How To Do Food Shop With ADHD: My 5 Simple Tips

How To Do Food Shop With ADHD: My 5 Simple Tips

Tips For Shopping With ADHD


How Do You Manage To Do The Weekly Shop When You Have Poor Concentration, Poor Organising Skills And Random Impulses?

I don’t think many people enjoy walking around their local supermarket on a weekend, especially if you need to do the “weekly shop”. Dinners, lunches, snacks for the kids and the dreaded household cleaning products!

It can also be made worse if you have the kids with you, and they are asking for everything they see. And at least one of them needs a toilet!

Now if you have ADHD the whole situation could be a lot worse. Forgetting everything, getting distracted or acting on your impulses and buying something you don’t need (i once came home from a quick bread and milk run with a new wok!)

I have implemented some steps I take to make the chaotic weekly chore less well..chaotic.

Now, these are just somethings that I do, and “normal” organised people probably do these every time they embark on this mission. But us ADHDers don’t always like plans, and if we did they aren’t really set in stone and will get changed. So here are my tips on shopping with ADHD

1. Remember Your Bag For Life

We all would agree that we have a plastic waste issue at this moment in time. How many times to you see old plastic bags lying around everywhere? It does need sorting out, and charging for bags is a good idea.

You buy some reusable bags, take them with you to do the shop, then put them in a cupboard until next week and reuse them. Easy huh?

Well, if your brain is running around like Usain Bolt 24/7 and you barely remember that you need to go and do the shop and yes you get to the checkout, and you haven’t got the bags! You reluctantly spend 55p each on a new bag(s) and promise yourself you will remember them next time.

Until several months later and you are swimming in them! Now what I do is put some into my car and some into my work van, so I always have them available. I still forget to take them into the shop, but remember and bag them up when I get to the car.

2. Use A Scanner At A Supermarket

Have you ever got a bit carried away and got to the till and the cashier says “that will be £200 please”? When a normal weekly shop costs around £80. It can be very awkward if you can’t afford it or do what I do and just pay it and then go home with my tail between my legs and break the news to Clair.

The majority of supermarkets have the scanners that you take around with you and scan everything you purchase. Then put away into your trolley. I LOVE these. I always use them even if I’m on a little “bread and milk run”. It’s nice seeing exactly how much everything is going to cost. Have you ever seen what you think is a deal, but then pick the wrong item that isn’t in the deal? I have, it’s annoying.

Image Credit Image by Alexas_Fotos 

3. Take A Shopping List

Yes, this isn’t new. My nan always uses a shopping list. But that little bit of planning beforehand helps so you don’t get home then realise you didn’t buy toilet roll!

I use a certain supermarkets app, where I put everything I need into a checkout and then walk around deleting the item when I have it. Yes it is long-winded, but it’s on my phone and I always have my phone on me. Also, it tells you the total price of your shop, so when I’m walking around with my scanner I play a little game and see if I can get it any cheaper!


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4. If You Struggle With Crowds Go At A Quieter Time

I do try my hardest not to go into a supermarket at certain times and certain days as I know it will be busy. There will be a struggle finding a parking space. There won’t be any trolleys left. Everyone is walking out of the shop as I’m trying to walk into the shop.

People will be hovering around in the aisles so you have to dodge them and squeeze past them to grab that bottle of ketchup!

With all these going on it will make me very anxious and likely to have a mini meltdown! Which you don’t need in the middle of a supermarket.

So I now plan the best time to go that fits into my schedule. It isn’t empty but a lot more space and I get a trolley.

5. Give Yourself A Time Limit To Be In The Shop For

It goes like this. I have an hour and a half to go and get the shopping, go home unpack and put it all away, then go and pick the kids up from their sports club.

I get to the shop and POW, I look at the time and I have 10 minutes until I have to collect the kids.

Sometimes I spend ages trying to choose between a certain type of chopped tomatoes. Or I bump into someone who I end up spending ages pretending to listen to them, or dart around getting something that I have forgotten.

What I do now is, put a reminder on my phone for say an hour. So when the alarm goes off I know that I am cutting it fine and need to hurry up.

It has had positive effects on the amount of time I spend in the shop. But occasionally I have got slightly carried away!

So there is my Tips shopping ADHD to make it easier for myself. Is there anything I missed that makes your shopping experience easier?

Have you read Clair’s article on How we get our ADHD child to school on time?


ExtrasTry to Remember Where You Park – Take pictures of the row or aisle. If not of your car with something noticeable in the background

Get a Trolley Token For You Keyring – You know them trolleys that you put a pound coin in to unlock? That is the only time I can’t find a pound coin in my wallet!

Try And Use The Same Shop – I hate going anywhere new, let alone a new supermarket when I don’t know where everything is and end up spending ages walking up and down all the aisles countless times!

They are my tips on shopping with ADHD. I hope you found this post useful? Please feel free to comment and get in contact with any ideas you would like us to cover in future posts.

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