10 grocery shopping habits from around the world that could save time and get you fresher food

Flickr / US Army Corps of EngineersGrocery shopping habits vary around the world.
  • Most people around the world grocery shop, though their habits may differ.
  • Some of these habits save money, time, and waste.
  • Shoppers in the UK are buying smaller amounts of food more frequently in an effort to reduce waste.
  • If you are short on time, try ordering groceries online like some shoppers in China.

Around the world, people shop for groceries a bit differently. And although habits vary, many shoppers put a lot of emphasis on choosing healthy, fresh foods, finding great deals, or buying particular foods from specialty shops.

Here are some great grocery shopping habits around the world that you might want to adapt.


Try reducing food waste like some shoppers in the UK.

According to a Waitrose report, shoppers in the UK are buying smaller amounts of food more frequently in an effort to reduce waste and save money by not buying more food than what’s necessary. Some shoppers visit grocery stores multiple times per day.


Consider buying organic, sustainably-sourced foods like some shoppers in the Netherlands.

iStockMany shoppers try to buy organic food.

According to a report by the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service, more and more shoppers in the Netherlands prefer to buy organic food over conventional food.

The report also said many shoppers in the Netherlands seek out products that are sustainably sourced.


Shopping locally like many in Italy could score you fresher ingredients.

Grocery shopping is considered a traditional activity in Italy. According to Italy magazine, many shoppers try to purchase their food from local grocers.

Whether it is fruits, vegetables, meats, and cheeses or occasional treats like pastries or cakes, many Italian grocery stores try to offer locally-sourced foods. Because of this, food markets are also quite popular.


Many shoppers in Japan don’t shy away from frozen foods — and it can be cost-effective and convenient.

miran/FlickrFrozen vegetables can be just as healthy as fresh ones.

With packed daily schedules but a desire to eat healthily, many Japanese shoppers are adding frozen vegetables to their lists, according to Euro Fresh Distribution’s reports.

Frozen food doesn’t go bad nearly as quickly as fresh food. Plus, aside from being generally cost-effective, frozen vegetables can be just as healthy if not healthier than fresh ones.

According to the report, shoppers in Japan also tend to stock up on single-serving foods, which can be handy for individuals who live alone.


If you are short on time, try ordering groceries online like some shoppers in China.

ShutterstockOrdering groceries online can be efficient for some.

It’s becoming quite commonplace to order groceries online in China. According to data collected by IGD, China’s online grocery market is predicted to more than double by 2020.

Ordering groceries online can be useful for those who don’t always have time to grocery shop. Plus, it can be easier to compare prices.


Try picking up items from several different grocers like some shoppers in Greece.

stockstudioX/Getty ImagesIn small towns in Greece, shoppers might get their meat from the butcher instead of a supermarket.

In smaller towns, people in Greece tend to visit different shops for different food items – they might visit the butcher for meat and then a local bakery for bread, according to AthensFever.

Since they often make trips to multiple different grocers for food, they can purchase fresher ingredients from specialty shops.


Like some shoppers in Mexico, try visiting multiple stores during a grocery shopping trip and buying only what you need.

iStockFruit and vegetable stalls in Mexico.

Grocery shopping in Mexico can sometimes involve a nice workout since many shoppers walk to a variety of different stores. You may need to visit a few different stores to find everything you need. Fortunately, according to Top Mexico Real Estate, in many cities, the local shops and grocery stores are located within walking distance of each other.

Plus, grocery shopping in Mexico doesn’t have to be overly wasteful. According to Surviving Mexico, you can buy just what you need, like three eggs instead of a dozen or a quarter of a cantaloupe instead of an entire one.

Although it isn’t always practical, visiting different stores can certainly be helpful when it comes to price-checking items and ensuring you get the best deal. Plus, buying only what you need could mean consuming fresher foods and avoiding food waste.


If you want to save money, learn to find the best deals — a major grocery shopping goal for some shoppers in Spain.

iStockLooking for low prices can be great for your food budget.

Shoppers in Spain tend to shop according to the best deals. A study published in the US National Library of Medicine found that many grocery shoppers in Spain prioritised low prices over most other shopping-related factors.

Read More: What grocery shopping looks like in 10 places around the world


Try placing an importance on food safety as many shoppers do in Australia.

Getty Images/William Thomas CainTry to buy from brands you trust.

In Australia, food safety is a top concern at the forefront of many shoppers’ minds. According to a survey published in Australia Food News, shoppers prefer to purchase foods only if they know the company follows “high standards of food safety.”

Although you can’t always predict which foods will or won’t become contaminated, buying groceries from brands with food safety guidelines you trust can help to ease your mind.


Like shoppers in the US, try to boost your productivity by visiting the supermarket less often.

Getty ImagesIn the US, shoppers tend to visit the grocery store between one and two times per week.

According to a 2018 Statista study, the average US consumer makes 1.6 trips to the grocery store per week. Limiting your grocery trips can help you to save on transportation and it can also save you time.

By limiting your shopping trips, it’s extra important to make strategic shopping lists so you can avoid food waste or making additional trips to pick up ingredients you forgot.

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