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10 Ways to Organize and Speed Up Your Supermarket Trip

By: Beth Chaikin

Don’t spend any more time at the grocery store than you have to.

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Photo: Dan Dalton ©

Timesaving Tips

How much milk is at home? Where are those darn chips that are on sale? What checkout line is going to be the fastest? The supermarket can be a giant time suck — if you’re not smart about it. Luckily, these folks are basically geniuses when it comes to the grocery store. Steal their brilliant tips and shave off dozens of precious minutes from your trips.

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Be Prepared to Grocery Shop at Any Moment

You might have a designated day — and even time — that you prefer to get your shopping done, but what happens if you find yourself near a store or in need of one or two items on an off day? Caroline Turben, mom of two and Extravagant Gardens blogger, always has her shopping list on her. "I use the notes section on my iPhone and I just keep a running list," she says. "As I deplete things, and as I know what meals I'm going to make, I add to it." This ensures she can make any spur-of-the-moment stop at a store a productive one.

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Take Pictures of What You Already Have

There are few bigger wastes of time than standing in the dairy aisle trying to remember if you have enough milk. If you don't have time to make a list before you hit the store, take advantage of your phone's camera instead. "Take a photo of the fridge shelves before you head out," suggests organizing expert Jamie Novak. While you’re at it, snap pics of your pantry too. This way, you can check your phone to jog your memory of what’s at home.

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Speed-Read Your Store’s Circular

"The quickest way to check out a circular is to focus on the front and back of the ad," says Jordan Page, the blogger behind Fun Cheap or Free. "That's where the best deals are. The inside is typically just fluff." Page says she usually finds deals on meat, canned food and fresh produce. She'll buy extra and freeze (or shelve) whatever her family won't be able to eat right away.

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