Frugal Living

Are you a Grocery Store Snob?

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grocery store snob

A grocery store snob, does that really exist? You bet it does.

There was a time in my life when I would shop at the closest shop to my house because I didn’t want to drive too far. Why? Well, most shops were out of my village and in the city. I would make one trip into town each month and go to all the shops that I needed to in order to save money.

I’m far from a grocery store snob. I’m more of a frugal hunter.

When I moved to Ontario, Canada I noticed that almost every city has the same shops as the next. Except for those that live in the outskirts or the tiny towns in Ontario we are able to choose grocery stores in close proximity or a short drive.

Do you notice different sorts of clientèle when you shop at different stores? Do they seem snobby to you when you shop at higher-end shops? I don’t mean whether they are rich or not because anyone can be the Dog’s Dinner (dressed nicely) with a suit/tie, dress and high heels and look flashy.

You could never distinguish the rich from the poor, just look at all the people who live in huge homes and have all the toys but hardly can pay the bills. I like to call them the “wannabe’s“. You know your friends, family or neighbours who pretend they are rich or well-off but they are not. Ok, so not everyone is like that but you catch my drift.

I agree that not all the lower-end shops or “Box Stores” (stores that have products that are open boxed in original packaging or on pallets) are as posh as their up-scale sister-stores but they do carry what we need and good enough for our grocery budget.


Introducing the Grocery Store Snob


Mrs.CBB mentioned to me the other day about a conversation she had with a fluffy co-worker at the office. When I say fluffy I mean the co-worker who shows off and thinks that everyone is beneath her (but her superiors) and should be left to collect dust or talked down to.

The conversation went something like this….

Mrs. CBB- Almost time to head out but I have to go to No Frills before I head home to pick something up for dinner and use some coupons that need using up. (Mrs. CBB knew exactly what she was getting into but loves to push the envelope and break snooty people)

Snooty Co-Worker– Same here but I’ll be going to (high-end shop) as I wouldn’t dare be seen in No Frills, that’s where all the low-income people shop. (I know, how rude) What if one of our colleagues see you shopping in there. How will that make you look Mrs.CBB? Come on you and Mr.CBB don’t need to be shopping in there and if you don’t have lots of money at least hide the fact that you don’t.

Enter Grocery Store Snob World….

Mrs. CBB– (Here’s where Mrs.CBB unleashes her inner tigress self ) You don’t have to be a low-income earner to shop at No Frills. Cut out the Frills and pay the bills is more than just about money.

As a matter of fact we shop at all sorts of grocery stores and for different reasons. Who are you to tell me where I should and shouldn’t be grocery shopping? Do you often treat people like that?

We have a grocery budget and we stick to it and there’s nothing wrong with that. It doesn’t matter how much money you earn as this shouldn’t dictate where you can and cannot shop. We want to pay off our mortgage and save for retirement. If you want to go and blow your money by shopping exclusively at high-end shops, you do just that.

Snooty Co-Worker- We don’t have a grocery budget, we don’t need to have a budget as we earn more than enough money to buy whatever we want. Well at least I think we do, but I don’t take care of the finances Mr.Snooty does. I just buy what we need and have no worries. Oh well, just forget it. All I know is I want to protect my prominence in this company. I wasn’t trying to be rude just being real. (ya right, keep talking out your arse)

Mrs. CBB walks away with a smile on her face saying she has to go then turns around and says,”oh and if our so-called colleagues see me at No Frills I guess that means they are low-income as well, right? Have a good night.

She came home to tell me this story and I was gobsmacked at how self-centred some people can be. I think she handled the situation well by letting her know that she doesn’t want to be talked to in that manner and what she says is discriminatory towards her and other people. She didn’t get angry at all, she simply smiled.

The situation reminded me of a time when someone told me they wouldn’t be caught dead in a second-hand shop buying clothes. Then you have the type that says, Oh I’m not having a garage sale, people will think we need the money, I’ll donate it all. You can donate it to (insert home address here). Seriously?


You are NOT what you wear


Or the time I went to buy an expensive stainless steel cooker in the UK and the shop keeper treated me like I was a second class citizen simply because I was wearing ripped jeans and a worn out t-shirt.(I was renovating my house so I wasn’t so presentable.)

He guided me rudely saying these are far out of reach for you, how about these. I said NO, and dropped a wad of cash on the desk and said I want me a Gas Stainless steel 8 burner stove please and if you won’t serve me I will go somewhere else.

Sounds a bit like “Pretty Woman” to me. Do you remember that part of the movie? I’m sure you shook your head in disgust by the discrimination but it happens all over this world.

People tend to treat people differently simply by the way the look or dress, career choice, what they drive, where they live, who their friends are or where they hang out and shop. It’s not right and we have to change our mind-set so the children of today learn that discrimination and bullying won’t be tolerated whether it is at home, school or in the workplace.

It’s true though that some people will shop at the higher end stores so they feel prestigious as if they are proving a point to those around them. We go in to a higher end shop to pick up the excellent flyer deals and higher-end produce that is on sale but not to do full shops. Keep in mind that someone has to keep the shops in business so thanks to all the big spenders out there.

If I see an item for $4.99 and know I can buy the same item at Food Basics for $2.99 you can bet I’ll save the $2.00. It’s so important to know your prices when you grocery shop or at least Price Match but even that is too embarrassing for some let alone using coupons. Some men believe it’s not macho for a man to use coupons. Some men, like me could care less what anyone thinks.

Did you know that Metro owns Food Basics? Did you know that No Frills operates under the Loblaws banner which also has many other stores under their umbrella like and not limited to….

  • Real Canadian Superstore (a major competitor for Wal-mart)
  • Fortinos
  • Zehrs
  • Provigo
  • Your Independent Grocer
  • Valu-Mart
  • No Frills
  • Maxi
  • Dominion

No Frills simply carries the No-Name brands but almost all name brand items. I’d be shocked to find out that pre-packaged products or most of them are not all loaded on transport trucks coming out of a main warehouse being shipped to the different Loblaws  stores.


What you won’t find at a low-end shopping box store


You won’t find the In-house Bakery, Flower Shop, Fresh Fish Mongers, Fresh Hot Foods ready to go, Sushi Bar, Hot Pizza, and The Deli. That is where part of our money will go to servicing all these fresh conveniences.

Overall it is the ambience, the experience that drives the consumer to these shops and heck it works on us because we still visit them and enjoy the experience. Do we really need all of these shopping conveniences to have a good shopping experience? For some yes, for others no and for the odd bunch it’s protocol for prestige.

The reality is not everyone wants to save money for one reason or another but some people truly do have a grocery budget they stick to. For others as we read earlier they would rather save face because that is after all what will get you up the corporate ladder right?

If you are that much of a tosser to believe that rubbish then you win the “Snooty Award” for being a Grocery Store Snob.

Discussion Question: Do you know someone who is a grocery store snob and will only shop at a particular place for fear they may be seen as low-income or not well-off by colleagues, friends or family?

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