Grocery shopping is hard. Not only are the aisles upon aisles of completely packed shelves slightly overwhelming, but there's also a universal grocery shopping phenomenon where you come in for one thing, and leave with about a hundred additional items.

If this has ever happened to you, don't worry. Even the most organized shopper falls prey to the distractions of the grocery store. In fact, this problem is so common that according to marketing consultants, studies, and professional shoppers at Instacart who talked to Refinery29, these 11 helpful grocery shopping tips can turn even the most overwhelmed grocery shopper into a pro. 

1. Do Your Shopping Alone 

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Hana Ezaldein

The more people you go grocery shopping with, the more impulse purchases you're likely to walk away with. According to a study done by the Marketing Science Institute, about 65% of your purchases will be unplanned if you shop in a group, while only 8% of your items will be bought impulsively when you go shopping alone.

The next time you need to run out to the grocery store, plan to go alone. Not only will you be more focused on getting the items that you actually need, but your bank account will also thank you later. 

2. Shop During Non-Peak Hours  

beer, wine
Zoe Zaiss

The time you choose to go to the grocery store can have a big impact on your grocery shopping experience. According to the pros, going at off-times is more productive than shopping during peak hours.

Instacart determined that shopping on Wednesdays will decrease the time you spend waiting in long lines and going just before the store closes will increase the chances of you finding deals on prepared foods. Try picking a less popular time to shop and you will have a more time-efficient trip that could end up saving you some money.

3. Bring Your Own Music 

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Denise Uy

Music plays a huge part in establishing an atmosphere, and music in grocery stores is no different. A recent study found that stores that play music with a slower beat encourage shoppers to move more slowly from aisle to aisle. And according to Martin Lindstrom, a marketing consultant who has written a book on the tricks stores use to get us to buy their products, that slower pace can cause shoppers to buy up to 29% more. 

In order to prevent yourself from falling victim to the store's slower-paced music, bring your own upbeat playlist and headphones. This will keep you focused and moving quickly, which will save you both time and money. 

4. Eat Something Minty

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Emma Delaney

As strange as it might sound, coating your tastebuds in a mint flavor can actually save you money! According to a recent study, you're more likely to spend more money when you're hungry, which is why many grocery stores try to stimulate your hunger by putting delicious smelling foods near the entrance of the store.

By eating something minty, you'll be able to repress that hunger because mint satiates hunger and is such a powerful odor that it overcomes any other scent. The next time you find yourself about to shop on an empty stomach, pop in a mint before you enter the store. This will save you some serious dough by preventing you from making expensive, impulsive purchases. 

5. Be Wary Of Cart Size

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Kristine Auble

Did you know that the size of your shopping cart can make you buy more? According to a study done by Martin Lindstrom, doubling the size of a standard grocery cart resulted in shoppers buying 40% more than they usually did. Which is why it's no surprise that grocery cart size has slowly been increasing over the years

Don't buy into this larger-cart-means-I-have-to-buy-more mentality. If you can, try to use a smaller cart. If you need to use a bigger cart, try shopping with a grocery list. Both of these tips will help keep you focused on the items that you need to buy and will save you a ton of money in the long run.

6. Don't Shop at Eye Level

dairy product, milk, beer
Hannah Cather

The placement of items can dictate which ones you choose to buy. Most stores put the most expensive, name-brand items at eye level, while the store-brand, discounted items are usually placed on the lower or higher shelves.

The next time you go shopping, make sure you check the shelves that aren't at your immediate eye level, because most store-brand items taste just as good as name-brand items, but at a much more affordable price.

7. Count Out Produce Bags  

vegetable
Zoe Zaiss

When it comes time to pick out your produce, count out however many bags you'll need to store your items. This will save you a ton of time, because you won't have to run around trying to find a bag for each new item you pick up.

8. Ask Employees If You Need Help

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Becky Hughes

Employees are great resources! If something is out of stock, ask if they have some more in the back. It's hard to keep up with restocking the shelves, especially if you're shopping during a busy time.

Similarly, if you're at a counter and are confused about your order, ask the person working the station. These people work with the food all day, so they can help answer any questions you may have and they may be able to suggest some cheaper alternatives.

9. Get In The Fastest Check-Out Line

beer
Kathryn Stouffer

Another way to decrease the amount of time you spend in the grocery store is to choose an efficient check-out line. While many people may choose to join a line of people with fewer items in their baskets, pro shoppers reject this idea.

The actual paying and bagging of items is the longest part of checking out, not the scanning of items. Therefore, it's actually quicker to jump in a line with fewer people with fuller baskets. So choose the right line, and you'll be checked out and on your way home in no time.

10. Bag Food by Where You Store It

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Parisa Soraya

Using the above tips will make your shopping trip super easy. But you still have to get this food home. So continue to make your life easier by placing items that are stored in the same place (refrigerator, pantry, etc.) next to each other when you're checking out.

This will help keep the items that are stored in the same place together while they are being bagged, which will make unpacking them a lot easier.

11. Don't Put Groceries In Your Trunk  

Mainstream Groceries Vs. ALDI

timsamoff on Flickr

Another easy trick to make sure you're getting your money's worth of food is to not put your groceries in the trunk of your car. Since trunks aren't climate-controlled, it's better to put your bags in the cabin of your car to make sure they stay fresher longer, which will decrease the likelihood of you having to throw away food that you paid for.

It's easy to get overwhelmed when you walk into a grocery store. But thanks to these 11 grocery shopping tips, your future grocery runs will be quicker, more effective experiences that ensure you get the best groceries for even better prices.