This study could help make your next trip to the grocery store safer.

By Tim Nelson
November 19, 2020
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Kathrin Ziegler via Getty Images
| Credit: Kathrin Ziegler via Getty Images

Unfortunately, there are a lot of signs suggesting that November, December, and beyond could end up feeling eerily similar to March and April of 2020. That makes for an added sense of anxiety accompanying essential activities like grocery shopping, as venturing out of the house once again becomes an expedition.  

The good news this time around is that we've at least been through it before, and can apply what we've learned to make what's sure to be (another) stressful time at least a little bit easier. And thanks to some information that Google has recently shared, there's now data to help make your next grocery trip a little bit easier. 

In their recently published analysis of trends from Google Maps, the tech giant noted the busiest and least busiest times to visit certain establishments between March and October of 2020 in order to draw some conclusions that could help you avoid crowds. As it turns out, grocery shops get the greatest amount of foot traffic on Saturdays between noon and 3 p.m., perhaps because people want to plan their weekend around cooking since what else is there to do. 

If you want to shop with less fear that someone might get within six feet of you, start your week by grocery shopping. 8 a.m. on Mondays is when supermarkets are emptiest, according to the data. It's not an exact science, but it helps. 

The data yields similar results for pharmacies: they're least crowded at 9 a.m. on Monday and busiest at 3 p.m. on Friday. For coffee shops, however, the hours are somewhat flipped. If you can wait until 4 p.m. on a Tuesday to get your caffeine fix, you'll encounter fewer people. Of course, Saturdays at 10 a.m. are the worst time for that. 

Will all of this change as further shutdowns and quarantining once again throw things into disarray? Is shopping on Thanksgiving going to probably be hectic no matter when you try to do it? It's entirely possible. At the very least, Google's info reiterates that a little foresight and planning are your best assets when it comes to getting through the months ahead with your health and sanity intact. 

This story originally appeared on allrecipes.com