February 28, 2012

Supermarkets have always been a part of my existence. I have fond memories as a child being taken to the old First National by my grandparents, where they’d shop on Friday night and pay for a bunch of stuff with S & H green stamps. And I always thought the old A & P chain name was cool, because I knew A & P stood for Atlantic and Pacific – two oceans for a kid always fascinatred with salt water.

When I was first out on my own, it took a while to learn that supermarkets are not for shopping, but for buying. Or that you never went to market without a list. Or, the real cardinal sin, going food shopping hungry or on an empty stomach. Lots of people don’t realize that by eating just before you go to market, you’ll naturally save a lot of money.

OK, some people may accuse me of being a raging sexist for saying this, but my worst experiences at supermarkets have always been when I’ve been behind women in line, so I always try to get behind men in the check-out line. It just seems to me with women, there’s always a problem: either something isn’t marked, or they’re questioning the cost of something, or redeeming fistfuls of coupons, or – my personal pet peeve – writing a check for their groceries. More on that in a bit.

And don’t get me started about the kids – just like children don’t belong in Las Vegas, neither do they belong in a supermarket. It’s amazing how many times I see a mother shopping – not buying – with her kids, and asking them what they want her to buy them for food. Like, as if they’ve earned the right to dictate how their parents spend their money! It never ceases to amaze me. I guarantee that never happened when I was growing up.

There ought to be a law against paying for groceries with checks. And the woman (and it’s always a woman, by the way, since no self-respecting man would ever bring a check book into a supermarket) paying by check always seems to be the one with the largest handbag in line. You just know how the next ten minutes will play out: first, she has to fish through that bag to find her check book. Then, she’s looking for a pen. Then she’s asking for the amount – twice – before carefully ripping the check out of the checkbook. Then the cashier has to ask her for a form of ID (which, of course, sends her back to her handbag a third time to find her driver’s licence). Then the cashier has to stamp the back of the check, then carefully write down the lady’s driver’s license number (usually a combination of 140 letters and numbers) before finally terminating the transaction with a two-foot long receipt. With more coupons to boot.

Unlike women, guys by and large don’t go to the supermarket to shop, they go to buy. They have a list, a strategy, a firm goal in mind (usually getting out of said supermarket as soon as possible), typically don’t bring kids along, and don’t bother with detours or details. Forget something on the list when you’re already in line? It’s easier to put it at the top of your list for the next shopping -er, buying – trip. See a sale on chicken pieces? If it’s not on the list it ain’t worth stopping for. And, by and large, men are nicer at the market, and easier to strike up a conversation with. Why? Because they know you know they now and you all know what the whole experience is about.

Having lots of rabbits makes you go to the supermarket a lot more. When we had seven rabbits in the house (hard to believe, it was not that long ago) it seemed like I was going to the local Fry’s every third day for produce. Now we’re down to three rabbits and I could go a whole week without shopping – er, buying. It’s a nice luxury, not to mention a lot cheaper. But I still miss the rabbits, so it’s a trade-off.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 00:10 | Comments (4)
  1. Don’t be trashin’ using coupons…I save at least 60.00 on each major shopping ( and I mean shopping as I am looking for what is on sale)trip. At Kroger the first Wed of the month is senior discount (starts at 60yrs.) and I loaded with coupons and save a TON of money. A lot of the elderly do use checks to pay the bill..so what? If you are in a hurry, go to the mini mart or bring your book while you wait in line. And let’s pretend, you are a single dad who just picked up the kids from daycare and needed groceries…who will you leave them with? The sitter in the parking lot? There ya go Doug, start a parking lot baby sitter service so the kids can be left with her instead of being brought into the store. This venture could help pay off this debt you are battling. Let’s see, you could call the service?…..Curb your Kid Sitters.
    Aren’t you glad I am always looking out for you?

    Comment by Jana — February 28, 2012 @ 6:34 am

  2. Kids should always be left in a hot car with the windows rolled up.

    (Just kidding! 😉 )

    What is all this check-writing nonsense anyway? Haven’t people heard of debit cards? Nothing says “What is the best way to waste everyone else’s time” than writing a check. Try working Black Friday in retail with lines 10-20 people deep and watch the expressions when the person in front of them takes out their checkbook. The holiday spirit seems to leech right out of them, by God.

    And coupon counters need to get a life.

    Just sayin’ !

    Comment by Dave Richard — February 28, 2012 @ 8:30 am

  3. So there is the self check out line for all you ADD/HD people who have trouble waiting in lines and get all distracted by people doing people things. Use the self check out lines and stop huffing and puffing when I take out my coupons to save more money than you did…Just sayin’!!!!

    Comment by Jana — February 28, 2012 @ 11:04 am

  4. I have A BUNCH of coupons I am sending you.

    Comment by Jana — February 29, 2012 @ 5:43 am

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