Ten Tips for Easy Grocery Shopping With ADHD

Do you like going to the grocery store? For some people it’s an adventure. I know someone who LOVES shopping at Grocery Outlet – a bargain grocery store. He gets such a thrill out of finding something for 99 cents that costs $3.00 somewhere else. When my cousin returned from traveling to a third world country, he spent hours in the largest grocery store he could find just basking in the produce aisle. He saw with new eyes all the brightly colored fruits and vegetables available to us that we usually take for granted. If he had paints with him, he would have set up his easel right there in the middle of the peppers and potatoes.

But for many people, going to the grocery store is hard! It can be draining, overwhelming, or just boring and redundant. When you have ADHD and have challenges with planning, remembering, organizing, and getting overwhelmed, it’s even harder. Here are ten tips to make shopping a little easier.

Keep a grocery list on your fridge and if you run out of eggs, butter or so on, write it down right away. If you notice you are almost out of toilet paper or other important items, write that down as well.

Take a few minutes to stop and plan before you go. Look at your list and see if you need to add anything.

Remember to bring the list with you! Set an alert on your phone to remember to pack it with you, even if it means putting it in your purse or pocket first thing in the morning.

Be sure you are not hungry when you shop or you’ll want to buy everything and forget the list! Especially carbs.

Try to shop at the same store often enough that you are familiar with where things are.

Don’t touch something unless you plan to buy it. Market research has shown that people are more likely to buy things after they have touched them.

If possible, go during off hours. It’s not as overwhelming because there are fewer people and less noise.

Explore the idea of shopping and delivery online. Most large grocery stores have that service.

If you find it unbearably boring, figure out a time limit for shopping that makes sense. Set an alarm on your cell phone and make a game out of racing against the clock. How much can you get done in 15 minutes?

As an opposite approach, try to relax at the grocery store. Maybe stop at the end of each aisle and take a few slow, deep breaths. Consciously relax your shoulders and jaw and then continue on with your shopping. You could look at grocery shopping as a meditation in action and may find things more quickly with all that oxygen to your brain!

I hope some of these strategies help to make the unavoidable task of grocery shopping a little easier. And possibly a little enjoyable!