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This Is the Best Time to Go to the Grocery to Avoid Crowds

A woman looks at her phone as she pushes a grocery cart around a store.
George Rudy/Shutterstock

Many people have a weekly time they set aside for grocery shopping. But if you’re tired of battling crowds, the best time to shop might require mixing things up a bit.

Google looked at data from its Maps program from March-October 2020 to determine patterns of travel and visits to everything from coffee shops to grocery stores. Based on its findings, if you want to avoid crowds when you head out to grab your weekly groceries, you’ll need to head to the store at 8 a.m.

On the flip side, you’ll want to avoid going at the busiest times which fall between 1-3 p.m. on Saturdays.

Google didn’t just look at grocery stores, though. The company also found that pharmacies are the least busy right around the same time as grocery stores: Mondays at 9 a.m. For those who want a cup of coffee, it’s best to grab one on Tuesdays at 4 p.m.

An inforgraphic shows the most and least busy times at grocery stores.
Google

Google also looked at other trends, including people’s behavior as the pandemic continued. It discovered takeout searches spiked by 300% (let’s be honest, we’re getting tired of cooking at home). Searches for home and garden stores also spiked with people likely working to spruce up their homes.

If you want to see all the trends and times Google discovered, you can check out the results over at the study’s page. If you’d rather see when a specific store is busiest, you can always check on Google Maps.

Shea Simmons Shea Simmons
Shea Simmons is an Atlanta-based writer who has written about everything from whether Crisco is a good moisturizer to how to KonMari your space. Her work has appeared in Bustle, My First Apartment, and Make It Grateful. Read Full Bio »

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