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Readers Respond: Easing the Strain of Grocery Shopping

Responses: 59


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!

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

Easing the strain of grocery shopping...

I am a 58 year old man who lives alone, and I find it Very difficult to do my grocery shopping, but you have to pay Tesco's & Adsa etc, so I have no choice..... but to do my own...... Drat ! !

Internet Delivery from Local Market

As another has noted she does, I order my groceries online. My local grocery store delivers them for free, and I'm able to use a myriad of digital coupons and other savings. I also order many of my dry goods and toiletries for even cheaper at Amazon.com...even though I end up with a lot of boxes to have to break down and put in the recycling (but I have my family "slaves" do that for me). Blessings to all!
—Guest Helena

all shopping

as a first time writer its great to know im not alone in this. i do all my shopping over the internet as i rarely go out now due to cfs/fibro/menieres. i order delivery for when i know either my husband or teenagers are home to help. i shop about and get free delivery on groceries because i order mid week. am supposed to be doing xmas shop but reading all your fab tips instead.

Easing the strain of grocery shopping

As far as using earphones, it can be distracting. You should be aware of the people around you. Person seek out individuals that are easy targets to rob when they start walking back to their cars. I was stalked while in a grocery store and soon as I reported this person to the staff he ran out of the store. You are not safe just because you are inside a store!
—Guest Marlene


i feel a bit 'lucky' that i can go to the shops now, when others can't. i have foam cushion cylinders, taken off an exercise machine handle, that wraps around the cart handle. this makes it comfy to slump on with your elbows. i grab a cart that's outside the shop and wheel it in. i do the shopping whether getting 1 item or 20. leaning on the cart as a walking frame takes the weight off my leg muscles, and is good for a bit of muscle maintenance in upper arms. yes get someone to help take them to the car. yes do shopping off-peak.
—Guest alana

Grocery shopping

I use alot of the tips I've read here. Some that I have come up with I haven't read yet. I always start at the back of the store so I don't have to push a heavy cart all the way to the front. When I unload the groceries at the checkout, I put the cold stuff together, the bread/chips/crushable items together, then try to spread the weight of the rest of the items. I usually shop with my mother who is is worse physical shape than I am so she gets to lean on the cart. She is also very slow so it takes at least 30% more time to shop. The only thing I can do is try not to have to get alot of items at one time, which sometimes helps with cutting down how long I have to be on my feet. I am the one who puts the groceries in the cart, takes them out at the register, puts them in the car, takes them out at home and puts them away. I haven't found any way around this. It's easier when I can shop with my father, we spend less time, but he works so this is seldom possible. Hope this helps

bag dinners afterwards

I love all the tips. Before I had to quit working and get on disability, I started using the freezer dinners for dinner. I was so exhausted after working, I couldn't even stand to cook. Now, especially alter grocery shopping,(yes, I use a cart, and go to bigger discount pick-it-all-up-at-once stores) I use frozen dinners for dinner that night. I make sure if I do go by myself, that my husband is home to carry in and help me put things away. I also carry a big cooler in the back for cold or frozen item. I use my grocery and/or Wal Mart trips as an escape from the stresses of home, since sometimes home now feels like a prison of fm/cfs/me. {{hugs to all}}
—Guest sweetart03

I Shop Online

I utilize Vons, Schwans and Alice.com to get most of my grocery shopping done. My husband and son do the majority of it since just walking the aisles has becoming very overwhelming for me.
—Guest berrymorin

I Don't Shop

Grocery shopping drains me to the point where I have to leave stores. I feel dizzy and overwhelmed, not to mention exhausted by about the second aisle. I can't make decisions and I wind up just wanting to get out of the store. If I do shop (very seldom) it's with my husband. He's done the grocery shopping for several years now. He's my greatest supporter!
—Guest mearthone

Tip on Grocery Shopping

I don't do grocery shopping anymore. It is an impossible task. Too overwhelming with the noise, children running, general chaos, plus walking up and down the aisles looking for things and then, finally, standing in a long line to check out. Where I live, we have HomeShop and that is what I use.
—Guest Barbara

Easier unloading of groceries

I live in a rural area where the closest chain grocery stores are 15 miles away. I try to do my big shopping with another person. But when it's just me I use the electric carts for essentials. When I get home, I use either a tobogan sled in the winter or a four wheeled garden cart in the non-snow times to put the groceries in from my truck to bring into the house. I can bring either right into the house and unload in the kitchen. The cart is especially helpful since it requires much less bending. Like everyone else, I put away the perishables first and leave the rest for later.
—Guest ddebru01

Big stores a no, no

Thanks for the tips, Adrienne. I live alone so I don't have so much shopping to do but I still need to do some. I live in London, so plenty of choices but I have learned my limitations and make do with a local supermarket a 10 minute bus ride away which, though small by supermarket standards, holds much of what I need to get by. I can be in and out in 20 minutes if I concentrate. For me, being faced with less choice is better as it means I don't get caught up trying to make decisions between products. Also the distance I need to walk is far less so it's a lot quicker than going to one of the bigger stores and I can get out before the sensory overload kicks in. The queues are far shorter too even on Saturdays. If I need heavier items like washing powder etc, I order online & get it delivered if I have enough items to make it worthwhile. The store I use has a bus stop close by with a place where I can sit while waiting for the bus. Less really does equal more for us.
—Guest Sue

Terrific site

I stumbled onto this website by chance, never dreamed there was a website combining bargain shopping and fibromyalgia, which I have had since 1991. My best tip for shopping Wal-Mart, when it becomes an absolute necessity, is to park at the auto center and use the check out there. It's never crowded, rarely anyone in line, and parking is much closer to the building. The only problem I have encountered is that there is no food scale there, so they can't weigh produce. Like many others have said, I will go to smaller stores any time I can. My corner drug store is good for milk/eggs/bread, and even have competitive prices.
—Guest Karen P.

easing the strain of grocery shopping

thanks for the tips. i will definetly use them.. also something that helps me is to make a list before i leave the house. especially if i am going by myself. i have found through experience that trying to wing it in the grocery store and fibro fog just dont work out to well. i have been known to go in the grocery store and just wander aimlessly not being able to remember what i needed, get very frustrated and anxious, leave and go home empty handed. so i make a list. go in and concentrate on getting everything on my list and gettinng out as soon as possible because if im having severe brain fog and the store is crowded it causes me to have terrible anxiety, panic attacks ugh... not fun... also theres not many stores that have bag boys anymore but luckily i live in an area that does. shopping at these stores means you have someone to load ur groceries for you. lessening the chances of triggering a flare up of pain. hope this helps and gentle hugs to all.
—Guest renna keith
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