Shopping Discussion

Least busy times to go grocery shopping

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  • Oct 22nd, 2010 11:19 am
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Deal Addict
Dec 11, 2007
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Least busy times to go grocery shopping

Post days/times when grocery stores are the least busy.

Of course there are a lot of times that are hit or miss, so post times that are usually true.



I've noticed that Monday - Thursday after 9pm are pretty good times to go.

Also, Sunday evenings seem to be okay.

This could just be dependent on my location though.

What about you?
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Apr 4, 2009
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When I go for a Costco run, I always do so on a Tuesday before 11:30am and schedule my lunch break at that time.
Rest of the week, forget it.

As for grocery shopping, same as you... After 9pm, if all I am getting is grocery items and not meat or produce, as those sections I find are picked thru after 9pm.

If I am in need of really fresh produce, I'll go at 7am before I goto work at 8am.
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It also depends when you are able to go. I find during the day before noon on a weekday isn't very busy. Often first thing in the morning there aren't many people there during the week.
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Dec 18, 2008
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what are grocery store hours in ontario?

here in vancouver it can vary most are now 7-11 or 8-10 and 8-12 for safeway and save-on-foods

nothing is 24 hours except for the super valu downtown on weekends otherwise it shuts at 12 am

I find it best after 9 pm but they start stacking pallets in the aisles and it gets annoying to manouver around
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Spongeg wrote:
Oct 19th, 2010 2:01 am
what are grocery store hours in ontario?

here in vancouver it can vary most are now 7-11 or 8-10 and 8-12 for safeway and save-on-foods

nothing is 24 hours except for the super valu downtown on weekends otherwise it shuts at 12 am

I find it best after 9 pm but they start stacking pallets in the aisles and it gets annoying to manouver around

Depends on the store/location/day of the week. Some have the hours you mentioned or close a little earlier. The Metro grocery stores around me are open 24 hours and there are a few Walmarts that have 24 hours as well although none in my area are 24 hours.
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Aug 26, 2010
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I've tended to wander through the Asian grocers (the various Foody's and the Marts of different kinds) in Toronto best on the weekday mornings. That's when they're relaying out new stock and produce. Weekend mornings at the same grocers are heck and craziness with a lot of parents (having dropped off their kids for various Saturday lessons) going shopping.

Most of these grocers tend to open around 9.30 on the weekday, so it's a mid-morning arrangement.

YMMV.
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Nov 15, 2006
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I work at a 24 store. The best times to go if you are really looking to avoid crowds are: any weekday before 2pm, Weekends before 11a, Weekday from 7pm to 9pm, Saturdays after 7pm. We tend to get hit fairly hard after 9pm weekdays, 6pm on Sundays (everybody else finishing work, lol).
MeiserT wrote:
Oct 19th, 2010 12:27 am
As for grocery shopping, same as you... After 9pm, if all I am getting is grocery items and not meat or produce, as those sections I find are picked thru after 9pm.
This is because, at least at our store, the aisles aren't touched during the day, aside from specials. Also, the rest of the staff is done at 10pm, and the night-crew doesn't start until 11pm, so nothing is touched at all. Meat, deli, and produce aren't touch until the next morning.
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This is really dependent on the area in which you live and the store. I know, I hate crowds and am always looking for the best time to shop. You can find out what works in your area by trial and error and it does change based on the season. I used to live in an area with a high senior population. There it was always busier during the day.

I now live in an area with a lot of young families. During the school year, stores in the evenings (Mon. to Thurs.) after 7:30 pm are quiet. This doesn't work in the summer. Costco is great around 3 pm during the week because people are out picking their kids up at school. Around 3:30 or so, Walmart and the grocery stores are busy as the people coming from picking up their kids are all out shopping. In my area you also have to know when the different schools let out as there are traffic jams around them.

But again, it depends on where you live.
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Dec 3, 2009
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Tuesday and Wednesday before 2pm are the best times to go if you can. The weekday afternoon rushes begin at 3 and ends at 7. After 7pm you may not get good product selection of fresh meat and produce, however, if you are shopping the aisles the evening stock buys just finish stocking all the shelves.

Mondays and Thursdays are sometimes busy during the day but of course YMMV. My theory is thats when a lot of people that have to work a weekend day (like other people in retail) they choose to shop and run their errands on their weekday off.
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Saturday morning at 9 - No frills and Costco. That's the first day of the weekend sale. By Saturday afternoon, the stuff on sale would have been gone.
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Jan 3, 2009
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Yeah Saturday Mornings are good.
Also after 8 on weeknights are hit or miss.
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Pretty much any time during the day 10-3 is empty here (and the downtown T&T as well).

After 10pm is empty too...
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Weekday mornings. The earlier the better.
I often go around 8:30 am after dropping the kids off at school. No kids around and easier to get in and out without them slowing me down or asking for stuff! :)
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amana wrote:
Oct 20th, 2010 9:20 pm
Weekday mornings. The earlier the better.
I often go around 8:30 am after dropping the kids off at school. No kids around and easier to get in and out without them slowing me down or asking for stuff! :)
I think YMMV depending on store in that circumstance. Sometimes they arent fully setup yet with meat, produce and bakery at that time. However for less of other customers in the store, there will probably be only 5-10 others in there.

When I worked in a store, there were some regulars that would always shop before 9am. So it was the usual "good morning" to them.
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I bet you could call and ask the manager of the store you want to go to, and find out the best times right away--that is, in way less time than waiting for someone to post here, and for the exact store you shop at.
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