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Adventures In Grocery Shopping

May 31, 2011 · 112 comments

in Home & Garden

I went to the grocery store this weekend, and for some reason, I was extra observant of the other shoppers. Sometimes it is fun just to see what other people buy, although I do not stare or dig through anyone else’s cart.

So, on Memorial Day, I grabbed my shopping cart, and wiped it down with a nice Purell sheet provided by Meijer. As I was walking, I realized that my cart was squeaking and somehow uneven.  I decided to put up with it as I was too lazy to go back and get a new one.

I got to the back of the store, and I left my cart near the restroom as I ran down a crowded aisle real quick to grab something.  By the time I returned, another patron had stolen my cart and was walking away with it. I didn’t really care because that cart was obnoxious, but I chuckled at the opportunist who was now stuck with my squeaky, uneven, germ-free cart.

I ran to get a new cart, and by the time I returned, I saw my old cart sitting there, abandoned, and just shoved in the middle of the aisle.  (I know it was abandoned because it was still sitting there 15 minutes later when I had to go back down that aisle to get pickle reslish.)  The cart thief even left his items in the cart and must have just bolted.  How rude!

Anyway, while shopping, I kept coming across what appeared to be a father and son who were grocery shopping. They looked incredibly puzzled the entire time, and they were taking forever.  I am guessing we shopped about the same amount of time, and in the end, all they had was ice cream, ice cream cones, a can of chili, and some sort of frozen chicken nuggets.  Obviously, dad was in charge of dinner that night… 🙂

While walking past the wine aisle, I saw what may have been a match made in heaven.  It was an elderly gentleman chatting with an elderly woman, both in their little scooters.  They seemed to be having such a nice time catching up, and it was obvious they did not arrive together because they were parked in different directions.  Maybe they are kicking back in their scooters right now drinking from a box of wine…

One thing I noticed throughout my entire shopping trip was the large number of people with grocery lists and coupons, both clipped and printed from the internet.  I don’t know if the Extreme Couponing show has anything to do with the couponing trend or if it is because people are just trying to stretch their dollars further.  Regardless, I was just happy to see so many shoppers trying to save some money on their grocery bill.

After shopping and paying for my groceriess, I realized I would not qualify to be an ‘Extreme Couponer’.  My total bill was $80, and I had saved $45 from both sales and coupons.  I would be considered a coupon embarrassment by ‘Extreme Couponing’ standards.  I would love to see someone save 98 percent on their bill though, but I would not want to be in line behind them.

Do you have any grocery shopping stories to share?  Do you notice a difference between men and women shoppers?

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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

101 Centavos May 31, 2011 at 6:36 am

I might not qualify as one of those puzzled-Dad characters. One thing that sometimes catches my eye are extra-wide shoppers and the contents of their carts. Not to too be judgmental about it, but I’m a bit saddened when I see the cart piled high with chips and soda and cookies.


Kris May 31, 2011 at 3:05 pm

101- you definitely would not be one of those puzzled dad characters since you are a master chef.

I totally get angry when I see a bunch of garbage in a grocery cart. Especially when fresh fruits and vegetables are readily available.

Don’t forget, you usually see beer in those carts too…


Nicole May 31, 2011 at 8:00 am

No, I don’t notice any gender differences, mainly because my husband does the majority of the grocery shopping. (As did my father.)


Kris May 31, 2011 at 3:04 pm

My mom and dad both went grocery shopping. Actually, it was a family event and all 5 of us usually shopped.


First Gen American May 31, 2011 at 9:10 am

I can’t help but look at what people in the checkout lane are buying before and after me. It’s amazing how different my buy is from theirs. People probably wonder how our little family of 4 can go through so much yogurt in a week, but somehow we manage to. Some days when I’m at walmart and all i have is snack food and diapers, I feel a little embarrassed. I don’t know what we did before goldfish crackers. I actually remember my fussy kid at charity thing and my sister in law giving me a handful of goldfish to keep my kid entertained. it was like magic.

Like 101, I also notice a correlation of obese people and junk food and super fit looking people and health food in their carts, but me thinks that the average joe/jane has a fair amount of crap in their carts too, we just don’t jump to judge them as harshly.


Kris May 31, 2011 at 3:03 pm

I always marvel at the shoppers that have so many vegetables in their, especially veggies that I have no idea how to cook or what I would do with them.

I am one of those stocker-uppers, so I am sure some people were wondering yesterday why I needed so much Chex Mix.


Husband of Everyday Tips May 31, 2011 at 9:33 am

I think I’m best at guerrilla shopping – go in, get a few specific items, and get out! Kris is much better at the thoughtful, planned grocery shopping trip.


Kris May 31, 2011 at 3:01 pm

That is because I am so thoughtful… 🙂


MoneyCone May 31, 2011 at 10:13 am

I love random people stories! Karma catching up with the cart thief was awesome!

I too notice a number of people coming armed with coupons – the lines at the checkout are getting longer!


Kris May 31, 2011 at 3:01 pm

I hope everyone starts using coupons. They, maybe more coupons will be printed and everyone can save even more money!


No Debt MBA May 31, 2011 at 10:26 am

I find the combinations of what people buy to be fascinating. I also notice that my SO and I are usually the only couple shopping together. I can understand why people don’t (you only need one person to get the shopping done) but we like to go together and it’s interesting that so few other couples choose to do so. Of course now that I’m thinking about it I couldn’t say WHY we like to shop together.


Kris May 31, 2011 at 3:00 pm

Sometimes it is nice to shop with your spouse/SO because you can make sure that both sides are covered and nobody has to run back out shopping again.

We used to shop together more pre-kids. Now, life is so busy that I usually shop while my husband takes care of the yard or whatever.


Niki May 31, 2011 at 11:39 am

I was noticing the woman in front of me at the checkout the other day. She was very thin, but had all soda and box meals and snacks. She had no produce, but maybe it was just her soda and snack run. I guess it probably is a bit invasive to look at people’s cart, but I do like to see what people are eating. Like at a restaurant, when the server walks by with food.


Kris May 31, 2011 at 2:59 pm

Niki, it is hard not to look at other people’s carts, especially when you are standing in line doing nothing.

I sometimes see the thin people buying a bunch of junk too. I just figure they are really lucky to have a great metabolism, or that they are shopping for a party.


retirebyforty May 31, 2011 at 5:41 pm

I got Philo Dough instead of puff pastry because I thought they were the same thing. 🙂


Kris June 2, 2011 at 10:02 pm

RB40, I can understand that mistake. I imagine you had to run back to the store though?


Kaycee May 31, 2011 at 9:49 pm

I am guessing dad was in charge of dinner because it was his weekend to have custody.


Kris June 2, 2011 at 10:02 pm

Oh how I love this comment!


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