I love grocery shopping. Always have and probably always will. I know that’s probably weird. I meet more people who HATE shopping than LOVE it. But that’s really not me. I like shopping because it allows me to pick-out and create menus for my family. I pour over recipes looking for inspiration and then I go on the hunt for the ingredients. I enjoy cooking and therefore enjoy the gathering part as well. I get a sense of joy and accomplishment from planning and providing nutritious food for my family.

When it comes to the best time to shop, hands down its later in the evening. In fact, as late into the evening as possible. I just completed my two-week shopping last night. I ran into the store at about 8 PM. My husband was putting the kids down. As I shopped, I realized this is the best time to shop. And here’s why:

1) Less crowded equals faster shopping and less bumper carts. There is nothing worse when you want a casual shopping experience and you’re surrounded by people. The constant bumping of carts, “I’m sorry”s and “Excuse Me”s can get me worked up and feeling anxious. The long lines can make a quick two item run last much longer then necessary. Less crowded also means I more easily find products, reach products, and take time to compare different products.

2) Sleeping kids are not interrupting the shopping process. I use a list for my shopping. Somehow even with the list, trying to entertain my kids while shopping  has, on more than one occasion, lead to me forgetting something. Thus forcing me to go back to the store and spend more money. When the kids are sleeping, leaving the house is much easier too. My children like to go with me on every little errand. I’ll admit that I don’t usually mind, however, some things are easier without the kids in tow.

3) Very few rowdy and misbehaving kids. Lets all be honest and admit that those kids that run around, are loud, and being scolded by their own parents (or not and should be) are less than appealing. I’m not saying my kids haven’t been there and done that. But, for some reason, whether its your kids running a muck or someone else’s, it’s still crazy annoying. If you shop after bedtime, most parents (not all) have their kiddos home and tucked into bed, thus causing me stress in the store.

4) I don’t have to share my chocolate. After the shopping experience, I like to enjoy a candy bar and soda. More importantly I like to enjoy it without having to share it. My son can’t eat the candy bar so if he’s without me, this is just out. My daughter can eat it and strongly feels that I must share my chocolate. Oh, no, little girl! When mommy shops alone, her chocolate is all hers.

5) You can actually hear the music in the background. This could be a bonus or negative depending on if you like the music. At night there’s fewer intercom messages asking for more checkers or for a clean-up in aisle 1. The lack of the crackling, screeching, intercom voice yelling out commands makes the shopping experience so much nicer.

Do you have a favorite time to go grocery shopping? If so, when is it and why?