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Readers Respond: Easing the Strain of Grocery Shopping

Responses: 73


Updated February 24, 2010

Grocery shopping takes a lot of energy and can cause fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome symptoms to flare. Share the things that help you, and learn from other people! Share Your Tips & Ideas!


I enjoyed reading all tips for shopping, especially suggestions on fibromyalgia/chronic fatigue syndrome. I found this cite looking for grocery delivery service. With this degenerative joint disease of the spine, I'm always looking for new ways to accomplish DAILY TASK. Most days are very difficult. I no longer drive, and have no family in the immediate area. Adjusting to these limitation has not been easy. Thank you all for sharing.
—Guest Darlene

My Custom Shopping List

At The Super Walmart that I frequent, I decided to walk each aisle and write down the aisle number(s) plus whatever the aisle sign listed was in that aisle. Underneath each of those entries, I wrote down what I usually purchase from that aisle. I typed this list and added a few blank lines per aisle so I could add items. So now I can just check or highlight items needed. I've also taken pictures of my list on my phone and tablet and used some apps to mark items and even write in others.
—Guest Jaimee

Grocery shopping

I can no longer drive due to the meds.i am taking. That means my husband always goes to the store with me. His help in putting the groceries in the car and carrying them up the stairs is invaluable. However,putting the food away is my job and this can be daunting. I make it easier by breaking it down into categories: all refrigerator first,then canned,next boxed,laundry and cleaning goods,and finally,miss. Then I go stretch out on my bed and rest. It's my least favorite day,but I'm always happy when it's done. Hope this helps someone.
—Guest Georgia


I find going shopping in the morning best,especially if I'm on my own. I plug my earphones in to block out the noise. Even if I'm clothes shopping in our local town centre. When I do this I feel as if I'm in my own little world.
—Guest Nicky

Grocery Shopping

I tend to do 2 shops a wal mart 1 for the dog food & items in that area then ck out move my car to the grocery area , put all frozen & refer items in the front of my car and the other items in the back seat. That way when I get home I can take in only cold / frozen in the house & un load the others as I feel like it. Thanks for all the tips and prayers of healing to all who suffer. This site has been an enormious help to me and gives me strength to endure this CFS that seems to want to rule my life.
—Guest Cathleen

Here's what works for me

Since I work near a grocery store, and get off at 2:30) I sometimes go every day. I jot down things as I need them and stop that day and pick them up. That limits all of the awful things about the grocery store. I am not sure if I could do the full shopping thing anymore...
—Guest Sonya

Shopping with OA and FM

Grocery shopping is a necessary evil but we must all do it. View this as an exercise, walking for 45 minutes to an hour, a little stretching a little bending. My daughter and grandchildren help. The kids are young yet so help is sparse but we can make it fun. The kids are sometimes a help and sometimes a hinderance. I can always send my daughter out for the things I missed, which is a lot. Between the kids and the FM fog I just hope it's not crucial ingredients. Lists, in order of the aisles, help. Checking off the items as you get them is highly recommended. Bagging your own groceries is also recommended, you can group things in order of your cabinet layouts. Keep all perishables together and worry about the rest later. The new super stores, I avoid. Just too frustrating I like smaller stores. It may not be one stop shopping but I feel better at the end of the day and they tend to be much, much more helpful. And splitting up shopping trips is easier on you.
—Guest sharim

Printed Shopping List

I use pre-printed these are lifesavers. My family knows if it ain't on the list it's not in the cart. I keep it posted and we can all add to it at leisure.
—Guest Dlivrd1

Spousal Support

My husband has gradually become the primary grocery shopper in our family... and he tells me he actually likes it. When I shop I rarely get more than a few items for a few meals, but he does the major shopping. He will go to Sam's Club or Costco for the bulk item deals, which I won't do because it wears me out and is overwhelming.

Call 'em in

I call my husband or one of my sons from my cell phone when I reach the corner so that they can be waiting outside to help me carry grocery items in when I reach the house.

Shopping Tips

When I need heavy items, like distilled water (for my cpap machine) and especially the large Cat Litter carton, and many other heavy items, I order online. When the delivery man comes, I have my computer chair available for him to put the heavy litter, etc....this way, I can just wheel the items to their destinations. When I am able to shop at the supermarket, I use the reusable bags, and the foil lined bag for my frozen/cold items. My young neighbor helps bring in the bags and I give him a tip for doing so...plus a treat that I just purchased. I do try to stock up on non-food items when money allows. Hope these little tips help others with fibro/copd/ problems.
—Guest Marie

Shopping at Walmart

I have found Walmart to be exemplary in how they treat me. Sometimes, when I get to checkout an I'm sooo tired or my arms cannot put things on the conveyor belt, I ask them to help and they are more than willing. Of course, they will pack things extra light for us. Finally, I ask for help out to my car. An attendant will go out with you and load your car for you. Many people will help you if you ask.
—Guest Mary

Step#1 Shopping List

I arrange my grocery list differently to suit my needs. Pharmacy items, especially if I need to pick up a script, are at the head of my list because I try to time my trips in late evening. Next are pet supplies, dry goods as cleaning supplies, bathroom items. Then there are the dry food items. I move to the fresh fruit and vegetables and from there to the dairy, meats, chicken, turkey and/or fish. Last on the list is frozen foods so they will maintain their temp long enough to get them home and back into the freezer safely.I keep coolers on wheels in my vehicle to transport all of my groceries to the house so I do not need to carry such heavy loads. I simply load the coolers out of the car when I get to the house, wheel it inside, unload, put away, then return for another load or two. Works great! I also have a fold up shopper for craft fairs or shopping malls so I do not have to carry sacks around . It has rollers on the bottom and doubles as a wallet for the day. Hope this helps!
—Guest mom2pekes2

Earplugs at the Grocery

I have resorted to wearing earplugs at the Grocery. I can still hear vague noise but Im not treated to a serenade of music with lyrics which gives me earworms that last for weeks and cause me to become anxious and leave the store without half the items I went for, even with a list IN my HAND. I dont think I have fibromyalgia, not sure, but its TOTAL panic and anxiety in the Grocery. Ppl look and laugh at my Orange Shrek ears, but I dont think anyone can understand what Im going thru.
—Guest Loryia Bond

Using your phone as a shopping list

With fibro fog, I was getting to the point where I would go to the store 3 days in a row and still forget something! So, I started using my text feature to help me remember. Whenever I remembered something I needed, I'd text it to myself to look at later when I was at the store. Now that I have an iPhone, I use the notepad app. :D
—Guest Raquel T

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Easing the Strain of Grocery Shopping

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