Tips for a Quick & Efficient Grocery Store Visit During Quarantine

April 16th, 2020

Planning your next grocery shopping can seem stressful during the pandemic. Since grocery stores are taking extra precautions for the health and safety of customers and associates such as crowd control, social distancing, and sanitation practices, a usual quick trip can take a bit longer now. 

Here are some key tips to plan your next grocery trip:

  1. Keep a list on paper. Having a written out list on paper will keep you from using your phone while in the grocery store. You want your actual trip to be quick and efficient. Organize your shopping list by departments, and locations in the store if possible, to prevent having to go back and forth between departments and aisles. For example, in most grocery stores the produce department is at the entrance and the dairy department is on the other end, so produce items should be listed first and dairy products last.
  2. Pick up items even if you don’t usually get them every trip. Check your pantry and fridge to include any household favorites that will need to be restocked in the upcoming weeks – this can prevent having to make multiple trips to the store, as well as planning ahead so you don’t completely run out of these items if they are out of stock at the store. 
  3. Aim to plan out your meals for 1-2 weeks at a time. Write out a meal plan for each day with ingredients that you will need so no ingredients get missed. Check pantries to see what items you can use in meals and make a list of all the ingredients needed.  Tired of cooking every day? Pick one day to batch cook some meals for the week. Chili, soup, or making your own burgers or fishcakes are great options. 
  4. Ask questions while you’re there. As grocery stores are trying to keep up with the demand, ask your retailer’s management staff what days of the week the store receives their deliveries. You can plan your trip according to deliveries to ensure all your items will be stocked.
  5. Keep your receipt. At the end of your shopping trip, hold onto your shopping list or receipt. This will serve as guide for future trips and reduce time spent making another list. Lastly, keep a mask or scarf and gloves or hand sanitizer in the car to ensure safety when out in public.
  6. Order online. If you are trying to avoid the grocery stores altogether, plan to place your online order 4-5 days before you would like your groceries delivered or picked up. As shopping from home is becoming more popular during the pandemic, grocery stores are feeling the impact and orders may be delayed.  Besides grocery stores and wholesale stores, you can also reach out to local farmers or farmers markets like the Reading Terminal Market or Giordano Garden Groceries to check availability of produce for pick up or delivery options.

The Rothman Orthopaedics team of dietitians are always available by phone or email and are offering Virtual Visit appointments. To request an appointment, click here and select the “nutrition” button. 

Phyllis LoDuca is a registered dietitian and sees patients at Rothman Orthopaedics in Bryn Mawr and Center City. For more information or to set up an appointment, please contact her at 

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