Frugal Living

Are you a Grocery Store Snob?

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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  1. I’ve known several in my life time. Lucky I don’t care what people think of whete I shop.We work hard to get our money & if I can make it go farther it’s like getting a raise. 🙂 Every percentage I can save is a bonus check to us.

  2. I only *refuse* to shop at stores that I have had bad experiences with (Aldi and another local low-end store.)

    When I lived closer to a Whole Foods, we shopped there often. Certain things from their store brand (generic canned goods) and their bulk section were less expensive than any other store in the area.

  3. Honestly? Who says that?! I shop at No Frills and anywhere else that has good sales, I don’t care who sees me, it has actually never entered my head. If money was’t an issue, I would however shop more frequently at a local private grocer with amazing imported European goods (its great, you’d love it!) but it’s pricey so we only go once and a while for treats (love me some good European baked goods!).

  4. Who says that?! Especially to someone (your wife) who just admitted to shopping there?! Honestly! We shop for sales, including No Frills! SO no, not a snob at all, however if we had a little more money I might shop more frequently at a local private grocer who was amazing product that I love and beautiful imported European stuff you can’t get anywhere else (you being from the UK would LOVE it) but unless there’s a sale it’s out of my price range. No frills carries the same iceburg lettuce I like for $1-2.00 less so why wouldn’t I save money?! They also have great bread loaf selection (that I use for bruschetta). Hubby was a little sketched out the first time we went, I personally have never cared what people think!

  5. We may be grocery store snobs, but only because of the low-quality produce/products at a few of the stores. We don’t care if other people shop there, but we find that they aren’t really saving money by going there. The best way to save money is to have a plan. If you setup a meal plan and know what you need, you will save money no matter where you shop. But we are very cost conscious, and will follow the savings if it’s significant enough to justify the gas and time to go to another store.

  6. I’ve never known anyone to make a comment like that, or feel shopping at a lower end store is beneath them. I know people who do buy nice things and shop higher end, but probably wouldn’t think twice about going to Target or Ross for something. That sounds like very odd behavior for someone to not only think that, but to say it out loud, and I live in “shallow” LA!

    1. Another fan at my FB page said her ex was that way and that they never went into lower end shops. It’s common alright but we might not hear of Mr or Mrs. Snooty to our faces…. Thanks for dropping by. Mr.CBB

  7. I’ve never known anybody that wouldn’t shop at a store for the sole reason of wanting not to be seen there. We however do only shop at one grocery store (for the most part). I could care less if somebody saw me at Walmart, however we just don’t like the quality of produce, the way they treat employees, the ridiculous lines, and the people that meander like they have nothing better to do. We do shop there though; we just try to make it a point not to when possible.

    So, am I a grocery store snob? 🙂

  8. Wow. That’s insane. I promise not to snub you or your wife if I see you entering No Frills. 🙂 My parents shop there and I still love them. 🙂

  9. I’m totally a grocery store snob, though I would never think to judge another person’s grocery choices. We all have different priorities. I know what food I like and I can afford to buy it. That’s why we save in other areas and that’s why I make the big bucks.

  10. I have experienced a few people that prefer to shop at the more expensive stores around here. We don’t have a No Frills in Southern California, but we have other stores that can probably compare. A lot of my close friends haven’t even been to some of the more inexpensive stores because they were afraid to go inside! THey are missing out!

  11. We live in such a small town that there are only two grocery stores and the WalMart. I prefer the grocery stores because of their weekly sales and the coupons they send us in the mail and online. The prices usually beat WalMart and the experience is much nicer. My dad was part owner of a budget grocery store when we were growing up called Sav-a-lot. You had to bag your own groceries and there weren’t many name brands. My mom worked there for years. He has long since sold his interest, but mom still shops there. Small town people don’t care so much image I guess. Most everyone I know is more proud to get a discount than buy something high end. We just buy too much, but you are helping me to change my habits.

  12. lol I know what scene you’re talking about because Pretty Woman is one of my all time favourite movies 🙂 lol
    I haven’t ever really dealt with a grocery store snob. I used to just drive to whatever store had the deals I wanted. When RCSS started price matching I started shopping there a lot (there are a lot of PC an NN products that I like). Now that I can use my MIL’s discount I always shop at RCSS. I save loads by PMing, couponing and her discount. I just plan my shops for when she is working 🙂
    I sometimes look at people’s carts and wonder how they can just be wasting their money on items that they are paying full price for that could be PMed or use coupons.
    Great post! Made me laugh 🙂

    1. It’s as if you were typing all that while I typed my response to the previous commenter. I was talking about you in my response where he says he shops where his wife works because she has a 10% discount. I said it was your Aunt who works at RCSS but it’s your MIL.. sorry. I say go for it if you can match it with flyer deals, PM and use coupons and the discount… phew.. I wish! Mr.CBB

    1. Yep crazy isn’t BUT like I mentioned in the post there has to be some people willing to do this in order to keep these stores going. It’s the same as if everyone only shopped with coupons and flyer deals that are loss leaders for most shops they still need the people that come in and purchase full priced items at inflated prices to balance us frugal people out… Thanks for droppin in and glad you are not a Snooty Club member haha.. Mr.CBB

  13. We do almost all of our food shopping at King Soopers because my wife works there. But they are pretty competitive in pricing, plus we get 10% off store brands and that can be REALLY hard to beat.

    1. I’ve never heard of the shop in Ontario so I presume you are somewhere else in Canada or in the USA. One of my fans who plays our weekly grocery shop challenge (Jen) does most of her shopping at Real Canadian Super Store because she gets a 10% discount a family discount since her aunt works there. I don’t blame you or her for doing that if you can match that discount with great deals!! I say go for it! Mr.CBB

  14. I’m in a small town and we have 2 grocery stores. I’ve lost count of the number of folks that complain about the store across the street from me…oh the prices are too high there, it’s cheaper at the Independent. Bull. The place across from me had a small fire by the produce dept a couple of years ago and was closed to clean up for 3 days. I needed groceries and had to go out to the Independent. Not a place I go often… clearly. I had my list and just got what I needed, going by the prices I was familiar with from across the street I thought I had $70.00-$75.00 in the cart. Yea right… try over $90.00!!!!!! I almost crapped myself!!! I’ll go there the odd time if there are enough good sales to make it worth the gas money to drive there but that’s it.
    As for other things… I sew and have since I was a little tyke. My Mom taught me to use her sewing machine when I was 8 or 9 years old. As a teen and beyond I would go into the higher end store to look at the clothes, then check the pattern books, find something similar and make my own copy. I made a lot of my kids clothes back in the day. I made my daughter’s grade 8 grad dress and her prom dress in high school.She had a “friend” that actually made the comment…’Gee it’s too bad your parents are so poor that your Mom has to make your dress’. My daughter was livid at that one!!!! And she was proud of her dress! I’ve made other dresses for others and been paid, plus I’ve done alterations on wedding and bridesmaid dresses for pay, so it’s not like I don’t know what I’m doing, but so far as this brat was concerned only poor people made their own clothes. Trust me, I can make something and you will not see your identical outfit walking down the street towards you!!
    PS Good for the Mrs to pull that off on the snooty woman!!!!!!

    1. Oh Christine your comments are always so well thought out and with examples and experiences along the way and I appreciate that. Discrimination will never go away but what we can do is teach our children right from wrong and hope they follow the right path in life. Common sense nowadays isn’t so common. I’m sure you are a lovely dress maker and yep Mrs.CBB took Mrs.Snooty to the cleaners! Cheers Mr.CBB

  15. This isn’t about grocery stores, but I love seeing Walmart-dressed customers at high end restaurants. While everybody took hours to get ready and put on their best clothes, that man doesn’t care what he looks like. He’s either so rich he doesn’t care what people think of him…or he’s a man who loves his food and doesn’t care what people think of him. Either way, I will tip my hat to that sir. They’re such badasses.

  16. I have too many other things going on in life to worry with what I may look like because of the grocery store we happen to go to. Sure, having a grocery budget may not be sexy or cool, but guess what…because I saved that money I can use it for a variety of other things. I know exactly the scene from Pretty Woman you’re talking about, and you’re right!

    1. I know it’s sad John and the fact that people like that exist is the truth. Sometimes people will do, say and act a certain way, dress a certain way even if at the end of the day.. they are totally opposite just to get the job. If I owned a company that employee would be useless to me. How many people do we see get promoted because they young, sexy, tall, hot, buff eye candy… drink and hang out at posh establishments and roll with the big guys… lots and it happens every day. At the end of the day they are useless to the company if they don’t possess the skills and abilities required in their job description that they were hired for. Discrimination happens all the time.

  17. The balls on some people. She is probably drowning in debt and has no clue because she sticks her head in the sand and let’s her husband do it all. It is women like that who ruin it for the rest of us.

  18. I know all about the grocery stores in Ontario. The competition is fierce so the prices are a lot lower than they are out here in the west.

    Last week we found the only Giant Tiger in our city. We walked in and it was more like a Winners, with clothing and home stuff everywhere. There was a small area of groceries but the prices were the exact same as Safeway or Sobeys.

    And who the hell cares who sees you in there? People have the same low opinion of Dollar stores, but if you can pay less for items in a dollar store than you do at Walmart or a grocery store, then go. Have fun!

    In regard to your story about buying a new kitchen product in your torn jeans – I heard a similar story out here many years ago.

    Our city is surrounded by farmers and one farmer was doing his work and his $50K truck broke down. He came into the city in his farming clothes to buy a new truck right away so he could get back to work. He was prepared to pay $50K for a new truck but none of the sales people wanted to speak with him. So he found a dealership out on the highway, bought a truck, and got back to work.

    1. Thanks Sicorra. Yes I don’t put up with anyone’s BS when it comes to our life. I’m not a snob nor ever intend to be. I know that whatever is to happen with my life will happen because it’s meant to happen and not because my colleagues see me shopping at the dollar store. It’s sad but real… the movie Pretty Woman nailed it. Mr.CBB

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