UNITED STATES—I had the oddest conversation recently with someone that made me think, hmm, I never thought about that, but grocery shopping is it something you enjoy doing? I know people and I mean plenty of people who HATE with a passion going to the grocery store. For me, it is something I actually find solace doing. I guess it does depend on where you shop and when you shop. Something I have learned from experience is that shopping at a grocery store an hour or right before they close is the absolute worst.

You do not ever want to do that. Many of the various departments in that grocery store are prepping to shut down the department. Whether it is the meat department or deli counter, if you’re not getting there in time, you’re going to be out of luck on getting those items that you want. In addition, you might find those sale items limited when it comes to stock if the item is popular.

For example, retailers are very odd nowadays. Some stores stock during the day, others stock during the night, and then there are those who are always stocking which is precisely what you want to see happen. I find nothing more frustrating than heading to the grocery store when I need food and I cannot find any of the items I want because the stock is limited, or things are sold out. It feels like a wasted trip to the grocery store if you’re asking me.

With that said, I actually like grocery shopping, especially when I’m doing it alone. You can really take your time; you mingle with the workers a bit and when you shop at a store on a regular basis, they remember your face which is always a great thing. However, the crowds can be a bummer at the grocery store. That I do not like because it makes it harder for you to find the items you choose, and it is not as easy to get in and out of the store like you want to.

I love combing through the produce department because I’m picky about my fruits and veggies. I am the same way about meat and seafood. Not everyone knows how to pick up good beef, chicken and fish. Also, when you solo shop you don’t find yourself purchasing items you don’t want or need. The absolute worse is bringing kids to the store. I swear kids will put any and everything they want into the cart without you realizing it until the cashier is ringing up all those items. Before you know it, a $200 trip easily becomes a $350 to $400 trip.

Grocery shopping for me is my alone time. I get to just clear my brain and purchase items I need to fuel my body and mind. I don’t think a lot of Americans think about grocery shopping in this fashion, but guess what, they actually should. Do not look at it like having to cook dinner, look at it has having the time to decompress, having the ability to fuel yourself, and most important control what you spend. Yeah, if you’re visiting those club retailers and certain stores at the wrong time of the day you may not find things as exciting, but you can easily shift that with an adjustment in your schedule if possible.

Then again, I’m only visiting the grocery store once a week, I’m not going 2-3 times in a single week, but I don’t do all my shopping in one place either. I have one store for my pantry and fridge staples, then another when it comes to my produce, meat and those specialty items I enjoy. Even if you’re not a fan of grocery shopping there is a way to find the good in the bad, you just have to figure out what that is.

Written By Jason Jones