4 Steps to Efficient Grocery Shopping During a Pandemic

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April 8, 2020

Pandemic makes grocery shopping more challenging alone laying in bed

Plan to Prepare and Prepare to Plan

There is one thing I have never taught my body how to do, and that is to figure out at 6 A.M. what it wants to eat at 6 P.M.  – Erma Bombeck.

When it comes to efficient grocery shopping, being stuck at home makes it difficult to “wing it” like the late Erma Bombeck (humorist, columnist, and author).  This post explains how a little planning can help make meal planning and grocery shopping easier.

Grocery shopping list

Grocery Shopping Made Easy

In the past, I purchased one week’s worth of meals with quick trips in between to the farmer’s market, butcher, or small grocery store. With the stay-at-home order, I purchase more food less often, challenging and requiring much more meal planning. I am on furlough, but other members of the household are in healthcare and essential businesses. I try to comfort their tense work environments by meal planning a healthy, delicious dinner every night. It has been challenging to minimize grocery shopping trips and deal with out-of-stock items.

Meal Planning & Online Grocery Shopping Tips

Thus, I began the Supper Sanity Blog’s inspiration to share my meal planning system and grocery shopping tips. Efficient grocery shopping provides the benefits of fewer trips, healthier meals, new recipes to try, and some sanity to these uncertain times. Let us look back and remember meaningful meals during the lockdown. Making a detailed grocery list ensures that the required items in the meal plan are purchased. Store delivery or pickup provides the advantage of saving time, reducing impromptu purchases, and less exposure to the COVID-19 virus. 


Start a cart several days before you need it to secure a spot. Place a minimum order in the cart and add to it throughout the week.

Steps to Make Meal Planning Sanity a Breeze

1. Create a List of Favorite Meals - Cheat Sheets

A cheat sheet provides a quick reference of meal ideas to review for inspiration when you see sale items at the store. It should include a variety of protein, cuisines, and cooking methods.

2. Meal Planning Extra Dinners

Plan a week of meals and snacks before going t the store. I use a  weekly planner that is available for purchase. Learn more by visiting the shop page. It guides you through the steps to think through for a weekly menu.

3. Make a Grocery Shopping List

The Supper Sanity Shopping list thinks for me because it is pre-printed with items I normally purchase. Go through the listed meal by meal and mark down the items you need to purchase. Review the list for other items that are not recipe-related – toilet paper, disinfectant, etc.

4. Use Online Grocery Shopping with Pickup or Delivery

Supper Sanity Meal Planning Folio Kit
Purchase Worksheets on the Shop Page

Most grocery stores have pickup and delivery services. Look at their websites to learn more about the process. If you participate in the store’s loyalty card program, your previous purchases load on the website. This makes grocery shopping very easy.  I helped my 80+-year-old mother set up an account with Kroger. She loves it and can’t believe she didn’t try it sooner. She has already done it numerous times and knows how to secure her spot in advance so that she can pick it up once a week.

  • Visit your favorite grocery store’s website.
  • Shop by placing items from your grocery list in a virtual cart.
  • Meet the minimum order limit.
  • Choose a curbside pickup time or deliver-to-home time.
  • Place your order.
  • Continue to add items up to the deadline – many allow you to do this for a certain time before pick up or delivery.


Provide a tip electronically to delivery personnel to keep you and the shopper safe. They will leave the items at the door or load them directly into your trunk to minimize contact.

Let me know your thoughts on this post!

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Karen The Supper Sanity Chef

Welcome to Supper Sanity

Hello, I’m Karen, a very passionate meal planner. As a mother of three, I have been planning family menus for years. When I was diagnosed with a digestive condition, I found it necessary to follow an eating regime that eliminated many ingredients. That made meal planning a health necessity. I’ve learned a lot and want to share my resources to simplify meal planning, shop efficiently and cook affordable homemade meals. If you wish to try new recipes, plan healthier meals, and enjoy a great dinner with your friends and family, Supper Sanity can help.

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