A few tips for grocery shopping
Grocery shopping or just shopping in general is well down on my list of enjoyable things to do. A major shopping excursion is done usually every other week with one or two supplemental trips made in between for such items as bread, milk or other perishable items that will be gone well before the next scheduled shopping trip.
When we go grocery shopping, my job, it seems, is to be the one to carry the bags out of the store. I have no say in the choice of meat cuts, the selection of produce, the brand of laundry detergent or the preferred type of bathroom tissue. I’m just the grunt who occasionally pushes the cart and loads the bags into the car.
I find the shopping experience extremely painful on those days when we’re going to fill the entire cart to get us through the next couple of weeks. I can think of several other things I’d rather be doing. And then when we get home, there’s the chore of taking everything from the bags and putting it all away.
Sometimes, though, the supplemental shopping trips are solely my responsibility. I’ll receive a text message requesting a half-dozen items I’m to pick up at the store on my way home from work. Upon returning home from these trips, I’m often reprimanded for my selections because I’m more of a bargain shopper than a brand shopper.
“This isn’t the same as the name brand,” I’ll be told. “It doesn’t taste the same.”
A can of store brand diced tomatoes is the same as the name brand, as far as I’m concerned, and if I can save a buck I’ll consider it a job well done. Common sense equals savings in my book.
What riles me most, though, when I’m shopping is the laziness of some customers. We’ll go down the baking supplies aisle and find a package of T-bone steaks sitting there, or maybe we’ll find a loaf of bread wedged into a shelf of canned vegetables. And then there is the store brand can of coffee placed among the name brand cans on an aisle’s end display when the customer realizes the name brand is cheaper and can’t be bothered to put the store brand can back where it belongs.
But topping my list of shopping pet peeves is finding the empty Tim Hortons cup on the shelf with cereal or cookies or whatever. Sometimes the cup is half full as if it was the customer’s plan to purposely leave it there to share with a thirsty shopper. The old “let’s stash the Tim Hortons cup on the shelf” routine isn’t confined solely to grocery stores. I’ve found numerous examples of this occurring in Canadian Tire stores, Walmart stores, convenience stores … you name it. If there isn’t a garbage can within 10 feet of the spot the coffee drinker swallowed his last wanted drop, he’ll simply discard it on the nearest shelf.
Maybe it’s time for stores to implement a policy that outlaws bringing outside beverages into their establishments.
Another good idea is for stores – especially grocery stores – to set up a TV set tuned into a sports channel available for tired and bored husbands to crowd around while their wives dawdle and deliberate for several minutes to decide what brand of cooking oil they want to buy. It’s also the ideal solution for us to constructively pass the time when our other half bumps into that old friend she hasn’t seen in years and feels compelled to catch up on what’s transpired since they last crossed paths.
Thank goodness shopping isn’t a daily ritual.