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The #1 Way To Save Time at the Grocery Store

Your smartphone can be the difference between a quick, easy shopping experience and a wasted afternoon.

If you're spending several hours a week at the supermarket comparison shopping, trying to keep track of your grocery list, and checking to see if that thing you need is actually in stock this time, you may need to find a more efficient way to buy. If you haven't downloaded your grocery store's app yet, it's time to.

According to The Mobile-ization of Grocery Shopping, a report just released by sales and marketing agency Acosta, over 70% of shoppers use their grocery store's app. And sure, a few years ago, it may have made sense to shop totally analog, but the portion of shoppers who feel comfortable using apps to help with their buying has doubled since 2015. (Related: 8 Grocery Items That May Soon Be in Short Supply.)

"The main reason I use [grocery apps] is to look up items and find the aisle location, so I don't have to wander around the store," said one study participant. Yes, these apps can save you unnecessary browsing time, but they can do much more than that.

Many major grocery stores' apps, including those of Target, Whole Foods, and Walmart, will deliver your groceries straight to your door. With just a couple of minutes devoted to downloading and setting up your store's app, you'll save yourself the hours it takes you each week to drive to the grocery store, get everything you need, wait in the endless line, load up the car, and drive back.

The apps can also save you the time and trouble of keeping track of all your loyalty cards. The Acosta study noted that the average U.S. household is enrolled in more than 18 loyalty programs—that's a lot of wallet-rummaging if you're not going digital. Your grocery store's app may also be able to help you find deals and discounts, store maps, and information about what's in stock at your location.

Downloading your supermarket's app to minimize the time you're spending indoors among other people is just one way you can shop safer during the pandemic. For more, check out 6 New Grocery Shopping Tips You Need to Follow During the Second Wave.

Clara Olshansky
Clara Olshansky (they/she) is a Brooklyn-based writer and comic whose web content has appeared in Food & Wine, Harper’s Magazine, Men's Health, and Reductress. Read more