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Food shopping tips for older people

22nd November 2022


As we get older, heading to the supermarket to do your food shopping can become more challenging, particularly if you have low or limited mobility and often rely on aids like home lifts and stairlifts. However, there are measures you can take to help alleviate some of the strain and ensure you make the most of your shopping trip. Keep reading to find some top tips for making your next shopping trip as easy and smooth as possible.

Food shopping tips for older people:

  • Organise your shopping list by aisle
  • Don’t be afraid to buy family-sized portions
  • Go shopping with a friend or family member
  • Avoid the rush
  • Look for local transport assistance
  • Get your food shop delivered

Organise your shopping list by aisle


Firstly, one of the most important things to do before going food shopping is to make a shopping list. It may sound simple, but without a shopping list, you run the risk of forgetting items or overbuying once you are at the supermarket, wasting both money and time. If you can, why not organise your list by aisles in the supermarket? This way, when you are in that aisle, you know exactly what you’re looking for and where you can find it and save yourself having to double back for missed items.

Plan your meals for the week prior to shopping

Another thing to consider before creating your shopping list and heading out to the supermarket is to plan what meals you want throughout the week so you know exactly what ingredients you need to buy and the dates you will be cooking them. Creating a weekly food rota will also save you time and energy in the evenings as you will already have everything you need in the fridge.

Food shopping in a busy supermarket can feel like a daunting task, especially if you have mobility issues, but it doesn’t have to be. The above tips are just some of the ways to make the experience more relaxed and ensure you are more efficient when it comes to your food shop.

Think about portion control

Cooking for one person or even two can be tricky as it is often hard to know how much of each ingredient to buy, so working out your portion sizes before going shopping is always wise. Work out how many portions of meat you might need for each meal and whether you can freeze any extras you may have. Looking at the price per kilogram on the price label will give you a good indication if a larger portion is cheaper than the smaller option. This is something that Karen from Fuelled By Latte spoke about a little more.

“Don’t be put off buying things that are big enough for a family as they will often be cheaper. Just make sure they can be frozen, split them into as many different portions as you see fit and chuck them in the freezer.

As well as getting more bang for your buck, it also means you have several meals that are ready to go when you need them, which is great for saving you multiple trips to the shops.”

Go shopping with a friend or family member


If you struggle with mobility, ask a friend or family member to accompany you on your shopping trip, says Jenny from the family blog Chilling with Lucas. As well as having someone to do the heavy lifting, it’s a great excuse to have a catch-up.

Lots of supermarkets are well-equipped for helping those with low mobility, says Jenny. “Many supermarkets have trolleys that can go over wheelchairs as well as mobility scooters to borrow if needed.”

If you struggle with your mobility, not only is taking a loved one with you to the supermarket going to make the shop easier, but it’ll also make it safer. For those friends and family members that may worry about you getting out and about, knowing you have a companion with you is always reassuring.

Avoid the rush

If you get overwhelmed by supermarket crowds, knowing when to hit the shops is key if you prefer browsing in peace and quiet. Generally, you’ll find the quietest periods will be first thing in the morning or later in the day - before and after the work and school rush.

If you’re planning to head to the shops over the weekend, it’s recommended that you set off bright and early to avoid the crowds. Lots of people tend to sleep in on a Saturday or Sunday morning, so you’ll want to take advantage of how quiet the shops will be.

With some supermarkets open 24 hours and others closing late at night, if you’re a bit of a night owl, then you might benefit from doing your food shopping later in the evening when others are unwinding at home.

Look for local transport assistance

If you don’t drive or can’t drive anymore, then looking into what local transport assistance you can take advantage of is always wise. More often or not, there will be local bus services that will take you in to the nearest town and back so you can do your shopping there.

Get your food shop delivered


Many people have ditched the traditional way of shopping and instead have opted to do their food shopping online or using a click-and-collect service. See what shopping and home delivery services are available in your area on the Age UK website.

There are many benefits to ordering your food shop online, which include saving you time and effort wandering the aisles, avoiding unhealthy or expensive impulse buys and allowing you to stay organised by saving previous purchases for next time.

If you’re not particularly computer-savvy, get a friend or family member to help you the first time around. After that, most supermarket websites will remember your favourite items and previous transactions making it easier than ever for you to purchase the same food shop over again.

If you are looking for more advice, then feel free to head over to our blog.

This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.