The Grocery Game | Ultimate Grocery Shopping Guide

How We Deal With Rude People At The Grocery Store : The Grocery Game Challenge 2016 #2 May 9-15

how we handle rude customers at the grocery store



I don’t know what it is lately but I seem to be running into rude people everywhere I go. The worst shoppers are at the grocery store especially once Spring finally arrives. It’s as if life is super-charged in the fast-lane when the sun is shining and the white stuff has melted.

I’m a happy guy and my wife is generally always smiling because we choose to be happy. We’re not perfect but we channel negativity in such a way that we work on it and find other outlets to deal with it. I understand that some people have “issues” to deal with but taking frustrations out on other people over things you can’t control seems a bit…um, “out there”.

It doesn’t matter what time of day you go grocery shopping or what store you choose to spend your money at, you’ll always run into rude people. The last thing you want to worry about or even think about is getting into a heated argument at the grocery store. It’s just groceries, not a grocery game.

Related: When is the best time to grocery shop?

Last night while grocery shopping our son was helping me push the button on the conveyor belt so the groceries could come down. He loves doing this and feels like he’s participating in the shopping process. The smiles tell all.

The young woman behind me decided to throw a bit of fit because she wanted us to speed it up as she was in a rush. She looked at me and asked if maybe my wife could take my son so I could pack faster. Here’s the funny part…. our son was sitting in the shopping cart doing nothing more than picking up products that I wasn’t packing.

No matter if my wife took him or not I wouldn’t have gone any faster. If I was by myself I certainly wouldn’t have passed him off to a stranger to watch while I finished packing the groceries so she could hurry along. That’s why there is the fast-lane if you’re in a rush.

She only had 4 items and because there were more than a handful of people in the fast-lane she decided to rude bomb our lane with attitude in hopes of getting out faster. Boy did she learn just how happy of a guy I am. I don’t think she cared for my smiles and having my son say hi to the “nice” lady. Ha!

Ah, the joys of  acting like an adult, parenting and toddler life wrapped into one glorious shopping trip.


Bring on the Queen of rude


Then there is this type of rude shopper at the check-out who just doesn’t know when to clamp it shut. She kept digging a deeper hole and pushing this guy to the limit. I’m pretty sure he wanted to say more than the already choice words he had for her even though it seems as if he wanted to hold his composure.

Warning: Explicit Language in the video below but relevant because I want to show you just how silly it is to stick your nose into someone else’s business.

This woman shopper was beyond being rude and should be ashamed at the way she treated this young man let alone having the kids listen. Children learn what they live and you can easily see the child with her standing there almost in shock not knowing what was going on.

This woman shopper laid into him pretty hard and he just took it all in trying to explain apart from a few swear words. First of all he doesn’t need to explain anything to anyone and second she doesn’t know him or his situation. She’s a stranger sticking her nose into someone else’s business.

By the sounds of it he’s working but just not making enough to make ends meet so he needs the food stamps. I don’t know the entire story but this rude customer who seems to be bored certainly needs to give her head a shake. The problem with using vulgarity and escalating situations like this is that there is no solution. It only gets worse until someone gets arrested or kicked out of the store.

In Canada we have local Food Banks and other community centers that offer food to those in need. Donating to the Food Bank is something that just about every grocery store participates in with a donation bin out front.

Nothing helps to solve a problem when there is no motivation.

Dealing with difficult customers is not only surprising for the customer feeling the wrath but the cashier who takes daily abuse from these types of shoppers. This type of behaviour can be draining even for the most experienced cashiers which is why when I see a cashier I use his/her name, thank them and smile.

I’ve also run into some rude cashiers in my time living in Canada but what I noticed the most was that incidents were higher during the morning hours or mid-day before lunch. When lunch-time hunger hits some people become impatient, rude and demanding.


Cash Computer not working so it must be the customers fault waiting in line


I recall a time the wife and I were waiting at the checkout when the cashier had a problem with her computer system. She had to ring a manager over to help her after she had tried everything to trouble-shoot the situation.

Behind us we could hear rude words spoken about us, blaming us for using coupons and price-matching. What? I turned around, looked her in the eyes and said with a big smile…

Why do you have to be so rude?

I wasn’t going to start anything but I wanted to bring it to their attention even though they knew darn well what they were whispering, out loud. The cashier is having an issue and it had nothing to do with us. They just assumed because we were using quite a bit of coupons at the time that we were the problem.

I was actually a bit shocked at her rude behaviour but am well experienced with dealing with difficult people as I do it at work just about every day. Working in an environment with people who have a variety of issues and concerns I’ve learned how to best deal with such situations.




The easiest thing to do is just to ignore the rude customer and hopefully they will get the hint. If they come up in your face you can be polite and ask them to step away from your space. Any concerns they have can be directed to the store manager. Advise them that you don’t talk to strangers either… because your parents told you to do so. A little humor goes a long way even in touchy situations.




You must smile when a rude person verbally attacks you. People who attempt to act big can’t stand it when they are smiled at because they feel they are losing the battle. Whatever that battle is, I don’t know. Their goal is to upset you to the point that you have a bad day and that they get their point across loud and clear. It’s a win-win situation for you so don’t stop smiling and continue doing what you were doing.

My wife was in a situation a few weeks back while at the grocery store with her friend. While at the check-out the customer behind was in an apparent big rush. She was huffing and puffing to the point that everyone could hear her. My wife just kept chatting and smiling like she normally does to keep the peace. My wife’s friend had a scanning code of practice so the cashier needed to get a price-check. Don’t always assume that every check-out is the fast lane because sometimes even the fast-lane is slow.

  • You can’t please everyone!
  • We all have enemies
  • We all have someone who loves us
  • We all have someone who would rather see us suffer

Life is full of different characters that we will meet in our journey.


Be Polite


You know the saying, “Kill them with kindness” well I don’t have a problem being extremely polite that I make the rude person feel guilty for being such a jerk especially if I have my son with me. Always nod your head and look them straight in the eyes as if you are agreeing with them and just move on even if they are still babbling on about their problem with you.

The name of the game with rude people is to not feed into their fury because they want to see you get fired up. These types of people don’t mind a public display of anger and like being the centre of attention. Again, if it’s not your business, mind your own.

Do you have a situation you experienced  with a rude customer that you’d like to share? Please leave a comment as I’d love to hear about it.


May Grocery Game Challenge posts 2016


Join in the 2016 Grocery Game Challenge (GGC) fun and post your grocery shop in the comment section of each GGC blog post. Here are the rules to get you started and where you’ll also find a link for the updated 2016 GGC schedule. Please feel free to download, save and even print the schedule so it’s handy.

New monthly prize: $10 President’s Choice Gift Card for Canadian residents only BUT If you want to play from outside of Canada and have PayPal and you win I will pay you $10 Canadian. I use a random online generator to pick the winning ballot every month.

If you missed any grocery game posts for the month I will post the line-up each week below for you so you don’t have to go looking for past GGC posts for the month. Alternatively, just click on the “Grocery Game Challenge” tab on the blog side-bar to see past posts.

May Grocery Game Posts


Free Money Saving Tools 2016


I know I blast you every which way I can on this blog about my free money saving tools and that’s because I want you to take advantage of them being FREE. So many people pay for budgets and tools on the internet to help them save money and honestly you don’t need to. Even a paper and pen will do the trick.

Click, Save and Print. It’s that easy!

This is the budget that brought us to debt freedom back in 2013 and now I’m offering to all of you for FREE. We still use this budget every month as it helps us to see our overall financial picture.

2014 Free Money Saving ToolsDon’t pay someone for these services, I’ve done the work for you along with some help from other amazing bloggers.

You can download the FREE Canadian Budget Binder Budget Spreadsheet in Excel…Grab it while you can… It’s FREE! We use it to budget and in large part a reason we could pay our mortgage off in 5 years, check it out!

Free Money Saving Downloads are awesome lists that were created to get us on track to work towards reaching our budgeting goals and now we are sharing them with you.

Get organized with a FREE freezer inventory, meal plan, shopping list, price comparison list and much more all for FREE.

CLICK HERE to download all the free lists and even our family budget spreadsheet. So many free resources at your fingertips.


Ultimate Grocery Shopping Guide 2016


the ultimate grocery shopping guide cbbEverything you want to know about grocery shopping in Canada is packed into this amazing FREE grocery shopping guide that has taken over 4 years to create.

The Ultimate Grocery Shopping guide is ongoing with new informative money-saving posts added every month.

Even if you don’t live in Canada there are some amazing budget saving tips that will help put you on the path to more savings at the supermarket.

Share this guide with your friends and tell them about Canadian Budget Binder especially if they are struggling with their grocery budget.

The time is NOW to get started saving money on groceries so please enjoy the  many money-saving posts in the The Ultimate Grocery Shopping Guide.


2016 Grocery Shop Results


Yearly grocery budget for two + 1 Toddler 2016: $2820

(The above total does not include the stockpile budget of $300/year or $25/month.

Points Overview (add any other sections you need to show us your savings)

  • Total Grocery Budget for the Month:$235.00-$8.50=$226.50
  • Total Grocery Budget with any carry-overs $226.50
  • Total Gift Cards used to date: $50
  • Total Rewards Points redeemed this week: $0
  • Total Rewards Points used to date: $0
  • PC Points Plus Earned to date: 181000
  • Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP)to date $0
  • Shoppers Optimum: Over 700,000 points (I will update this twice a year)

Coupon Apps (add any other apps you use to save money)

  • Zweet to cash out : $18.25
  • Checkout51 to cash out : $14.00


Grocery Shop This Week


Food Basics

  • Ground Cinnamon $1.25
  • Hellman’s Mayo Olive Oil Sale $2.99
  • Premium Bananas $1.56
  • 4 Green Peppers $2.19
  • Bag of 5 Avocado Sale $2.88
  • Homogenized Milk Beatrice $5.27
  • 4 x Lactancia Whipping Cream Sale $2.49 each =$9.96
  • Tub of Lettuce Greens $3.49-50%= $1.75

Total Out-of-pocket $25.66


  • PC Maple Syrup Sale $6.99
  • Sea Salt (huge bag) $2.14-50%= $1.07
  • 6 x Omega-3 Eggs Sale $2.99 =$17.94 plus 600 PC points each 🙂
  • Jicama $2.94
  • Havarti $7.00 Sale reg $12.99
  • Olympia Coconut Yogurt 2/$7.00-50% = $3.50
  • 3 x cucumbers $0.98 Sale
  • Organic Romaine Lettuce $3.49-50%= $1.75

Total Out-of-pocket $37.13

  • Total to spend this month : $226.50
  • Stockpile budget 2016 : $25.00
  • Stockpile budget used this month: $22.35
  • Total coupons used this week: $0
  • Total coupons used to date: $5.60
  • Total in-store discounts this week:$0
  • Total in-store discounts to date: $226.93
  • Total spent this week: $62.80- $0.75 stockpile $62.05
  • Total spent so far this month: $132.77
  • Total over/Under spend this shop:over
  • Total over/Under spend for the month:over
  • Total left to spend for the month: $93.73
  • Total Spent To Date 2016: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $252.95+ Feb $249.46+March $211.11+April $248.11+May $

Weekly Overview (your final thoughts)

We didn’t have a particularly large shop this week but some of the bits we bought were higher in price than normal for us such as the PC Maple Syrup, Havarti Cheese but we couldn’t pass up the deals. Typically we don’t buy maple syrup as my father-in-law taps his maple trees but he’s been too sick this year to do them so we have to buy it.  Other than that we did not get lost or kidnapped like some of you thought. It just takes longer to shop with the boy but he enjoys going.
That’s all for this week…



Coupons and Coupon Apps 2016


Here are some great places you can find Canadian Coupons! These are your latest Checkout 51 offers which you can use to help save money. We’re finding less and less coupons in the stores these days. What are your thoughts? Are coupon apps taking over the paper coupons?

Sign up for the Nielsen Canada Home Scan Program and you can earn rewards points fast to redeem for awesome products or gift cards. I did this in the UK and loved it!!

Where can I find Canadian Coupons 2016?

Plus check out these other hidden areas online to get more coupons!!

  • Healthy Essentials Printable Coupons (Johnson and Johnson)
  • Clorox Coupons Sign up to print coupons in the Clorox family which include Greenworks, Glad etc.
  • Kraft Canada Sign up and receive recipes and coupons by email
  • Printable Smart Source Coupons
  • Walmart Canada Printable Coupons
  • Proctor and Gamble PandG Sign up for printable coupons
  • Hidden Coupon Portals You Should know about – I found this over at Save a Loonie and you’ll want to sign up for notifications and check out the site so you get notified every time a hidden coupon is available from, Brandsaver, Smart Source etc.


Grocery Game Challenge 2016 FAQ’s


  • Grocery Game Challenge RULES: Read the rules first and if you have any questions email me or comment on this post with your question and someone will answer you as soon as possible. The rules have been updated for the 2016 challenge year.
  • Do I have to be Canadian to post my Grocery Shop?: No, you don’t have to be Canadian to post your shops. We have fans who post their grocery shop who live all over the world.
  • What is the monthly prize and who can claim it?- The monthly prize is a $10 PC Loblaws Gift Card and for our out of country friends it’s $10 CDN via Paypal if they win. As more people join I will add more money to the gift card or I will split it up and offer 2 prizes every month.
  • When does the Grocery Game close each month?: The Grocery Game Challenge closes at midnight of the last Sunday of the last post for the month but you will still get a ballot when you post your shops even if they are late but I encourage you to stay on schedule. If you choose to post monthly  or bi-weekly you will only get 1 ballot for that shop. It’s a proven fact the minute we stop doing something that is scheduled that we end up forgetting to do it altogether. Don’t let that be you! You can post your shops all month-long.
  • Does your Grocery Budget include health and beauty and laundry products?: No, our Grocery Budget includes such items as shampoo, conditioner, laundry soap, fabric softener, dish soap etc. As of 2014-2015 we no longer include such items in our grocery budget so we can see actual food numbers at the end of the year in order to plan accordingly our budget.
  • Do you stockpile food? We don’t mind stockpiling items that won’t be affected by expiry dates or have long expiry dates but not so much food any longer as we found we weren’t eating it fast enough. Stockpiling is still great and just one way to help cut your budget to save money if you do find items that you can buy in bulk at a sale price.
  • Canadian Coupons:Where can I find Canadian Coupons?: Here are your latest  Checkout 51 offers that you can use to help you save money in the Grocery Game Challenge. There are many great Canadian Couponing websites online that share weekly coupon match-ups so you can plan your grocery list.
  • Best Coupon Apps: Coupons are slowly fading with mobile coupon apps being the big rave these days. Just recently the popular coupon site that mailed coupons to households has gotten involved with the addition of a new mobile app joining forces with the many other coupon apps available. If you find an app that I don’t talk about please let me know as they are always being added and I’d like to review them.
  • What is the Best Flyer App- We use Flipp on our Iphone so if you wan to have all your flyers in one spot download Flipp from the Apple Store or get it on Google Play.
  • What is an FPC?: An FPC is a free product coupon which means you can get a free product as described on the coupon.
  • What is GGC?– The Grocery Game Challenge of course!
  • How Do I Grocery Shop?: I can tell you about grocery shopping and what we do in terms of shopping to save money and how it works for us. There are no wrong or right answers, just smart choices.

Nobody is perfect, heck we struggle with this part of our budget like many people do. This is why the grocery game challenge was created back in 2012 and is one of the most popular hang out spots for people who want to save money on groceries in Canada.

If you’ve just joined The Grocery Game Challenge 2016 get ready to look at your grocery budget by learning…

  • Where you are spending money
  • How much money you are spending
  • How much money you are saving every month

If you want to learn everything I know about grocery shopping in Canada check out my Ultimate Grocery Shopping Guide! It’s FREE!

If you know a topic that should be discussed send me an email. If I use your topic I will put your name in a draw for a prize at the end of the year.

You’ve made a wise decision to take control of your grocery budget now show me your shops and let’s get saving!

Welcome to The Grocery Game Challenge 2016!

Please Note: Some of the links in the body of the blog post are affiliate links which means I may get paid if you buy something from Amazon. The items I’ve chosen are products we use at home or similar to.


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