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How Do You Make Shopping Less Stressful?

Posted by Jamie McKay on August 24, 2020

the image shows people socially distant queuing at a supermarket

In just a few months our way of life has changed dramatically and what were once simple everyday tasks now need to be planned before we even leave the house. For example, going shopping can be quite tricky with face masks and then trying to keep socially distant too. So, how can you make shopping in current times slightly less stressful?

Write A List In The Order Of The Shop

Most people write shopping lists but with many shops trying to operate a one-way system for customers it isn’t as easy or advisable to keep popping back up and down aisles.

If you can make a shopping list in the order that you walk through the shop or supermarket it will make the trip slightly less stressful.

It may seem odd at first but once you have made a list in this way a couple of times you will never go back to haphazard lists again!

the image shows a socially distant queue in a supermarket

When Is A Quiet Time To Go Shopping?

Ahh, the holy grail of Covid-19 shopping. When are the shops quiet? It is going to be hit and miss because so many factors come into play but here a few tips to try:

Early morning or evening are usually going to be the quietest times, it may take a few trips to find the best times and what is quiet on a Monday morning may not be quiet on a Saturday.

If you avoid lunchtime it will often be quieter, as people at work will often be visiting shops between midday and 2pm.

This logic also applies to evenings, after 6pm most people who work normal office hours are likely to be at home.

Some supermarkets have a ‘quiet hour’ at least one day a week for elderly or vulnerable customers (For example, in my local store it is on a Sunday between 9am and 10am).

So, it is worth checking with your local supermarket to see if they have a special quiet hour.

Google Tells You When Shops Aren’t Busy

Something that many people don’t know is that Google tracks where people go. And something else that people may not know is they actually use this to show when shops are busy, and they even display it for everyone to see!

For example, I googled ‘Asda’ then clicked on my nearest store in Colne. Then if you scroll down a little bit you will see this.

the images the google map and graph showing when asda is busy

This is a graph that shows when that store is busy and quiet and even how busy it is in real time.

Now, obviously it isn’t going to be 100% accurate but it won’t be far off, judging by my experience.

This could be particularly useful if you are going to a shop that you haven’t visited before.


How Do You Make Shopping Less Stressful? Use The Right Mobility Aid

Whereas you used to be able nip into a shop and be out in just a few minutes, there is now much more queuing involved.

Although British people consider queuing their national sport, even they have been surprised at how long a trip to the shops can take.

You may have to queue to get into the shop or supermarket, queue to get the trolley or basket clean, then finally there is now often a queue for the checkouts.

All of which means you can spend a long time on your feet. You, or an elderly relative or friend may find that a walking stick or cane will help in a long queue. Another ideal solution could be a tri walker or rollator.

Tri walkers provide support whilst walking and one model even has a built in seat. Tri walkers also help with carrying the shopping as most come with an attached bag. If not a tri walker bag can be purchased as an optional accessory.

A four wheeled rollator also provides support whilst walking, but it also includes a seat, which can be ideal to perch on whilst in one of the queues you’re bound to come across.

Rollators also help with carrying your purchases with either an underseat bag or basket. Underseat bags for rollators can also be purchased as an optional accessory if your rollator doesn’t already have one.

An ideal shopping accessory could be the Rollz Flex which comes in a choice of colours and includes an integral seat and a large 25 litre bag.

Reachers and Grabbers could also be a useful mobility aid to take with you, as it will help in getting that hard to reach jar from a shelf whilst keeping socially distant from other shoppers.

Some reachers also fold up, making them ideal to pop into your bag or pocket.


Not all shops and supermarkets have open toilets these days. Sometimes there just isn’t the space or the resources available to make a Covid-19 safe toilet area. So, try to go before you go!

For elderly or vulnerable shoppers, we have a range of incontinence products available that will help to keep the wearer comfortable and dry while they shop.

Face Masks And Hand Sanitiser

If you carry a spare mask or masks then you won’t get to the entrance and have to do a trip back home to get a mask, and although most shops have hand sanitiser on arrival it is a good idea to have some either in your bag or pocket just in case.

We have a wide variety of face masks and sanitisers so you can keep stocked up all at value for money prices.

the images shows a covid-19 warning sign at the entrance to a supermarket

Keep Up To Date With The News

It can be depressing to watch too much news, especially these days, but it’s important to keep up to date with any changes in your local area.

Changes to lockdowns for different cities, towns or districts, rules on mask wearing and rules on quarantine can change very quickly and catch us all out if we’re not careful.

Ability Superstore will let you know of any major changes and how they may affect people, so, along with BBC and Sky News be sure to check our news page for any developments.

Online Shopping

At the start of lockdown, you had about as much chance of getting an online grocery delivery slot in UK as you did winning the Eurovision Song Contest!

Now that the “new normal” has settled down a bit, it can be easier to get your shopping delivered by one of the major supermarkets.

Asda, Morrisons, Sainsburys, Tesco and Waitrose all offer home delivery. Check to see what’s available in your local area.

The further in advance you book the delivery slot you more chance you have of actually getting one.

A top tip is to initially just book the time. Most online supermarkets will hold that slot for you for a couple of hours. This gives you time to then add all your shopping to your virtual online “basket”, then simply click and pay.

Then voila, it will turn up at your door on the date and time you booked. Just remember to socially distance from the delivery driver!

Of course, friends and family may be able to help out too, dropping off supplies on their way home from work or at the weekend.

Give Us A Call

Have we successfully answered the question, How Do You Make Shopping Less Stressful? We hope so!

Along with the products mentioned earlier there are a lot more that you may find helpful, so feel free to contact us if you would like more information on 0800 255 0498 or take a look on our website.

Stay safe.