Grocery Shopping with Low Vision

Mastering the regular tasks of life is essential when you live with a disability. Previously I wrote about cleaning, communication, and reading with low vision among other fun stuff, all tagged in my Tips category. One task I haven’t talked about is grocery shopping, so here are some things that make the task easier for me:

  • Make a list. I jot down items on an iPad note as I run out of them. Before leaving for the store, I check recipes I’ll be following that week for ingredients and I add those to my list, too.
  • Bring the list to the store. Who hasn’t walked through the automatic doors only to realize you forgot the list at home? I started to text the list to my husband’s iPhone so he has a record of it and I can be more hands-free without the iPad.
  • Shop at off-peak times. If your schedule allows for it, try shopping when fewer customers are around like midmorning on a weekday or even late evening if you don’t need counter service at the deli.
  • Bring a magnifier. Packaging and shelf placement change all the time. I use my magnifier to read labels and price tags.
  • Ask for help. Accept the help of a family member or friend who genuinely wants to help (rather than those who act like it’s an inconvenience) to drive you to the store or shop with you. It’s a way to spend time together, too. Offer gas money to make things more of a business transaction if appropriate.
  • Pull the cart behind you. If you’re shopping alone, pulling the cart minimizes the risks of bumping displays or people.
  • Don’t be proud and end up buying the wrong item. Employees and even strangers are happy to verify info on one or two things.
  • Call customer service ahead of time to request a personal shopper. Not all stores offer this service, but those that do will appreciate extra notice.
  • Consider grocery delivery services. Some American companies like PeaPod offer online ordering and scheduled deliveries of groceries.

What makes grocery shopping easier for you? Tell me about it.

For more tips and tricks on how to live with low vision, check out the Tips category on the right sidebar.

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4 Comments Add yours

  1. Modwyn says:

    Grocery shopping with a friend is so much fun! I’ve had many adventures doing the most mundane things in good company!

    Supposedly there’s a Look-Tel app that will scan barcodes and labels and keep track of them for you – a very sophisticated grocery list. I haven’t tried it, but I intend to.

    1. Good company always makes things better. Thanks for telling me about that app, Modwyn!

  2. Casee says:

    Shopping when the store first opens is a good idea too. The cashiers and manager and baggers aren’t too stressed out and they are usually more than happy to help at that time of day. At least on weekdays. The weekend is a little more crowded in the morning where I shop.

    1. You’re right, the employees at the check-out seem to be more helpful during slower, less stressful store hours.

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