While we’re all doing our best to stay home during these difficult times, the occasional trip to the grocery store may prove unavoidable. When and if you do have to venture out, keep yourself and others safe with the help of these 10 essential grocery shopping tips:

1. Attempt Online First 

Maintain social distancing by attempting to order online first – either in a click and collect or delivery format (Instacart, for example, will shop a wide range of retailers on your behalf for delivery as soon as possible). Keep in mind, wait times will vary according to customer demand, therefore you’ll want to order a few days ahead.

2. Organize Your Shopping List Ahead of Time

Minimize the amount of time you’ll need to spend in the store by itemizing your list beforehand. Sort what you need according to section such as produce, dairy, bakery and, if possible, by aisle (some chains provide aisle information online). 

3. Shop During Off-Hours 

Many grocery stores are currently limiting in-store traffic by restricting the number of shoppers allowed during a given time. Try to do your shopping in the early opening hours or later in the evening, when they’re less likely to be busy. This way, you’ll spend less time waiting in line while reducing contact with others at the same time. 

Note: See what stores are providing priority shopping times for seniors 

4. Go It Alone

If possible, do your grocery shopping alone. This will help to reduce the number of people in the store and help maintain social distancing – both of which will improve your safety as well as the safety of your family and others around you

5. Leave Reusable Bags at Home

To reduce employee risk, many grocery stores have opted to change their policies regarding re-usable bags, asking customers to leave them at home. Instead, many chains are choosing to remove the additional charge for plastic bags or, in some instances, asking customers to bag groceries themselves.

6. Wipe Down Your Cart or Basket (and/or wear gloves)

Here too, grocers are taking measures to improve safety by either wiping down customer carts and baskets upon entry or by providing DIY cleaning supplies at the door. Here too, wearing rubber gloves will also limit the spread of potentially harmful germs and bacteria.

7. Take Only What You Need 

Help put a stop to food and item shortages by purchasing only what you need. This will make it easier for retailers to restock their shelves, as well as give others in the community a chance to purchase the things they also need.

The Top 10 Tips for Safe Grocery Shopping During COVID-19 Sanitizer Image

8. Sanitize Before and After

Be sure to keep hand sanitizer readily available during your shopping trip. Of course, you won’t be reapplying after every item you add to your cart (especially if you’re wearing gloves), but be sure to use it in the event you accidentally touch your face. You’ll also want to apply immediately upon entering and leaving the store.

9. Keep Your Distance

Remember to maintain a minimum of six feet distance from other customers and employees. Here too, stores are also taking measures to promote social distancing by employing the use of signs and floor stickers as a healthy reminder. 

10. Use Non-Contact Payment Methods

Avoid cross-contamination by limiting the exchange of bills and coins. Instead, opt for non-contact payment methods, such as tap to pay, Google or Apple Pay, which will also keep you from having to handle the keypad. Many credit card companies have increased their non-contact payment limits to $250 as a means of assisting with physical distancing.

For further food safety tips, see the National Post’s recent article COVID-19 food safety: Separating the myths from the facts.

To our valued clients, please note that the Terry Paranych Real Estate Group is still open for business. While we will be adhering to social distancing recommendations in order to ensure your health and safety, we would be happy to meet virtually or on the phone to answer any questions you may have regarding buying or selling your home.

Stay safe, happy and healthy, Edmonton!

The Terry Paranych Real Estate Group

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