Hi I need help and ideas how to grocery shop. I am newly married and moved to a different part of town and am very unfamiliar with the new surroundings. When I try to go to the grocery store I get extremely overwhelmed and end up getting just a few things and leaving. I never finish shopping, there are too many choices and too many flavors etc. of stuff that i can't decide and just never try anything new. I have tried to explain to my husband that I would love it if he could come with me, but he doesn't understand why this task is sooo difficult for me. I used the word "scared" once, and I actually meant it, but I didn't mean that I was afraid I just feel so lost there. My husband knows that I am quite intelligent and thinks that I am using my ADD as an excuse not to do the grocery shopping (which isn't true at all). I do also have an anxiety disorder and feel that I get a little anxious now when I go shopping because I feel so lost and inadequate. anyways I was wondering if anyone could help me with this, and I was wondering if there is anyone else who struggles with the same thing?
response to grocery challenge
Submitted by rptimes2 on
Hi! I am new to this forum, but my spouse has adhd and I am coming here for support. I have noticed that my husband has an extremely difficult time grocery shopping as well. Even if I am with him, it is very difficult to get him out of a store in less than an hour even if we only came in for a few ingredients. For the time being, I have been helping him with the grocery shopping, or doing it by myself. Sadly, I don't have a "solution" for you, b/c our family is struggling with the same thing as well, but I would suggest continuing to let your husband know how important it is for him to go with you to the store until you can get more familiar with your new neighborhood. Also, my husband has lived in this area his whole life, while I have moved cross country to new areas several times. As a non-adhd person I STILL have always had a hard time with going to a new grocery store, or becoming familiar with a new neighborhood. I would imagine the ADHD would only amplify the situation. Hopefully he can show some compassion and help you out with this area. Sorry I don't have anything else to offer- but hopefully it'll feel better knowing that you're not the only one that struggles with this. Anyone out there have any other advice for both of us?
Submitted by Kepler on
I'm glad you said you have an anxiety disorder, because I was thinking as I read your post, "This isn't just ADHD." For the anxiety, do your best NOT to shop at the store with the 'biggest selection.' For anxiety, you generally want to limit the options which become so overwhelming.
As for the ADHD...erm, you didn't mention anything in your post about making lists. There are three cardinal rules which EVERY person with ADHD MUST follow in order to get tasks done, and done *mostly* correctly. Here are the three rules:
1. Make a list
2. Bring the list.
3. Follow the list.
I'm pretty good at making a list. I almost ALWAYS forget it.* I get back from the store, there is my list, sitting on the kitchen counter.
List making is a VERY DIFFICULT habit to instill in yourself. (We ADHDers are the masters of remembering useless facts (like the mating cycles of the praying mantis), we SHOULD be able to remember a grocery list, right?) But once you get the habit going (don't be surprised that it will likely take more than a year!), it makes many, many things go more evenly.
*I was one of those kids in junior high school who actually DID his homework, but I'd forget to bring it to school the next day. I read another therapist who said that this was the SINGLE MOST PRECISE indicator of a child with ADHD, precisely because there is no other explanation for this kind of behavior.
Submitted by Tasla on
Have you thought about doing your grocery shopping online? There are plenty of online sites for that and many grocery stores also offer online shopping of their websites.
If that isn't an option, here's an idea: Can you go to the grocery store a few times (maybe every day for a few days) and not plan on getting anything, or just 5 items? Basically, instead of shopping you would be familiarizing yourself with the layout of the store, where they keep everything and so on. Maybe doing that would ease some of the anxiety, since you will become more and more familiar with the store.
I don't have ADD, but I remember having a hard time grocery shopping when I moved to the States. There was just soooo much too choose from and I had no idea which type of mayo, ham, cheese and so on were the best so I didn't know what to get. It probably took me a year before I could be in and out of the store in less than an hour. Oh and at my store (Publix, how I miss you) it turned out that what I liked best was usually the store brand product, not the name brand.
Also, regarding the choices, I would suggest making your list and then when you need to get "mayo" and have 25 different options just pick one at random (maybe the cheapest one or the store-brand one) and take that home. Keep a list or notebook at home where you write down what you've tried and what you did or didn't like, so you know whether to get it next time or if you should try something else.
Know that this will get easier as you get more familiar with your surroundings - just keeping that in mind might ease the anxiety a bit.
Submitted by hockeymom11 on
many stores have maps, recipes and shopping lists that you can print from on-line. that way you don't forget an ingredient and you have a map to find it!!
if money is tight, many coupon sites also offer pre-printed shopping lists and coupons.
you do need to be organized with coupons, but it's not that hard with those little coupon folders and it may make brand choosing easier if you HAD the coupon for "such and such".
my ADHD husband couldn't shop either. I would even write the brand, description and color of the box on the shopping list and he STILL would bring home the wrong one!!
the map is probably the first thing to try: then at least you can learn the store from home and maybe cut down your shopping time. STICK TO THE LIST!!!!! MAKE SURE YOU HAVE THE LIST!! (even I"ve done that before!)
Shopping is the nightmare!
Submitted by ailin on
WOW. I have ADD, and I have LOTS of the same problems you do.
I love Tasla's idea about going for 5 items at a time to learn the store. Brilliant!
Here are some other steps that have helped me a bit.
-Think of it as a skill you'll perform better and better with practice. Add little tricks one by one as you get more comfortable. Be proud every time you remember your shopping list!
-Get hubby to make the list with you. I had to be very direct with my boyfriend about this. "You need to sit down with this notebook tell me what you want."
-Be specific. If hubby wants cereal, he should tell you what type/brand so you don't have to make those choices on the spot.
-I make two drafts of my shopping list. Draft 1 is just my total list. Draft 2 is to put the items in the order I'll be finding them in the store. I list fruits and veggies together. Meats together. Mexican together. That way I'm not running back and forth all over the store.
-Take a PENCIL so you can check/scratch items off the list as you put them in your cart.
Choosing The Store
-I agree with Kepler — go for small. Smaller parking lot, lower ceilings, less floor space. Super Wal-Mart is a disaster for me. Neighborhood grocer on a side street? Way better.
-I need primo customer service. I ask clerks and stockers for a LOT of help finding things for me. I am lucky to have a store where the staff offers help even before it's requested. If I said I had anxiety attacks from shopping, the manager probably would get an employee to shop with me.
-If you consistently shop at one store, you can get used to the layout. It might be nice to go to whatever store is closest to your other errands, but consistency is a greater luxury.
At The Store
-I like carts better than baskets. It's much easier to see my purchases in a nice, roomy cart.
-With your anxiety, you might start at the customer service counter. They can give you aisle numbers for any items you aren't sure about. Then you can put the aisle number on the list! Or, just get your bearings: "Dairy is over there, right?"
-If you find yourself getting nervous or losing confidence, do whatever works for YOU. You can draw a map. Physically point at one or two destinations. Repeat the aisle number back to the employee. Whatever works. You are the customer, so you are the important one! You rule the store! Then you can be proud for powering through the nerves :-)
-If you mark items off the list as you get them, you can see your progress!
-I've wasted so much time over the years choosing between brands/flavors. I've been wanting to start using a cutoff. After 10 seconds, I'll just have to commit to eating whatever one my hand grabs.
Choose terrible food until your husband finally relents and goes shopping with you.
Submitted by Sueann on
They only have one brand of everything and most of them are good. For items like tuna, they'll just have water-packed and oil-packed, rather than 20 different choices. It does make shopping easier. There was a whole series of responses on this a while back.
The only thing is they have long check-out lines.