Wanna speed through the supermarket?
Follow these free and easy tips!
Follow these free and easy tips!
I've never been the sort of person who likes to go shopping, whether it's shopping for clothes, home furnishings, or electronic power tools, were I ever to actually shop for electronic power tools. But there's one kind of shopping that I actually sort of like.
That one kind of shopping? Food shopping, of course.
Why? Because I like to eat! And you can't eat a necktie, sleeper sofa, or band saw, were I ever to actually shop for electronic power tools and purchase a band saw.
I have even scoped out some of the secrets of successful food shopping over the years which I'm pleased to share with you now:
1) The Cardinal Rule: Never go food shopping when you're hungry unless you want to come home with enough fruits and vegetables to feed the Philadelphia Zoo for a week and/or a package of Mallomars in the economical and convenient Entire Neighborhood Size.
2) To avoid this, I generally purchase a bagel before I begin shopping and eat it while I am going through the store. Frequently store personnel think I have stolen the bagel, and I am often savagely beaten behind the meat counter by a bunch of guys wearing name tags which say "Hi! My name is Chuck." Aside from the occasional broken rib, however, I do save a buck or two on eats.
3) Selecting the proper shopping cart can be high art. Make sure you don't choose one with rickety or wobbly wheels or by the time you reach the checkout counter you'll be vibrating like the tiny membranes posited to exist in string theory. Also don't pick a shopping cart with the kiddie car in front unless you actually plan on riding in it.
4) When in doubt about anything, ask a friendly member of the supermarket staff. They can always be found almost anywhere ... that's funny, I saw one of them a second ago. I'll bet someone's in nearby aisle 4 ... no, not here. I'll try Aisle 14.
5) A word on milk: I remember the days when there was only one kind of milk - fresh whole milk. Now there is whole milk, 2% milk, 1% milk, skim milk, lactose-free milk, milk mustache-free milk, and milk with tiny colored pieces of construction paper. Which should you buy? The only one that has ever been important - chocolate milk!
6) Many products are labeled "Better if used before January 13." Were you to eat Cheerios on January 14, you would say to yourself " y'know, this isn't bad ... but yesterday it was better."
7) Some products are labeled "Must Sell by January 13!" Were you to eat a sirloin steak on January 14, you would say to yourself "y'know, this isn't bad ... but yesterday I was alive."
8) A word on bananas: unless your house is immediately adjacent to Customer Service, a banana will fully ripen, become spotted and squishy, and be primed for the garbage disposal just as you arrive home. Only buy bananas that are so incredibly green that if you were shopping with Superman, they would kill him.
9) This is odd. I saw two or three store employees right here in Aisle 14 a minute ago. Where could they be? Okay, lemme try frozen foods....
10) Buying the store brand can save you money and often the quality is just as good as that of the name brand. You're paying for packaging and advertising when you buy the name brand and in some rare instances, the guarantee that nobody has spit in it.
11) Supermarkets have a tendency to put more popular products at eye level and less popular products on upper shelves. They don't expect many people to want to purchase the products on the higher shelves anyway. The other day I was looking to purchase a heart-lung machine, and just my luck, nobody tall was around!
12) Beware of cross-selling strategies. Take a stroll down the Mexican food aisle, and just beyond you find Nexium, Tums, and enough heartburn meds to turn your esophagus into a quivering street junkie. What do we find at the end of the ice cream aisle? Diet aides. End of the Kosher food aisle? Greeting cards worded "Sorry I haven't written," "Sorry I missed your son's Bar Mitzvah," and "Sorry I swindled you out of our mutual business." Yep. Selling Guilt.
13) Then there's the ages old controversy: Should you feel free to look through Us Magazine and the National Enquirer while waiting in the check out line without ultimately purchasing them? I dunno, but why on earth are you looking through Us Magazine and the National Enquire? You know what? I hope the cashier does yell at you!
Never around when you need one.*