For most people, weekly trips to the grocery store are just another a chore. But if you have arthritis, shopping can be a pain – literally. To make it a little easier, try the following grocery shopping tips.
Get comfortable. A shopping tip that will help from the ground up: Be sure to wear cushioned, slip-proof shoes.
Bring your gloves. For people with Raynaud's syndrome or hands that don't do well in the cold, slip on a pair of gloves when in the freezer and refrigerated sections.
Ask for help. See if a family member, friend or neighbor might go shopping with you to retrieve those hard-to-reach items. A shopping tip If you have to go alone: Don’t be shy about asking clerks – or even preschoolers shopping with their moms – for help. (But first, ask Mom, of course). Kids love to get on their hands and knees and to feel helpful, and you’re spared having to squat for a can of soup.
Extend your reach. A reacher purchased from a medical supply store can help you get those up-high items when human help is not close by. When you get home, use it to place items on higher shelves. (But when possible, store frequently used items close to waist level.)
Stick with a list. If possible, shop in a familiar store and visualize the store’s layout when preparing your grocery list. List items in order beginning where you will begin your shopping. That way, you’ll waste less energy retracing steps while shopping.
Accept support. Use the grocery cart to steady yourself as you walk or use a motorized shopping cart if you need to. Most stores have them available for customers, but call first to make sure.
Let someone else do it. For a small fee, many local grocers and some larger chains provide grocery deliver service with same-day or next-day delivery – you provide the list. Of if a neighbor or friend is going to the store, ask if they wouldn’t mind picking up a few items for you.
Take breaks. Once you are back at home, put perishables away first and then rest before you tackle the remaining items.
Paper or plastic? Choose paper. Although plastic bags seem like a great idea, they can be hard on arthritic hands. Holding a larger paper bag close to your body may actually be easier. Also, ask the person bagging your groceries not to overload the bags and make them too heavy for your to carry.
Carry-out service. Many grocery stores offer carry-out service – for free. Take advantage of this assistance. Grocery store personnel will push the cart to your car, place your groceries in your car and return the buggy and/or motorized scooter to the store.