Whether you’re jaded from the J2 cafeteria or have been thrown into the real world of apartment living, you will most likely find yourself at the grocery store at some point in your years at UT. After making multiple trips to a variety of grocers in Austin, I have had many epiphanies of what to do and what not to do while grocery shopping. Here are some of my top tips for a successful and efficient grocery trip.


Photo by Kathryn Stouffer

1. Don’t go on Sunday nights.

Unless you want to play a game of bumper-carts, Sunday night is the opposite of a good time. Imagine unorganized college kids wandering the aisles multiple times, with a few aggressive soccer moms fighting for the last box of SpongeBob mac & cheese. Oh, and the hyped-up children of these soccer moms playing their last game of hide and seek for the day. Try going to the store in the morning or at random times in between your classes.

2. Have a list & stick to it.

Grocery stores can be overwhelming. The choices are endless, and the temptations ubiquitous. If you have a list of essentials, then you will be able to tackle the crowds in good time. Make your list ahead of time or create a go-to list of staples.


Photo by Kathryn Stouffer

3. Do not shop hungry.

You might have heard this piece of advice, but I definitely didn’t believe it until recently. I made a trip to Whole Foods on an empty stomach and while later unpacking my bags, I found quite a few surprises: chocolate covered almonds, ice cream, “insert favorite decadent treat here.” You end up buying more food and your self-control and perception of what you need disintegrates. Grab an apple or cheese stick on your way out the door to curb your hunger.

4. The bulk section is your friend. 

Don’t want a massive bag of almonds? Or can’t finish an entire jar of peanut butter? Check out the bulk section. You control how much you want, how much you pay and what you want. Be the pilot of your snack food! This feature is available at most HEB’s, Whole Foods and Central Market. Ask an employee for a sample to get a fun and free treat while you shop.

Feast on these tips and you’ll never play grocery bumper carts again.