ADHD Grocery ShoppingHave you seen the movie Hurt Locker? It’s a about a bomb-disposal unit doing a tour of duty in Baghdad.

There is a scene in the movie where the main character, SFC William James is back home in the US and he is in the grocery store. He is completely overwhelmed with choice, the aisle of products look incredibly long and he doesn’t know what to put in his shopping basket. This scene depicts what many people with ADHD experience in the grocery store.

Like the character in the movie, you are probably super talented in your career, yet picking up basic household items is challenging. It makes you feel bad about yourself because shopping is ‘supposed’ to be easy.

Does this sound familiar?

Going food shopping can feel overwhelming because there are so many choices, it can also make you feel over-stimulated and anxious. In order to get out of the store as quickly as possible, you might find you throw more items into your cart than you can eat or you could under buy, so you don’t have complete meals.

Here are 9 tips to help make grocery shopping as painless as possible.

1.  Plan Your Meals

One of the keys to being a successful grocery shopper is knowing what you need to buy before you enter the store. Trying to decide what to eat as you are walking around the store, is a recipe (pardon the pun) for overwhelm and anxiety. The night before you go shopping, plan your meals for the week. If that feels overwhelming, head here for an easy way to do your meal planning.

2.  Have a Shopping List

Never, ever, go to a store without a list. Even if you are only going to pick up 3 things, write them down. This helps with impulse purchases and also avoids forgetting what you went for.

3.  Be Loyal

When you find product you like, keep using it! For example, if you enjoy using ‘Dawn’ the dish washing detergent, every time you run out, replace it with another bottle of Dawn. You don’t have to go through the daunting task of deciding which detergent is best, comparing prices or reading the labels every time you buy dish washing detergent. You do the research once and if you are happy with the product, there is no reason to do that again in the near future.

4.  1 Weekly Shop

Get into the habit of going shopping once a week. If possible, go on the same day of the week, every week. This means that going food shopping never becomes a giant task, it stays manageable.

5.  Favourite Shop

Have a favourite shop and always shop there. You will get to know where your items are located and this saves time and mental confusion. Also, because you are seeing the same products every week, you won’t be tempted to buy novelty items.


6.  Internet Shopping

Internet shopping for groceries might sound strange, but it can revolutionize your shopping experience. It is a particularly good option if you experience anxiety in stores, because you do it all from your own home. It is also great if you are prone to impulse shopping, or don’t have a car as everything is delivered to your home.

7.  On-Going List

If you run out of an item in the week, jot it down straight away. It’s easy to think say, ‘oh, I will remember that’, but life is busy and stressful without having to remember that you ran out of chili powder 5 days ago. Keep a shopping list handy; it could be a notebook on the fridge or an app like ‘Our Groceries’ on your phone.

8.  Don’t Be a Perfectionist

Some people try to be the ‘perfect shopper’. However, this places a lot of pressure on yourself, and makes shopping even more stressful. It’s ok if you do forget something! The suggestions here will help you purchase your supplies for the week. Nevertheless, if you do forget something, just add it to your list for the next week.

9.  Time Yourself

Some people worry about how long it takes them to shop for groceries. They feel it takes them longer than anyone else. Comparisons aren’t helpful because they just make us feel bad about yourselves. Still, just for fun, time yourself to see how long it takes to do a weekly shop. It probably takes you a lot less time than you think, but it just feels longer because its stressful.

How do you make your grocery shopping  painless?

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