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13 Things Your Grocery Store Doesn’t Tell You – Our Take

13 Things Your Grocery Store doesn't tell you. But... should they? We add our thoughts and comments...
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We added some of our own. And, we bet you have yours as well. Check out our at the bottom – they’re quite interesting, even horrifying and fascinating! :O

Thanks to MSNBC and Reader’s Digest (links open new window in your browser)

1. If you hate crowds and lines, shop at dinnertime (5 to 9 p.m.) or even later. Only 4 percent of shoppers hit the aisles between 9 p.m. and 8 a.m. Least-crowded day of the week? Wednesday.

When we go out for late night snacks (8 – 9ish PM), the stores are empty, we usually find everything we need, and the service is instantaneous!

We get to soothe our munchies, and if it’s a bit before 8 PM, we get to have a nice little decaf at the Starbucks kiosk at our local Von’s.

By the way – our Von’s has spiffied up its interior with lovely halogen lights, country wood floors, warm glowy colors, a lovely temperature, nicely arranged shelves, leather like chairs and couches with coffee table by the coffee kiosk, and super friendly staff.

They usually take the time to say “Hi!” I know it’s hard for them to do that – lots of effort. In fact, next time, I will mention to them how happy it makes us and how we appreciate their efforts!

By the way – we stopped at our Albertsons which is a bit garish, glarish and dismally cold. BUT – they have Do-It-Yourself Checkout stalls which is awesomely cool – and fun!

We’ve heard that Albertsons is cutting way back on its stores. Sad… Also, the staff at Albertsons is usually stern and unsmiling. Not good, Albertsons!

Oh my goodness, let’s go to number 2 on the list!

2. Go ahead and reach way back for the fresh milk. Everybody does.

I LOVE this one! I always reach back as if there’s really a difference! Of course there isn’t a difference – usually all from the same batch! However, if you care to date check because you store your milk longer than most, then date check away!

Once I think our local Trader Joes put the old stuff in the back – maybe because people would reach back there? Haha!  Good one, Trader Joes! : )

3. Coupons with a bar code are easy to scan. The other ones take an eternity. But if you’re willing to wait …

This is a great reminder to use coupons. However, most of the coupons are for processed foods which are not a personal favorite.  Also, ALWAYS forget to pull out those great coupons to save a dollar.

Hint: Put your coupons in your money section of your wallet! : )

4. That star fruit has been here a lot longer than the broccoli. Familiar produce turns over more quickly than exotic things.

Note: If you like exotic fruit, buy it and enjoy – otherwise, they will stop stocking it. When the good things disappear, it’s a bit sad – we go ahead and buy stuff just to support their position in the store.

5. “The more products you see, the more you are likely to buy,” says Marion Nestle, author of “What to Eat.” “That’s why the aisles are so long and the milk is usually in the far corner.”

But think of the good side! More exercise! I remember how fun it was to run down an empty isle all the way to the back at the grocery store.  Hmmm…

6. Like employees with a good attitude? Shop at chains that are employee-owned, suggest customer-satisfaction surveys. When employees have a stake in the profits, it shows in their attitude.

Yes, co-ops are awesome if they’re near you. However, I find it very enjoyable that one store, Von’s, encourages its staff to ALWAYS be as friendly as possible. Some people may find it pretentious, annoying, or something to ignore.

Honestly – it’s actually quite nice and makes life a bit easier and more pleasant.

Once I overheard someone say how they hated to hear, “Have a nice day!”

Well, I TOTALLY DISAGREE. Whenever someone says it to me, I say, Thanks and then, I try to indeed have a nice day!

Also, I sincerely wish them back a great day, too. And, I mean it. They always seem to appreciate it.

Politeness and consideration are much underrated. Personally, I find them absolutely wonderful!

7. The “grazers” order food at the deli, eat it as they’re shopping, and get rid of the wrappers before they check out. We also call that stealing.

Yes, of course this is theft, not grazing. And of course the people who do it know they’re stealing. So, you and I will pay for their thievery. Aren’t you and I generous? :O

With stores going out of business, more stealing may lead to more closings.

Do we all really want out stores to gradually disappear? Supporting our local stores who charge good and fair prices is a good thing! (By paying for our merchandise : )

8. I’m not just selling groceries, I’m selling real estate. Look high and low — literally — for good values from smaller manufacturers who can’t afford to stock their products in the eye-level sweet spot.

Absolutely. Don’t you love to support the little guys who have to work a little harder and maybe provide an equally good, if not better product?

Thank you little guys for doing such a great job and working so hard! : )

9. We’re marketing to your kids too. That’s why we put the rainbow-colored cereals and other kiddie catnip at their eye level.

Oh yes -what a great trick. How can you say “No” easily to a kid? Very very hard…

Too bad much of the attractive kid stuff has so much sugar, fat and salt.

Once I bought baby juice to drink at Target because I thought it would be great quality and healthy.

hahaha! The sugar level was so high that it was undrinkable. That was actually a scary moment – imagining babies drinking that sugar water.

It was so sweet that a hummingbird would have a diabetic fit! Possibly!

10. Be wary of “specials.” When people see signs with numbers — “8 for $10!” “Limit: 5 per customer” — they buy 30 to 100 percent more than they otherwise might have.

If you calculate your savings in your head, you might discover as I did that the smaller or single units were just as cheap if not cheaper!

Now that was a neat trick on their part to make more money from us! I now am an addition and multiplication expert when I shop.

11. The baby formula is locked up because thieves resell it on the black market. Ditto for the cough and cold medications, smoking-cessation products, razor blades, and batteries.

Now this is news to me… fascinating that people sell baby formula on the black market. Why is that? If anyone knows, let us know…. we’re a bit dense on this one.

One would hope that all babies have access to baby formula if they need it. Doesn’t WIC help with that?

12. Driving your Ferrari to the Piggly Wiggly and want to avoid shopping-cart dents? Park far, far away.

Yes… once I saw a Maserati in a front parking space. Whoa I thought… they must have an auto detailer on call.

If I had a Maserati, I’d have a rubber strip around its circumference. : )

Oh, and I’d have a real cute boyfriend, too. : D

13. You’ll end up tossing 12 percent of what you buy.

This is very sad and very true. This is why: “Don’t shop when you are hungry!!!”

You will buy things you don’t need, don’t really want, and can’t afford!


1. That they are often making very little money. The only way they can survive is to have many stores, or, to sell products from giant manufactures and charge for premium shelf space.

2. That meat is sometimes soaked in baking soda to “refresh.” If your meat has a baking soda kind of flavor, exchange it for good fresh stuff!

3. That your butcher would faint if he ate raw or low cooked meat, poultry, seafood. He or she has seen things you and I don’t want to know about. That’s what a nice butcher  relayed to me.

In fact, he was horrified at the prospect of eating raw fish.  However, to be fair, sushi grade fish is specially processed and frozen to insure safety.

4. That the oil in the fry vats is days old and could be rancid and/or simply screened and filtered and reused. The cooked foods that sit under hot lights could be very unhealthful if they are not absolutely fresh. Rancidity is definitely a very negative thing, healthwise if not taste wise.

Old oil is bad, bad, bad.

5. Fry fat oil is highly processed, even chemicalized. Even if it is “vegetable oil,” doesn’t mean it’s good for you.

6.  Grocery stores have to throw away tons of produce. It’s very sad, considering how many people could use those slightly blemished or a tad bit old food.

Unfortunately, they just have to be extremely cautious. Also, the public is very finicky about food that is less than “perfect” looking.

7.  Theft is a huge problem. They feel between a rock and a hard place. What to do? Arrest everyone? They don’t know what to do… other than endure this “overage.”

8.  They have to survive by selling high margin items. If you and I don’t buy them, stores would not be able to survive.

Have a great day! : )

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