When is the best time to grocery shop? Optimize your shopping with these tips.

When is the Best Time to Grocery Shop? Optimize Your Shopping with these Tips

Are you tired of grocery shopping that leaves you drained both financially and physically? Learning when to do your grocery shopping can help you save money and time, reducing the stress associated with grocery shopping. In this article, we will give you some useful tips on the best times to shop and how to optimize your experience.

Grocery shopping is something that everyone does but not everyone enjoys. Shopping for groceries can be a daunting task, especially when you have to navigate between crowds of shoppers and long checkout lines. When you factor in budgeting, dietary needs, and time constraints, grocery shopping can quickly become a frustrating experience. The key to making this experience more enjoyable and cost-effective is to understand when to do your shopping.

Early Morning Shopping

One of the best times to grocery shop is early in the morning before the crowds hit the stores. Stores are much quieter, and the availability of produce and other fresh items is at its best. Also, you are likely to get the best deals and discounts during this time. Most stores stock their shelves overnight, and the morning is the first opportunity for customers to purchase fresh products.

Benefits of Early Morning Shopping

By grocery shopping early in the morning, customers can take advantage of various benefits, including;

  • Stores are quiet
  • Fewer shoppers, therefore no stress of crowds and long lines
  • Restocked shelves and fresh merchandise
  • Chance to find sale items and avoid the rush
  • Discounts on perishable goods

This works best for individuals with flexible schedules or those who are early risers like stay-at-home parents, retirees, and students.

Mid-Week Shopping

The middle of the week, usually between Tuesday and Thursday, is an ideal time to hit the grocery store. During these days, stores are less crowded, allowing shoppers to navigate the aisles with ease. Grocery shopping during the week has other advantages too, including;

Advantages of Mid-Week Shopping

  • Less crowded stores and parking lots save time
  • Store shelf stock is at its peak, particularly if the store restocks on Mondays or Wednesdays
  • Stores often have a mid-week sale, allowing for higher savings
  • Avoid the weekend crowds and save energy

For people with a fixed working schedule, Wednesday and Thursday evenings or early morning on Thursdays are the best times to grocery shop.

One Hour Before Closing

Another trick to optimizing your grocery shopping is by arriving at the store one hour before the closing time. This may seem counterintuitive to most shoppers, but it is an effective way to save money. The products that did not sell during the day are marked down to get rid of before the store closes.

Benefits of shopping one hour before the store closing

  • Get fresh product marked down to clear
  • Uncrowded stores due to most consumers shopping earlier in the day or early evening
  • Reduced pressure and decreased competition for items
  • Items are at their freshest, particularly meat, and dairy products

However, it’s worth noting that the downside of shopping at this time of the day is that the store may be sold out of specific products, especially if they have been selling quickly, and you may not get the variety you hoped for.

Seasonal Shopping

It’s essential to know that the seasons influence the cost and availability of groceries. Prices fluctuate depending on the time of the year, with some products cheaper in particular seasons than in others. Knowing what’s in season and stocking up on seasonal produce can lead to significant savings.

Benefits of seasonal shopping

  • Cheaper Produce
  • Higher quality and fresher fruits and vegetables
  • Less shipping time and distance; thus, less impact on the environment
  • Less time spent on the shopping trip due to fewer aisles to cover

The best times of the year to shop for specific products are;

Season Produce Reasons to buy during that time
Spring Asparagus, artichokes, rhubarb, strawberries, peas, spinach In-season vegetables are fresh and of high quality, allowing for easy Allergy-friendly meals, low-calorie salads, and healthy smoothies
Summer Tomatoes, zucchini, peaches, apricots, melons, plums, grapes, berries The season’s endless bounty offers optimal flavors, juiciness, and sweetness, and it highlights the produce in salads and side dishes
Fall Pumpkins, squash, pears, cauliflower, apples, cranberries, grapes In-season produce is at its lowest prices and offers high-quality, versatile ingredients for hearty stews, pies, and casseroles.
Winter Beets, turnips, sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, oranges, avocados, grapefruit, lemons Many vegetables thrive in storage and retain their nutrient values through winter, and citrus puts pop in dismal weather.


Grocery shopping can be a cost-effective and time-saving experience with the right planning. The best time to grocery shop should be based on personal preferences, and schedules, but following our tips, and avoiding rush hours can lead to enjoyable shopping times.


What is the best day to do grocery shopping?

The best day to grocery shop is Tuesday or Thursday. Avoid shopping on weekends or Mondays because they are the busiest days of the week.

What is the best time to grocery shop on weekdays?

Early morning or mid-week during afternoons or evenings is the best time to grocery shop on weekdays.

What are the benefits of shopping one hour before the store closing?

The benefits of shopping one hour before the store closing include; fresh products at discounted prices, reduced crowds, and decreased competition for items.

What are the benefits of seasonal shopping?

The benefits of seasonal shopping include; cheaper produce prices, higher quality and fresher fruits and vegetables, and less shipping time and distance.

Which products are cheaper during specific seasons?

Produce are cheaper during specific seasons as follows; in Spring, Asparagus, artichokes, rhubarb, strawberries, peas, and spinach are cheap. In summer, tomatoes, zucchini, peaches, apricots, melons, plums, grapes, and berries are cheap. In fall, pumpkins, squash, pears, cauliflower, apples, cranberries, grapes are cheap, while in winter, beets, turnips, sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, oranges, avocados, grapefruit, and lemons are cheap.


  • Pachter, L. (2020, August 19). The best time to go grocery shopping. Business Insider.
  • Hauser, E. (2020, March 31). The best time to go grocery shopping to avoid crowds. Real Simple.
  • Chavez, C. (2021, March 18). 5 smart tips for grocery shopping when money is tight. NPR.

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