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Some Helpful Tips!

Shopping for groceries can become a challenge as you get older. Whether you’re finding it hard to stretch your food dollar living on a fixed income or having trouble walking around a big grocery store to buy the food you need, here are some shopping tips that may come in handy.

Remember to always take a shopping list.  I mentioned this in an earlier blog, but it’s such good advice, its worth repeating.  Your list can save you from buying things you don’t really need and insure you don’t forget the things you do need.  Stock up on staples like canned or dried beans and canned tomatoes when they’re on sale, and save on store brands.  You can use a motorized cart if they’re available where you shop.  Shopping at dollar stores might make things easier for you, since they usually have closer parking, smaller sized packages, and they have some good bargains.

Buying your groceries online is an option if you have access to a computer, whether at home or at the public library, or if you have a cellular phone with internet access.  Like shopping with a list, online shopping prevents impulse buying, and it can help with budgeting.  Many grocery stores have the option to order your groceries online, and then pick up your completed and bagged order at the store.  Walmart Grocery has free grocery pickup with a $30 minimum order.  Harris Teeter ExpressLane charges $4.95 for grocery pickup, and Kroger ClickList charges $4.95 per order pickup with no minimum order.  If transportation is an issue, you might ask a family member, friend, or neighbor to pick up your completed order from the store for you. There are dedicated parking spots for you to pay and wait for your groceries to be loaded into your car.

Another option is to use a grocery delivery service.  In the Hampton Roads area, Harris Teeter, Kroger, Food Lion, and Farm Fresh partner with a company called Instacart ( which charges $5.99 for delivery of orders over $35.  Though this is a more expensive option, the delivery fee may be worthwhile if it’s your only way to get groceries delivered right to your door.

Shopping with a list, watching the sales, and using store brands can save you grocery dollars.  Ordering online and picking up your bagged groceries that are ready to go, or using a delivery service, might be just what you need. These shopping tips can help you get the nutritious food you need to stay healthy.  

Kirsten Romero
Kirsten Romero
Kirsten Romero, MS, RDN, is a registered dietitian with the wellness program at Senior Services of Southeastern Virginia.
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