busy and I have to wait in line a while.  Maybe a bit longer if I don't do a good job writing my list and have to criss cross the store a few times. 

Then if I have other stops (items I forgot at Aldi, restock on produce, stopping for things Aldi doesn't carry) -- it's 15-20 minutes in and out of another store. 

Target...forget getting out of there in less than an hour because I get sidetracked so easily.  Hence, I almost always do drive-up/pick-up at Target.  I started doing that pre-pandemic because it saved so much money.   If I have to go to walmart for something, it also usually takes me a long time because I can never find anything there! I don't go often enough and the arrangement of the store never makes sense, so I end up retracing my steps a lot.

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15 minutes ago, ktgrok said:

Our Trader Joes is so packed always I can't imagine being in and out that fast! 

How many things on a list are we talking? 

My nearest Trader Joe’s is quite empty. We buy in order of store layout: bananas, tomatoes, baby potatoes, frozen brussel sprouts, gyozas, char siu buns, milk, bread. The cashier counters are near the bread while bananas are near the entrance. 

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Anywhere from 5 minutes to an hour, depending. Probably an hour is rare. Sometimes I am just running in for a quick thing, but then I end up remembering this and that, and then I check the day-old bread, and then I'll see if there is discounted meat, and if there is some specific meat discounted I might go in search of some vegetables to go with that (pork tenderloin, hmm, how about asparagus or brussels sprouts (depending on the season). 

If I go to Walmart it feels like about 3 hours but is likely less than 30 minutes. 😁

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For 1 week’s groceries:
1 hour at Meijer or
30 minutes at Sams + 45 minutes at Meijer

For 2 week’s groceries:
1.5 hours at Meijer or
45 minutes at Sams + 1 hour at Meijer
+ either way I still have to pop into Meijer for ~30 minutes on non-shopping weeks for perishables

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It varies now because my grocery store decided to remodel/aka relocate almost everything.
Once COVID hit, I had a mission style grocery shopping approach - list, go in, get everything, leave - so maybe 15 minutes? 
Now it takes a little longer as sometimes I have to backtrack. I go early in the morning - but not too early so everything will be restocked (like 8:30/9 am). 
Cases are still increasing in our area, so I'm hoping to get my time back down again. Stop rearranging the stores!

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I can be in and out of Trader Joe's or Whole Foods in 10 minutes if I stick to a list, or 15 if I'm browsing or looking at new products. But that's at 8:00 AM on a Tuesday or Wednesday, when there's no one else there. Costco would be 20 minutes, maybe more if they've moved everything around as they seem to do every few months. I really really hate giant grocery stores and never shop there unless I desperately need something I can't get anywhere else (like a specific kind of tea or flour or something) that TJs, WF, and Amazon are all out of, and even then I go straight to that item and get out as fast as possible. I think I've been inside a regular supermarket maybe 5 times in the seven years I've lived here.

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Back when I used to do all our grocery shopping in person, it could easily take an hour each week. I buy loads of produce, which takes time to select and bag. Plus I cook most things from scratch, so my list usually included lots of ingredients. 

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Weekly shopping in Aldi's for our family of 6- 15-20 minutes unless I'm killing time. I go in with a list and I shop there often so I know where things are. I mostly shop individual items for cooking from scratch with a few convenience items here and there.

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I probably average 20 minutes per trip, but there is a big variation, depending upon if I am picking up a few things or doing a major stockup.  It also takes longer when there is something I am not familiar but want to try and have to hunt for it in the store.  Sometimes if I want fresh-sliced deli items it will take longer because the deli counter is busy.  I try to avoid shopping on Sunday afternoons--it seems as if people who have never been in a grocery store are there standing in the middle of the aisles and I can't get to what I need or pass them by.

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One thing that slows me down is that I have to read so many labels!! Anything that has more than one ingredient must be inspected closely...even items that have been safe in the past can change ingredients at any time.

So even during the spring/summer of 2020, when I was shopping at midnight so the store was deserted and I could march through military style crossing things off my well organized list, it still took me at least an hour.

Part of that was shortages and whole empty departments making it hard to plan ahead...but to some extent that is still an issue now. There are fewer things out of stock than a year ago, but I still find myself having to frequently make substitutions when (in the last month) Sams is totally out of peanut butter or chicken, Meijers goes a month without having any rice noodles, rice cakes or soy sauce in stock, or Walmart has no garbage bags, none, of any size!!

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Dh and I shop together (I’ll leave it to you to decide whether that improves or hinders my ability to shop quickly) on Friday mornings at Publix. always have a list, since I meal plan.  Takes us about 25 minutes from walking in the door to loading the car.  Nearly every week we wait to have bread sliced in the bakery and  seafood chosen and wrapped for us in the fresh seafood section. About once a month we also wait for a deli order or fresh meat order to be assembled and wrapped.  Produce is usually pretty quick since we have a detailed list. 
When I had to shop with kids or shopped at Walmart it took a lot longer. 

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I'd say it takes an average of an hour for my weekly shopping trip. I do a lot of comparison shopping when I'm choosing cuts of meat, scan the shelves for bargains, examine the produce carefully when choosing it, etc. Even though I go in with a list, it's pretty common for me to criss cross the store a time or two, because I forgot to get something in one of the aisles.

I shop for 5-6 people and completely fill the cart to overflowing each week, so it also takes quite a bit of time to check out.

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Trader Joe’s? 20 minutes & $50

 Costco? 1-1.5 hours - generally $700ish every two weeks. That to say there is no way to do it in twenty minutes.

 two of my kids work at a grocery store so if I need something other than produce, they get it there. Produce local is Nature’s Grocer and that’s a 20 minute trip every other week because my Costco produce doesn’t stay good for a full two weeks. 

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2 hours ago, SKL said:

I mean, I'm in and out as fast as possible.  Even when I used to take my tots and do the whole household's grocery shopping in person, we were in and out in maybe 20 minutes.  Without little kids, we're talking 2-10 minutes to shop (depending on whether I have to search or if I'm shopping for a party).  Usually the longest part is waiting in line, but I try to go at times when there aren't lines at the self-checkout.

I was playing around with a Covid risk calculator, and it offers various scenarios that they consider common.  The standard length of time for grocery shopping was 1 hour.  I literally can't imagine spending a whole hour in a grocery store.  Ever.  But it made me wonder - is that common?

For a real shopping trip it does take me close to an hour. Yes

Edited by vonfirmath
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Weekly at my neighborhood grocery that I'm familiar with and know where everything is? About 1/2 hour. Once a month I shop at Whole Foods, where I buy most of my meat/poultry/fish, and that trip is usually a good hour. I love food shopping and cooking 🙂 I have zero worries in a grocery store. I wear an N95, am not near any one person for more than a minute, and masks are required for all. 

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1 hour ago, Arcadia said:

My nearest Trader Joe’s is quite empty. We buy in order of store layout: bananas, tomatoes, baby potatoes, frozen brussel sprouts, gyozas, char siu buns, milk, bread. The cashier counters are near the bread while bananas are near the entrance. 

Oh, I buy way more than that, lol. But I've never seen it close to empty, either. Just getting a parking space can involve circling the lot for 5 minutes or more. 

1 hour ago, wendyroo said:

One thing that slows me down is that I have to read so many labels!! Anything that has more than one ingredient must be inspected closely...even items that have been safe in the past can change ingredients at any time.

So even during the spring/summer of 2020, when I was shopping at midnight so the store was deserted and I could march through military style crossing things off my well organized list, it still took me at least an hour.

Part of that was shortages and whole empty departments making it hard to plan ahead...but to some extent that is still an issue now. There are fewer things out of stock than a year ago, but I still find myself having to frequently make substitutions when (in the last month) Sams is totally out of peanut butter or chicken, Meijers goes a month without having any rice noodles, rice cakes or soy sauce in stock, or Walmart has no garbage bags, none, of any size!!

YUP!!! With a kid with celiac, plus people trying to lose weight, i'm reading SO MANY LABELS. Plus I might have "gluten free bread" on my list, but which one is in stock, that my kids will eat, that doesn't cost an arm and a leg is never known until I get there. Or looking over the meat to pick what I want, etc etc. 

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9 minutes ago, ktgrok said:

Oh, I buy way more than that, lol. But I've never seen it close to empty, either. Just getting a parking space can involve circling the lot for 5 minutes or more. 

Sunday mornings before 11am 🙂 We could often park right next to the main entrance/handicap parking lots. 

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Pre-Covid I only shopped once every 3 weeks. I would drive into town and hit Costco, Trader Joes, the health food grocery store, and possibly one other if something else was needed. It was normal for the trip to take about 5 hours. That included driving time, but actual time in each store is about 1 hr (less in TJs). 

 

I have not gone into a store since Feb 2020, it is curbside now. 

Edited by bluemongoose
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2 hours ago, Garga said:

🙂

I plan to spend 4 hours out of my house for “grocery shopping”.  It’s 50 minutes just in drive time, plus I stop and get a taco for dinner at Taco Bell and read my book in the car for 30-40 minutes (precious alone time.). That leaves 2 hours and 30 minutes for the actual shopping between two stores. Oh, wait! I forgot Petsmart. I can get in and out of Petsmart in 10-15 minutes, but I’m only there for a few cans of catfood when I go. But I do stop and coo at the cats in cages whenever I go there.

Petsmart is often included in my 4 hour shopping adventure, but I don’t have to go there every time I shop.

I’m writing up my shopping list right now and will go tomorrow night. I hate going. I am not looking forward to it. 

It would be SO hard to push myself outside the door if I had shopping AND that much driving in one day.  I don't care for either.  Mustering that much will power is a LOT.

1 hour ago, Selkie said:

Back when I used to do all our grocery shopping in person, it could easily take an hour each week. I buy loads of produce, which takes time to select and bag. Plus I cook most things from scratch, so my list usually included lots of ingredients. 

DS famously accused me of not buying food because I just buy ingredients. 🤣

1 hour ago, BlsdMama said:

Trader Joe’s? 20 minutes & $50

 Costco? 1-1.5 hours - generally $700ish every two weeks. That to say there is no way to do it in twenty minutes.

 two of my kids work at a grocery store so if I need something other than produce, they get it there. Produce local is Nature’s Grocer and that’s a 20 minute trip every other week because my Costco produce doesn’t stay good for a full two weeks. 

It can take me 6-8 months or longer to spend that much at Costco.  I've actually gone in and purchased JUST a rotisserie chicken.  I don't think I've ever used a second cart in my life.  That's some serious next-level shopping.  A friend of mine does this EVERY week.  She hits Costco and BJs weekly.  

I have a shopping center with an Aldi, Trader Joe, and Costco in the same place, so sometimes I drive the entire 3 miles to get there.  It seems so far when my nearest grocery store is a block away, but it's an ethnic market so we can't get everything we want there.  We have changed our cooking somewhat because it's just SO convenient.  DH thinks he can cook everything in a wok anyway. 

A Lidl opened less than a mile from me and the prices are comparable to Aldi, so I've been going there more.  It's also less crowded, but there are just a lot of people here.  It's never as simple of just walking quickly through the store.  You can't really go faster than the person in front of you.  I do really like bagging my own groceries, but that's mostly so I can be lazy when I get home and just not put away the pantry goods until I feel like it.  I swear I need to own a shopping cart.  I could wheel it around the store, into my wheelchair van, then into the house to unload.  I could skip a lot of steps this way.  Hmmmmm . . . is there a private version of the double decker small carts? I love those things.

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I spend about 2-3 hours a week. That includes Aldi's, Walmart, and Hy-Vee.  Like others, I have to read every label due to celiac disease; nothing can be left to chance. When I was doing Keto, it took even longer because I was looking for hidden sugars. I also like to browse new items and try to find things that will add new flavors to our meals. At the present time, grocery shopping is the only shopping I do so I don't rush it. Some days, I take my time, especially if the store isn't crowded and we are really running low and I need to buy a lot. Other days, I try to go quickly. Those days I always end up forgetting something and have to send DH out for a quick trip to pick up an item or two (or three).

I wish I could do online shopping but with having to be so careful with only buying gluten free items, I am anxious about getting a shopper who won't care or try to substitute gluten filled items for those they cannot locate.

For those who can get it all done in under 30 mins, my hat is off to you. I wish I could be that organized.

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