The Top 5 Most Annoying Things About Grocery Shopping


Everyone goes to the grocery store. Unless you’re Oprah or Sting and you have people for that. The rest of us have to drag ourselves after a long day at work, or out of bed on a Saturday (Life is so hard, isn’t it?) While I appreciate grocery stores for the sense of familiarity they bring, they can also be the cause of some major annoyances. My mom, who took my sister and I to the grocery store every Saturday when we were little, probably has her fair share of pet peeves (The vast list of items I have spilled–syrup, milk, and bleach to name a few might be included in that group).

After shopping on my own for quite some time now, I have decided to compile a list of the most annoying things about grocery shopping as I see them. I am guessing everyone can relate to at least one.

1. The lines

There are never enough check-out lines open, and there are always lines that extend like snakes back into the aisles. I take my humble little basket filled with what I’ll need for the week, and stand behind a family with a cart with groceries piled higher than Mount Vesuvius. Meanwhile, I’m forced to stare at magazine covers plastered with Kim Kardashian in a bathing suit, read about which celebrities and who they are having an affair with, or contemplating a tic-tac purchase (I will just eat them all at once, anyway).

2. The people

There could be a sub-category of annoyance with the title “People”, but for now I will just mention a few of the problems I have here. First, I feel like a I am driving a car through a maze of orange cones at a construction site, careful not to hit any. I have to get to the other side of the aisle to make my pasta selection, but there’s a woman staring straight ahead at bread, oblivious to me being there. If only carts came with horns so I could be sure that people moved out of my way quicker.

Then there are the people checking out. Why am I always stuck behind the arrogant person that thinks it’s OK to change their mind about wanting something, leaving the line and running back into the store to find it while everyone else stands in line and waits. It’d be like I parked my car at a red light on Western Avenue, got out of the car and decided I wanted to take a break from driving. Everyone waiting behind me? Too bad. If I’m not stuck behind that person, it’s the chatty-Kathy who feels the need to discuss her laundry choices with the clerk in great detail as I impatiently place my items on the conveyor belt, eager to get home. Do us all a favor and write it in your diary so we can save time.

3. Self check-out

If there is something almost as annoying as people, it’s machines. I hate self check-out. There’s always a problem,and the last thing I want to do at the grocery store is something that requires more brain-power than necessary. It’d be like going to McDonald’s, jumping behind the counter and taking my own order. It just doesn’t feel right! Besides, you always need to attendant to come over anyway to I.D. you when you’re purchasing liquor…ahem…or…so I’ve heard.

4. The hunger affect

I should know better than to shop when I am hungry, so this one is probably my fault. I decide to try things. I convince myself that almond milk or greek yogurt would be a good idea. Or the $4 fruit juice with all the antioxidants. Easily persuaded to begin with, adding my own hunger on top of that is a dangerous combination. I should probably practice the same rule one would when going to a casino: Bring a set amount of cash, and leave the credit card at home to avoid over-spending. That, and have a snack before I go.

5. The walk home

The lazy in me has one final complaint, and that’s the walk. Somehow the stretch of street between my place and the store seems a lot longer than it did on the way over. The bag straps hurt my fingers. The milk is cold and awkward to carry. I have to set the bags down, unlock the door, move the bags in. Set the bags down, unlock the second door, then moved the bags in. Press the elevator button with my extended nose and set my bags down one more time while I unlock my door. I’m going to go cry myself a river now if I still have the energy.

This concludes my list of complaints about every day life. Don’t even get me started on the bus. That’s for a future post. For now, share your personal pet-peeves/grocery store experiences below.


  1. I have a comment!!! People who choose to write a check! (believe me, there’s nothing wrong with that) Can’t you write out most of the check before the clerk tells you the total!!?? Just fill in the amount after she’s done “ringing you up”. And for the love of God….know what the date is!!!!!

  2. I’d have to say that the psychological warfare that corporations like Wal-Mart are waging against people is the most annoying thing. Now I know you may be curious as to what I’m referring to, but it’s actually quite simple. Did you ever notice how they don’t have the handheld shopping basket for you to get the few items that you need and make a clean getaway? Instead they have the colossal carts that individuals who arent consciously awake will stock to the top with things that they want versus their necessities. I just look at the big picture and read between the lines in alot of cases. I just thought I’d shed a bit of truthful light to this subject. Peace to man, woman, and child.

  3. I think you should work on a way to grow your own food and never have to set foot in a big box store again to buy processed junk. Just my opinion. I am an Organic Growth Coach. I care about your health and would love to help you figure out a way to do this.
    🙂 KMC

  4. We have a large family-owned grocery store near our home. While shopping there the following have happened to me: 1) At the check-out counter, the 30-ish guy in front of me told the cashier he left his credit card in his car and would “just go out and get it.” The cashier refused to interrupt his sale so I along with 3 other customers behind me waited for 15 minutes before Mr. Forgetful came back with his credit card. (He must have forgotten where he parked.); 2) It was an hour before closing with 2 lanes open. I chose the lane with the smallest order and the light lit indicating the lane was open. The cashier just finished up the order in front of me, turned off the light and told me she was closed. Fortunately a cashier opened another lane about 3 lanes down so that I could voice my opinion of the other cashier; 3) On three different occasions, when I’ve left my cart of carefully chosen fresh fruit and vegetables (along with undented cans and unbroken boxes) at the end of an aisle because the aisle is too crowded, my cart has disappeared. One time, a store employee had taken my “abandoned” cart and put everything back on the shelves (I wasn’t gone 5 minutes). Another time, I walked from one side of the store to the other and found my cart abandoned on the other side of the store. And yet another time I’ll never know who bought my “perfect mango.” Did I mention the store is frequented by senior citizens? Mostly they just block the aisles and ponder which side of the aisle they’d like to peruse.

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