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Top Ten Things Not to Do While Grocery Shopping

Here is the 30th installment of Ten Top Lists of What Not to Do by Marie Ann Bailey of 1WriteWay at and John W. Howell of Fiction Favorites at These lists are simu-published on our blogs each Monday. We hope you enjoy.

10. When grocery shopping, do not go to the store on an empty stomach. At best, you will quiet your grumbling stomach with a candy bar or two while waiting in the check-out line. At worst, you will wind up devouring the entire rotisserie chicken that was to be your family’s dinner, guzzling a 64-oz bottle of Coke, and tearing into your kid’s favorite cereal, all before you reach the checkout.

9. When grocery shopping, do not assume that the shortest check-out line is indeed the quickest check-out line. At best, the person ahead of you with five items will want to use a personal check to pay and you’ll only have to wait an additional ten minutes while the cashier and store manager figure out a way to finally approve the check. At worst, the person ahead of you with only nine items will question the cashier on each and every item (naturally, all the items were supposed to be on sale including the ten gallon water jug which looks like it came from the employee break area), then proceed to call the store manager to further argue an unwinnable position, and now that you are stuck every line around you is so long the few minutes you thought you saved have turned into thirty minutes wasted.

8. When grocery shopping, do not assume that all the sale items, especially the 2-for-1 deals, have been entered into the registers. At best, the cashier will take a few minutes to correct the error if you see you were charged for each item instead of 2-for-1. At worst, you’ll be like the guy in #9, having to argue each item on sale and drawing the ire and ill-will of every other shopper behind you.

7. When grocery shopping, do not assume that your regular grocery store will always and forever maintain the floor layout to which you’ve grown accustomed. At best, your store might make only subtle changes like moving the eggs from beside the butter to beside the yogurt, but on the same aisle. At worst, one day you will walk in and become quickly convinced that you’re in the wrong store. You will spend hours trying to find the raisins which used to be on Aisle 3 among other dried fruits but are now on Aisle 36 next to the juice with the logic that fruit is fruit.

6. When grocery shopping, do not forget to wear ear plugs. If you do forget your ear plugs, at best, you will simply slow your pace and linger longer than planned due to the hypnotic effect of the “music.” At worst, the subliminal messages of “buy more, buy more, buy more” will enter your brain and you will wind up buying twice as much food as you originally intended, leaving your wallet half as full.

5. When grocery shopping, do not think that by leaving your credit cards and checkbook at home, you can avoid spending over your budget at the store. At best, the subliminal messages from #6 will cause you some mild embarrassment as you decide to forfeit the bottle of Merlot, Death-by-Chocolate cake, and fancy new plastic wine glasses (all items NOT on your shopping list) because you don’t have enough cash. At worst, either to avoid embarrassment or because you are still prey to the messages of “buy more,” you will leave your items at the register, dash to the ATM, withdraw as much as you can, and then promptly ask for a case of the Merlot (which you may need later when you realize how much you have spent).

4. When grocery shopping, do not think that the fresh fruit being offered as 2-for-1 is necessarily a great deal. At best, the fruit will be fine and edible until the next morning when you realize you will have to eat all of it since it is quickly going bad. At worst, after you come home and put all the food away, you decide to have some strawberries and cream. Then you discover that the 2-for-1 fresh fruit has one layer of fresh fruit atop moldy, squishy fruit which moves on its own, and causes you to lose your appetite and throw it all out.

3. When grocery shopping, do not think that the baggers are always well trained. At best, you will have a bagger who knows enough to put the eggs on the top of other items in a bag. At worst, you will get a bagger who either wasn’t trained or doesn’t care, but you won’t know until you get home and find that a large bottle of laundry detergent was packed on top of your package of sushi rolls, which now resemble sushi pancakes.

2. When grocery shopping, do not think that slowly walking down the middle of an aisle with your head down while talking on your cell phone will not annoy anyone. At best, shoppers trying to get around you may just gently prod your shopping cart and alert you to the need to get out of the way. At worst, you may find yourself pinned between your shopping cart and the cart of the person or persons who finally lost their temper with you and are now sending you, shopping carts and all, into the egg section.

1. When grocery shopping, do not think that being polite to shoppers on cell phones and oblivious to their surroundings will help you keep your temper. At best, you will quickly realize that navigating around these people is futile and that you should just park your shopping cart and step around the offending shopper to get the items you need. At worst, you will lose your temper, causing you to literally crash into the offending shopper with your cart, and the momentum will be enough to send you both into the egg section. As with automobile rear-end accidents, you will be the assumed guilty party and the store will likely make you pay for the broken eggs as well as clean them up.

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Marie A Bailey

Writer, blogger, knitter, cat lover, and introvert.

10 replies

  1. This is great, Marie! I always pick the wrong line and you’re right, the shortest isn’t always the best. I read something recently about grocery stores playing slow and quiet music to make the shopper browse at a slower pace. Despite the music, I’m in and out as fast as I can…I hate grocery shopping.


  2. Good Morning Marie. Number seven always hits us old folks below the belt. Just when you remember peanuts are in the salty snack aisle they get moved to motor oil. Nice job.


    1. I actually prefer to do my own bagging, when I can (which is 99% of the time at my local co-op). At least then I know that the eggs aren’t put in the same bag as the wine bottles 😉


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