How to survive the grocery store during this pandemic


Natalie Lapointe, Staff Writer


Being the healthiest and most active member of the family, I have been designated “errand runner” for my household. I am the designated grocery store goer, in light of the new regulations at our local Bedford Market Basket. One person per household is allowed in the store, and each person is allowed one cart. The new store hours for the public are 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. and the hour of 6-7 a.m. is designated for seniors, only. Using information gathered from several trips, I have configured a strategy to maximize your time at the grocery store while following the new “norms” of the social distancing.

Number 1: Make a list the night before. Typically, I have found keeping a list in a central location, so every member of your family has access to it works extremely well. We keep ours on the refrigerator. When someone wants something, they just add it to the list.

Number 2: Order your list items in order of where they occur in the store. At the Market Basket in Bedford, for example, the cheese and milk products come before butter in the one-way aisle. This makes moving through the grocery store faster. I have found that ordering my list in this fashion prevents forgotten items.

Number 3: Wear a mask. I have made one for myself by folding a bandana and using some stretched out hair ties.

Number 4: When you’re moving through the grocery store, don’t touch any personal items such as phones. Especially if you’re wearing gloves. The germs from what you’re touching in the grocery store can be transferred to your phone and causes cross contamination.

Number 5: Follow the one way direction of the aisles. I know this seems like a hassle, but I’ve found following the one-way direction and going down every aisle allows me to find all items on my list.



Number 6: Get to the grocery store as early as possible. The local Market Basket in Bedford opens to the public at 7 a.m.. I like to go on Friday’s when I know I don’t have as much school work. I get up early to get to the store as soon as they open. At that hour, you are more likely to avoid waiting in line outside and avoid waiting in line at the check-out.


Number 7: Bring disinfecting wipes with you and keep them in your car. At the store, they have someone handing out carts and disinfecting them before people grab them. After I am finished with my shopping and loading my groceries into my car, I like to disinfect the cart I used for the next person that touches the cart. I also use the wipes to wipe down the car door handle that I touched before I was able to disinfect my hands.



Number 8: Keep hand sanitizer  in your car and use it as soon as you get in the car, BEFORE you touch anything. Including your keys. Avoid pulling out your keys and starting your car until after you have sanitized your hands to avoid cross contamination.




By following these tips and tricks, I have been able to get in and out of the grocery store in 30 minutes or less, compared to the first time I went to the grocery store during the first week of the stay at home order, which took 2 hours.