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This is the Least Crowded Time to Grocery Shop, Data Shows

Heading to the store at this time can help you get in and out faster and safer.

Social distancing is the norm now—but with huge crowds at the grocery store swarming every aisle, it can be hard to navigate your own shopping safely. This is why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends shopping during off-hours when there are fewer people in the store. And now, thanks to new data, we know exactly when that is!

According to anonymous location data from Google Maps users who opted to use the setting from August through October this year, the busiest time at the grocery store is on Saturdays from 12 to 3 p.m., while the least crowded time is on Mondays around 8 a.m. (Related: 8 Grocery Items That May Soon Be in Short Supply.)

This may seem like bad news for those who like to get their shopping in on the weekends, but switching it up and going early on a weekday mornings can help you get in and out faster.

Plus, the least busy time at the pharmacy is Mondays at 9 a.m., which means you can check both errands off your to-do list in one trip and reduce the amount of time you're out and about. And with the number of coronavirus cases rising around the country, it means reducing your risk of getting sick, too.

If you do have to grocery shop during a popular time, the CDC recommends making sure you're disinfecting the cart, following floor markings, not touching items you aren't going to buy, using hand sanitizer, and, of course, wearing a mask at all times. For more info on how to stay safe, check out There's One Main Way to Contract COVID-19 When Grocery Shopping, CDC Says.

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Amanda McDonald
Amanda has a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University and a bachelor's degree in digital journalism from Loyola University Chicago. Read more about Amanda