You’d be hard pressed to find a Boulderite who hasn’t had the experience of rushing into the grocery store to get a few last-minute items and becoming frustrated when she finds herself trapped behind slow-moving shoppers, rampant children on the looseand the general languid pace of a crowded grocery store.
At Heartbeet Chef, part of our job is grocery shopping (when we cook for clients, we first go pick up the freshest ingredients at the store). In fact, we might visit the grocery store up to eight times in a week as we put together delicious meals for different clients!
Let us tell you: there is a time to grocery shop, and there is a time to avoid the grocery stores in Boulder at all costs.
We know. We’ve been there through the good, the bad and the ugly.
And lucky you – we’re about to spill the beans on grocery shopping in Boulder! So listen up and jot down these best grocery shopping practices (that is, unless you enjoy being boxed out of the dairy section because half a dozen indecisive folks can’t figure out if they want cream, half & half, or milk!).
Make a Grocery Shopping Plan
The most crucial element to grocery shopping success is having a plan in place. In other words, don’t dawdle! Plan your list before you go, make sure you’re not starving as you wander through the aisles (an unfortunate circumstance which will most certainly result in a higher grocery bill), and start from the outside in.
All the freshest products will be on the outside edges of the store. If you’re health-conscious, the majority of your purchase should come from the outer rims. Fruits and vegetables, freshly cut meats and fish, and perishable cheeses will all live on the outside of the store.
In the center aisle live items that have a longer shelf life: crackers, cereal, canned foods, etc.
Avoid Peak Hours
In our experience, the WORST time to grocery shop is between the hours of 11 am and 6 pm. Lucky’s Market in North Boulder may be okay between 2-4 pm, but most other stores will be nuts.
The BEST times to shop at almost every grocery store in Boulder during almost every time of the year (perhaps holidays are slightly different) are right when the store opens or late at night. At 7 am there’s no one to box you out!
If you’re a night owl, Safeway and King Soopers are open until 1 am. If you’re up, might as well get some housework done and zip through your grocery list!
Delegate Your Grocery Shopping
If this feels too overwhelming for you, you can always use a service like Instacart to have groceries delivered to your doorstep from local grocers.
Or better yet, contact the Heartbeet Chef to have all your meals planned, prepared and ready to eat when you come home!