Grocery shopping is one of the most common chores that every household must do. Whether you live by yourself or are getting necessities for your family, there are some struggles that everyone experiences when they go to the store.
The pandemic added to these issues with supply chain problems and selected customers who don’t want to abide by health and safety protocols. And then there are your usual things to think about like finding the best price on the products and maneuvering your car through the parking lot.
Shopping cart damage on your vehicle is a common issue that happens at the store. We’ll talk about these issues and how to overcome them with our tips and tricks for being productive when you go to the grocery store. These points will address the pandemic, your pocketbook, and the other customers who get in your way.
#1 – Go Early in the Morning or Late at Night
This tip isn’t possible for everyone depending on the work schedule and taking care of your kids. For those who are able to go early or late in the day, though, this is the best chance to miss the rush and get the store mostly empty. A lot of shopping stress is battling the long lines and finding things on the shelf with other people in the way.
During the pandemic, many stores even started a trend in which senior citizens were encouraged to shop early in the day with discounts and special deals during the first hour the store was open. This helped to combat the supply issues that saw many vulnerable people without essentials like toilet paper and water.
Going to the store early or late also enables you to stay away from people if you are still worried about catching COVID-19. Just because the case numbers are down doesn’t mean the virus has gone away, but it is less prevalent.
You should always wear a mask, socially distance yourself from others, and get your vaccine if you want to shop safely. This is especially important if you are in a vulnerable age group and if you have a compromised immune system.
#2 – Park Far Away From the Store
Driving your car to the store puts it at risk of damage any time you are in a parking lot. Many people don’t put their shopping cart back after they are done with it. You can’t control the consequences if an inconsiderate shopper leaves their cart next to your car while you are in the store. The wind might push it into your car, or another shopper might accidentally push it into your vehicle.
Park far out in the parking lot for your best chance at avoiding shopping carts hitting your car. If you are a victim of this type of damage, the best chance of getting it covered by your insurance company is if you have full coverage auto insurance.
Basic liability coverage is not going to cover a shopping cart hitting you while in the parking lot. The issue with having your insurance cover a dent is that the deductible might be more expensive than the damage to the car. You should compare the price of the deductible to the price of the repairs and use your own money to cover the damage.
If the dent is small, you may consider ignoring it, even if this option is frustrating. Sometimes a person’s finances are not healthy enough to pay for dings in their car.
If you want to avoid parking in the parking lot entirely, consider carpooling in someone else’s car or hitching a ride on a bus that gets off near the store. The last option isn’t always possible if you are planning on buying lots of supplies, though.
#3 – Download Apps for Savings
One of the ways the shopping experience has changed in recent years is the involvement of online apps that give you extra savings in-store. Make sure you always check online for extra savings and download the store’s app so you can scan it at the checkout line.
If you aren’t very familiar with using smartphone apps, ask a family member or a store worker for help. Sometimes they can give you other tips for saving money without the app, like getting a club card you scan at the register. These cards also give you gas points and other bonuses.
And if you just want to stay home and shop online during busy times like the holidays, stores often give extra incentives for doing so.
#4 – Talk to the Manager About Supply Issues
One of the most frustrating things about the pandemic that still crops up today is the supply chain issues in grocery stores. There are still items that randomly don’t show up on store shelves for days on end. Instead of getting mad at the workers at the checkout line, talk calmly to the manager about when the product is going to come in.
Sometimes the manager can give you the location of another store with the item or tell you whether the product can be shipped to your house by ordering online.
Many people focus on buying name-brand products, but purchasing off-brand alternatives is another way to get what you need while your preferred choice is out of stock. It’s also one of the great tips for saving money at the grocery store.
Your behavior in the store is also very important to the shopping experience. We’ve seen lots of viral videos of shoppers acting out during the last two years. Don’t add to that library of online meltdowns.
Being disrespectful doesn’t solve the problem. Show kindness to the people in the store, and they can help you with whatever you need.
Shopping doesn’t have to be stressful if you think outside the box and use these tips for more convenient shopping trips. Be considerate of others and be respectful of workers and other customers in the store. Try to go to the store at times when it is less crowded. These tips should all help you get what you need without bothering other people.
Shawn Laib writes and researches for the auto insurance comparison site, AutoInsurance.org. He wants to help shoppers understand how to make the grocery store experience more rewarding.