<P><B>How much time do you spend shopping each year?</B> Apparently, the average American shopper spends over 11 hours per week making purchases. While the typical household makes an incredible 500 trips a year to the shops. That is a lot of time. If you would rather spend less time at the shops then consider these time saving shopping tips:</P>
<img src="/sites/default/files/shopping time.jpg" alt="shopping time" width="300"/>
<h3>1. Learn to shop like a ‘satisfier’ (and not a ‘maximiser’)</h3>
A ‘maximiser’ shopper must search and search until they find the best value deal. On the other hand, a ‘satisfier’ shopper spends less time shopping by being content with finding products that are reasonably priced. If you want to spend less time shopping then shop like a satisfier. <BR>
<h3>2. Plan ahead and reduce the number of shop visits</h3> Think about all the time involved in replenishing the stock at home - driving, parking, shopping, transactions, packing, unpacking, etc. The number of shop visits can be reduced by – bulk buys to reduce the number of replenishments (e.g. – buy enough cereal to last a few months); buying quality and longer lasting goods (e.g. – long life batteries, products with longer warranties); check items are in stock before leaving home; and batching your shop visits (e.g. – making one multi-purpose trip to the shops instead of say three independent visits). <BR>
<h3>3. On-line shopping</h3>The internet allows us to shop for a wide variety of products without the time sacrifice of travelling to and from the shops. On-line services can provide home (or work) delivery. <BR>
<h3>4. Outsource, delegate or share your shopping</h3> Can someone else do the shopping for you? Perhaps you could hire a personal shopper to research and buy goods for you. Perhaps another household member could do the shopping. In our household my wife loves to do the shopping and I am happy for her.<BR>
<h3>5. Shop at non-peak times</h3> If you shop in non-peak times you can save time due to easier parking and shorter queues. If you want to know the best times to avoid – use the following as an indicator (based on US figures):
<LI>The busiest shopping days are Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
<LI>The busiest shopping time during weekdays is late afternoon.
<LI>On weekends the peak time is between 10am to 3:30pm.
<h3>6. Give gift vouchers</h3>Lets face it - how often do we give or receive unwanted gifts. It is not hard to figure out why there is a lot of eBay activity after Christmas. There are at least two advantages from using gift vouchers - (i) the receiver gets what they want, and (ii) quick and easy to purchase. <BR>
<h3>7. Prepare shopping check lists (and stick to them).</h3> Shopping without knowing what you need is bound to waste time (and probably result in extra purchases). Consider maintaining two shopping lists – one for regularly purchase items (e.g – milk. and fresh fruit), and another list for adding ad-hoc items that need replenishing. (e.g – light bulbs, detergent). <BR>
<h3>8. Shop at work.</h3>Two ways to save time at work include: (a) Shop in your lunch break – it means one less thing to do when go home; and (b) Consider using a ‘office delivery’ (as opposed to home delivery) service for your groceries and other goods. <BR>
<h3>9. Stick with brands you trust</h3>It takes time to decide between all the product offering we are bombarded with today. So once you find a brand or product you trust then stick with them.<BR>
<h3> 10. Buy less</h3>How much time do we spend buying things we don’t really need? Each year billions of dollars are spent on items that rarely if ever get used. I cringe at thinking about all the time and money I have wasted on unnecessary purchases. We could all save time by buying less. <BR>
<h3>Bonus Tip - Make use of product comparison websites</h3> These sites take the hard work out of researching and choosing the right product. One of the best is <a href="http://www.consumersearch.com/" target=_blank><u>Consumer Search</u></a> which was included in <i>Time magazine's</i> top 50 websites for 2009.<BR>
Do you have any time saving shopping tips? Please let us know by leaving a comment.
<h3>Related CraveTime articles</h3>
<li><a href="http://www.cravetime.com/save-time/household/save-time-cleaning-why-clea... Time Cleaning - Why Cleaning is a Waste of Time</u></a>
<li><a href="http://www.cravetime.com/save-time/household/save-time-cooking-meal-prep... Time Cooking - Meal Preparation</u></a>
<li><a href="http://www.cravetime.com/save-time/household/invest-time-teaching-kids-s... time teaching kids to share the load (and save time)</u></a>
<li><a href="http://www.cravetime.com/save-time/household/buying-house-waste-time"><u>Is buying a house a waste of time?</u></a>
<LI> American Time Use Survey, Purchasing Goods and Services, 2008 figures, http://www.bls.gov/tus/current/purchasing.htm
<LI>Goodman, John. “Who Does the Grocery Shopping, and when do they do it”, Oct 2008, www.timeuseinstitute.org