A few tips for gro­cery shop­ping

The Delhi News-Record - - OPINION - MIKE JIGGENS

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.

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