The Daily Ping

The 1st Ping was published on January 6, 2000.

May 11th, 2005

The Best Time to Grocery Shop

When it comes time to go grocery shopping, I tend to complain and put it off. But once I actually am in the store shopping, I notice I feel relaxed and am enjoying the experience. Weird.

But one thing that’s consistent: I enjoy shopping much more when there are fewer people there. Worst time: Super Bowl Sunday. Best time: Saturday nights (except maybe the one before Super Bowl Sunday).

I guess people have better things to do on Saturday night, so it’s a great time to get a good parking space, wander the store with the large carts instead of a basket, and never have to say “Excuse me, could you move your cart?” Sunday night is a close second… while it may be slightly busier than Saturday night, they’re usually restocking the shelves, so there may be a slightly better selection of orange juice to choose from.

Posted in Everyday Life

FROM: Chris
DATE: Wednesday May 11, 2005 -- 10:20:09 am
I used to hit the Shoppers Food Warehouse down the street from you on Sunday mornings before 10 AM. It was empty. The key is to get out of there before 11 AM when the after church crowd comes in.

FROM: jk
DATE: Wednesday May 11, 2005 -- 10:27:27 am
I find it best between 6:30 and 7pm when everyone else is home. I really like the store to myself since most people here lack cart etiquette.

FROM: Courtney
DATE: Wednesday May 11, 2005 -- 10:49:00 am
I don't think I slept during my entire pregnancy. So, my favorite time to grocery shop was 6:00 Sunday morning. Before that, we lived in a Chicago suburb; the grocery stores were super busy all of the time. Our favorite time to go was Friday night.

FROM: Joseph
DATE: Wednesday May 11, 2005 -- 11:23:57 am
Not the beginning of the month! Grocery stores know that the relief checks are issued at the beginning of the month and so put nothing on sale--have you noticed this? Prices reduce dramatically towards the end of the month, so I wait until about two weeks into the month to shop; that's when the good sales blossom.

Rules of Thumb: rush hour in the streets = rush hour in the grocery store. I try Saturday early morning, when families are at kids sports events or sleeping in, or Sunday early morning--when everyone else is at church. I get there at 7am when they open, and I'd be there at 5am if they opened then.

A lot of people do the shopping on Sunday afternoon and by evening wipe out the stock. Sunday nights are the worst for finding sale items still actually in stock.

Bar none, the best was in college.

There were 24-hour supermarkets in the neighborhood and I'd go shopping at 2 or 3 am after studying or being out late with friends. In and out in 15 minutes.

If only they had a good 24-hour place around here.

FROM: Merle [E-Mail]
DATE: Wednesday May 11, 2005 -- 11:45:12 am
It really depends a lot on local conditions. If you're near a college and in one of those states where liquor cannot be sold on Sunday, then Saturday night is a horrible time, since there are always five kids ahead of you making excuses like "er, um, I must have left my driver's license at home".

Around me, mornings about ten minutes after they open (usually 9am) seems best. You'll get some of the really old people, and a few folks grabbing coffee or a bagel, but the lines are relatively short, and they've just put out new stuff.

Except: certain mornings at certain grocery stores seem to get busloads of folks from senior centers. You just have to notice when.

And you have to have a job where they don't mind you sauntering in at 10am... well, or no job at all...

On the other hand, non-summer weekdays at 3pm is by far the worst time, as moms drag their kids in on the way home from school. *shudder*

FROM: laurie
DATE: Wednesday June 22, 2005 -- 10:10:04 am
When I use to do that double coupon thing, we had a 24 hour Ralphs, and I use to go do my shopping at 1 or 2 in the morning, and your right the less people the better, and believe me, there aren't too many people doing their weeks grocery shopping during that hour and I was able to zip right through the isles, and another good thing, the stock people also stocked the shelves during those hours, so there was never any shortage, but you do have to watch out for the items they drop, like shampoo that may have spilt out the bottle, I found the area with shampoo on the floor and I was slipping and sliding, trying not to fall, the night manager at first thought I was dancing (they also play the music louder), that is until I finally went sliding down on my butt - and no I didn't sue, I was more embarrassed than anything

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