The Practical Reason To Shop At The Grocery Store Alone

Grocery shopping can be a fun or frustrating experience depending on how you handle it, so there's a natural tendency to want to bring a partner along to make it better, but there are actually plenty of good reasons to go it alone. Grocery stores in the U.S. are big places, built to distract you with sales, displays, and an overwhelming amount of choices. Bringing along a spouse or other loved one means balancing the attention and needs of multiple people, who each have their own pace and way of shopping. It means chatting, laughing, or arguing. It means distraction.

On the other hand, shopping for groceries alone can save you money and time. By yourself, you are fully engaged in what you're doing, learning exactly where all your favorite products are, and tuning in to price differentials. If you are doing your shopping right, you should already have a plan for what you need, so there shouldn't be any need for discussion with another party. Sure, everyone succumbs to the temptation of an unplanned treat once and a while, even by themselves, but when it's just you and a list, it makes it that much easier to stay on task. We all recognize the value of discussion and democracy, but sometimes you need to be a grocery store dictator and be able to make the calls quickly and decisively.

Shopping alone means a quicker, cheaper trip to the store

When you are shopping with someone else, it's a social activity, when you go by yourself, it's a task. That doesn't mean it can't be fun or relaxing, but the extra focus you get from working alone hones you into an expert shopper. Buying food is a skill like anything else, and you don't build a skill as well when you're distracted. By yourself, you learn how to pick out the best grocery store produce faster. You learn the exact right order to hit up the departments, because you don't need to worry about someone running off, or changing their mind on you and needing to backtrack. The calm and mental clarity that comes with shopping alone turns you into a better decision-maker. You don't have someone staring over your shoulder or waiting on you.

In fact, it actually becomes more fun and enjoyable when you know what you're doing. The stress of the crowds and the selection will fade away in the face of your knowledge. You're left with just the excitement of the meals ahead of you, and the freedom to make adjustments on the fly with minimal thought because you know exactly what you are doing, and there is nobody there to question you. Shopping becomes that much less of a chore. You'll be that much happier while you do it, and your wallet will be a little fatter and your meal a little better as a result.