Shop at One Store to Save Time

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites. We participate in other affiliate programs as well. For more details, please see our disclosure policy.

shopping at one store saves time

It’s true that you can save money by buying only the best priced items at each store. It’s called cherry picking, and it’s one means that I’ve used over the years to stretch a buck. I have a list of go-to items for Costco, Walmart, Ralphs, Trader Joe’s, and Sprouts, my five main stops.

However, grocery shopping can take a lot of time and fuel if I make all the rounds each week.

Today, on a Friday of a very long and tiring week, making the rounds to restock our rations did not appeal to me. I’m exhausted. And I didn’t really want to spend a lot of time shopping. So, I made the best decision for me this weekend: I shopped at one store.

And this week, Ralphs was the one-stop shop. While Walmart was closer and has some cheaper prices on some things, a weekend shopping trip at Walmart is a recipe for frustration. Sprouts was too pricey for the things on my list. Trader Joe’s doesn’t even carry some of the things on my list. And Costco on a Friday afternoon? You think I’m insane? Not yet.

  • Did Ralphs have everything I wanted? No, chicken was recalled, but that might be the case everywhere.
  • Did everything have a GMO-free guarantee like I would have gotten at Trader Joe’s? Unfortunately, no, but I find that traditional grocery stores near me are usually empty, so I experienced crowd-free shopping.
  • Did I get the best prices on everything I bought? No, but I got good prices on everything, plus I had a ton of store coupons to use on those very same things.

While it might not have been the very cheapest way to stock up, it saved me time, mental energy, and frustration to shop at one store instead of chasing all over town.

I’m kinda tempted to make this a habit for a few weeks and just take a load off!

What works for YOU?

Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post. Ralphs does not know who I am. It really is one of my favorite one-stop shops.

Kitchen Time Savers series | Life as MOMThis post is part of the Kitchen Time Savers series. You can follow along this month as we explore lots of ways to make more efficient use of our time in the kitchen.

Don’t want to miss a post in this series? Subscribe to 31 Days of Kitchen Time Savers here. Get updates via email here.

About Jessica Fisher

I believe you can get great meals on the table -- and still keep that pretty smile on your face.

Read Newer Post
Read Older Post


  1. Today I decided instead of doing the Smart/Final AND Vons trips (with 2 year old coming along) I would save the hassle and stick with Vons. They have greater variety and it is much roomier. We have a very tiny S&F where I live so the line fills up quick. Some weeks I’m up for the 2 store challenge, but not today. 🙂

  2. I 100% agree with this post. I actually went one store shopping today. I normally hit three stores. Chicken has been recalled everywhere in my area so I had to replay my meal plan. By not going to the second store I paid 30 cents more per pound on by pork shoulder but I probably would have evened out in gas costs. Unless you are on an extremely strict budget sometimes the 3-5 bucks aren’t worth the gas/time wasted, especially on a stressful week

  3. I’m completely with you on this one. I have 3 young sons, and I just can’t go to more than one store a week. What I try and do is shop at the local grocery that has good produce and slightly higher prices for 2 weeks, and then the 3rd week, I hit Walmart for staples and our weekly list. This keeps me from buying the staples at the local grocery, and it also keeps me from a frustrating shopping experience every week. I really dislike shopping at the local Walmart if I don’t have to, especially on weekends. Also, Walmart doesn’t have some speciality items (like unsweetened shredded coconut), and the local store does.

  4. I’m not a mom, but was interested in what you had to say about grocery shopping. There are some things I just can’t get at my local grocery store (we have only one major chain and one minor one). My solution is to do most of my shopping at Albertsons (the major chain), and also go pretty regularly to Costco because there is a lot of their stuff that we go through fast. I wish we had a Trader Joe’s. Since Sprouts is on the other side of town, and it’s a long drive to get there, I wait until I have a significant need and/or a list of things to buy before I go. On a day like today I am letting my husband do that shopping for me, since he’s in that area today, teaching a class. I am grateful to have a husband who actually suggested to me that he do that shopping. The one useful thought I have about grocery shopping is that even though money can be very important, it is NEVER more important than your sanity. So it’s good that you are cutting yourself a break with shopping. Chances are, when you factor in the cost of gasoline to get you to all the different stores, you might actually end up spending more.

  5. Charyse says

    I shop about 3 times a month. If we need more produce and bulk items, I go to the next town and hit up both their very good farmer’s market and WinCo. If Fred Meyer (Oregon’s kroger brand) has good sales on meat and dairy, I go there. I almost never go to both, mainly because I never have enough time! We buy milk from the mini mart a five minute walk away (they carry a local brand) so I don’t buy it on regular shopping trip.

Thanks so much for participating in this conversation about "a mom's life."

This is a place where moms can be themselves. Remember that each mother's path looks a little different. Please keep your comments respectful and kind. Reasonable minds will disagree in a nice way.

So let's talk about it, using "our big girl words."

Share Your Thoughts