KINDNESS GOES A LONG WAY-EVEN AT THE GROCERY STORE.
Over the past almost 6 years that I’ve blogged at CBB I’ve rattled on about grocery store etiquette because it needs to be said. Today I’m dedicating this post to the lady in the grocery line behind us last week and to those of you who need a crash course on how to be polite.
Understanding the code of etiquette and following through are two different things. Both need to be in place in order for you to be a nice person and not a hard-nosed grocery shopper (in this instance).
With the rising costs of living everyone (almost everyone) is trying to save money wherever they can. Our biggest financial fight after the mortgage was the grocery store and we’ve battled it ever since and documenting our journey on this blog.
First off let’s explain what the word “etiquette” means for those of you that may not be familiar with it. Your mom and dad might have told you to “be nice” or “treat others as you’d like to be treated” growing up. Ring a bell? If not, this post is for you.
is a code of behavior that delineates expectations for social behavior according to contemporary conventional norms within a society, social class, or group.
I’m by far the nicest person even when I’m not in the mood to be nice. We all have bad days, good days and days we would rather just hide in a corner and be alone, and that’s fine. We are all entitled to feel emotions but how we handle them is what makes you a nice person or a “meanie pants” or how about “bully”.
Yes… lady you were a bully behind us at the grocery store and I’m surprised that Mrs. CBB held her cool without killing you with kindness after the things you were saying. If you’ve never seen a human vape before we’ve personally experienced it.
You may recall our amazing grocery shop last week at Zehrs where we met with 50% off stickers on products that we could not pass up. I know this is what we strive to eliminate or lessen from our grocery shopping ritual in the CBB house but sometimes rules are meant to be broken BUT we still have to abide by the grocery budget.
It was clear with-in seconds that she was ready to bulldoze us with her anxiety to cash out fast because the undertone voice kicked in immediately.
“I’m going to be here all day” while hands go in the air.
“How many coupons do these people have?” while huffing and puffing
“Come on hurry up lady” while leaning on her shopping cart
“Don’t come here this she’s got tonnes of coupons” while talking to another grocery shopper looking to cash out.
“Hurry up lady, gee” while staring at the cashier.
This went on and on for about 5 minutes!! No kidding it was almost a television show waiting to happen. Maybe it was a grocery store prank and someone was going to come out and hand us an award for not losing our cool on her.
What the heck was she thinking? I mean, who treats people like that, especially with a child in their presence?
Mrs. CBB casually said to the cashier thanks for being such a great cashier and to have a wonderful rest of the day as she turned her eyes to the grocery store bully and smiled. That might have irked her more because I don’t think she was in ANY mood to smile. That’s NOT an excuse to be rude to people.
I’m almost certain the cashier was waiting to get an earful as soon as we walked away and to be honest I don’t envy that part of customer service. I work with the public every day and although I’ve met with many emotions I’ve yet to meet one as petty as this.
Don’t sweat the small stuff- Remember that book? This is the small stuff that the book talks about.
Here’s the kicker….
We had 1 Coupon which was a Peelie on a product and that the cashier ripped off. Just 1.
This was our shop and no we were not in the 1-16 items lane or the Fast Lane. Just a regular cashier especially with the amount of reduced product as it takes ages at the self-scanner.
- PC Greek Black Cherry Yogurt $4.69-50%=$2.35
- 2 dozen large eggs $1.97 each $3.94
- 2 x Gay Lea Butter Sale $3.33 each $6.66
- 10 x Black Diamond 500g Cheese Bars Old Cheddar reduced $2.00 each $20.00
- Fresh PC Dill reduced $0.50
- PC Field Greens Organic $5.49-50%=$2.75 600 PC Points
- Bananas $1.34
- 6 x large avocado reduced 2/$1.00= $3.00
- Bulk bag cremini mushrooms $5.19-50%=$2.60
- Red Peppers Reduced $7.19-50%=$3.60
- Sugar Snap Peas $2.49-50%-$1.25
- Chicken Breasts Fresh 2 packs $9.33 $9.94
- Turkey Kolbassa $4.70-50%= $2.40
- 3 x Oliveri Tortellini Pasta $8.00 each-50% =$12.00
- 2x Picante Genoa Salami $9.99-50%=$10.00
- 3 x Top Sirloin Steak $8.26-50%=$4.13 $8.92-50%=$4.46 $7.83-50%=$3.92
- Sirloin Tip Steak $6.21-50%=$3.11
- Thomas Cinnamon Bread $3.99 ugh!
- Strawberries $1.99
Total-Out-Of-Pocket $116.37- $20 Cheese to stockpile= $96.37
As you can see we picked up some smashing deals and there wasn’t anything in that shop that would hold up the customer. The cashier scans the bar code and the price comes up 50% off and away the product goes down to the employee bagging groceries.
As cool as cucumbers Mrs. CBB and I did exactly what we always do but were distracted by this customer as she wouldn’t zip it. As we were walking out we noticed that one of the items on the receipt didn’t scan 50% off or the cashier was too overwhelmed by the bitterness that she missed it.
We casually went to customer service to wait patiently as the employee was serving another customer who was struggling to get his lottery card sorted out.
Once completed we had her fix our bill but only just in time to hear the roadster zoom by and say to whom she was with “Finally, I can’t stand people like that who can’t afford to shop and take forever with deals”. Oh ya, true story and NO I don’t think she saw us at customer service.
Needless to say she shocked us BUT it didn’t ruin our day ONE BIT. The cashier although I’m not sure but kudos for her being so professional in the midst of this angry customer.
How to be polite- You just do it! There is no course but let me talk about some ways customers can add a bit of grocery store etiquette to their daily dose of happiness.
- Don’t be a bully
It’s one thing to teach our kids right from wrong and it’s another to teach an adult who should know better. If you have nothing nice to say then don’t say anything at all. Being pushy and rude not only makes you look silly but you wear an unhappy face along with it.
- Don’t be a grocery store snob
I’ve already blogged about this>>> You can read about it here!
You’re no better than anyone else. We’re all human, we’re all equal. Spread the love not the hate.
- Don’t tell customers how to parent
Just because you think you know better just don’t unless the well-being of a child is in danger.
- Don’t yell at customers
When something doesn’t go your way or someone else might not be kind don’t hit them back with what they gave you. You’re better than that. Speak calmly to defuse the situation and let them know that you are listening and not duking it out.
- Do help other customers when you can
It might take a second to help someone get a product off the top shelf or to pick something up or call for help. Whatever the case may be that moment of kindness will stay with you for the rest of the day and forever. Not only that but the person you helped will be grateful.
- Do Follow the rule of “next in line”
If a new cash opens up and the cashier asks for the next in line don’t rush over if that’s NOT you.
- Do put products back where they belong
Changing your mind about a purchase is normal and happens to almost every customer. Imagine if all customers were too lazy to put that product back what the store would look like. Get it right… put it back where you found it. If that’s not an option give it to an employee and explain.
- Do code your bulk items
If you buy in bulk don’t forget to put that little tag on the product with the proper code number. This not only helps speed the checkout process along but helps the cashier.
- Do be ready with coupons
I know what it’s like to be behind a customer with a stack of coupons. We have been that customer too. Always be ready and organized with any deals or offers you need to alert your cashier with.
- Do let someone ahead of you with 1 or 2 items if you have a full cart
This isn’t written in stone but if you can turn to the person behind you with a bag of milk and bread and let them go ahead I bet you’ll make them smile. Not all grocery stores have self-scanners or limit lines. It’s not about you it’s about making this world a better place.
- Do alert staff about broken product
Whether you broke it or not take a moment to alert staff that there may be a safety hazard. Not only are you preventing potential injury but you’re doing what all polite people do, help out.
- Do pay for what your child eats
If your child is not in the shopping cart seat and is walking the grocery store with you and happens to rip open a box of granola bars, you’ve bought them. At least that’s the way it should be.
Don’t put the box back on the shelf either.
If you don’t have any intention to pay for it do the right thing and bring it to customer service or a staff member, apologize and let them know what happened. Parenting is up to you.
- Do put your shopping cart away when done
Huge pet-peeve of mine is finding shopping carts all over the parking lots. Most grocery stores in our area are doing away with paying for the shopping cart to shop with. We’ve already seen an increase of carts scattered waiting to be picked up. If you see a cart that may cause danger move it out-of-the-way even if you believe, “It’s not my job”. <<< It’s not about that.
- Do be polite
If you don’t know how read above. Your day will be much easier when you learn to smile or even just learn to be polite with anyone you meet. It’s a two-way street but if we don’t start then no one will meet in the middle.
- Don’t eat anything unless it’s a free sample
How many times have you seen someone eating fruit in the produce section or dipping their bare hands into the bulk bins? I have and plenty. There’s no excuse. If you want it, buy it but don’t eat it without paying for it first. There is no test and try availability at the grocery store unless it’s a free sample.
- Don’t touch prepared food with your hands
For crying out loud PLEASE use the tongs. Enough said.
- Don’t open products
If you don’t plan to pay for it then don’t open it. Easy, simple guideline.
- Don’t steal
If you need to steal groceries ask yourself if it is worth getting caught? The answer is always NO. If you are struggling financially locate community organizations in your city that can help. Drop by the Food Bank and see what offerings they can give you. There are always options.
- Don’t litter
For crying out loud please stop putting your personal garbage on the shelves. I’m tired of trying to reach for a product with coffee cups in the way or seeing wrappers on the shelves or floor. It’s not that hard to find a trash bin. Smarten up and stop being lazy.
- Don’t argue
Waiting until you leave the store before you start arguing with your spouse/partner, kids or even relatives or friends in your presence is far better than becoming a YouTube sensation at the grocery store.
- Don’t comment on others food choices
Just because you lead a different food lifestyle then others doesn’t give you the right to judge what they have in their shopping cart. You don’t know their story and it’s none of your business.
- Don’t talk and walk on your cell with a shopping cart
We’ve been in shopping cart accidents with people who are on their cell phones at the grocery store. Since technology is a big part of grocery shopping and deals many people will use their phones. This is fine but pull over to the side so you’re not pushing and looking at your phone. The same premise behind driving and using a phone applies here. Accidents happen but are avoidable.
That’s my rant for the day and if you don’t think that being a kind person is a code that you should live by then I hope you too have a wonderful day.
Kill ’em with kindness folks!
The world can be a nasty place
You know it, I know it, yeah
We don’t have to fall from grace
Put down the weapons you fight with – Selena Gomez
Discussion Question: What else can we add to this list of grocery store etiquette that I’m forgetting? Post your comment below and I’ll add it to the post!
May Grocery Game Challenge
Join in the 2017 Grocery Game Challenge (GGC) fun and post your grocery shop in the comment section of each GGC blog post. Here are The Grocery Game Challenge rules to get you started and where you’ll also find a link for the 2017 GGC schedule. Please feel free to download, save and even print the schedule.
Post your shop and you can be next.
New monthly prize: See the Grocery Game Rules
May 2017 Blog Posts:
- 5 Simple Grocery Savings Tips For The Busy Shopper– Last Shop in April
- How To Tell If Your Grocery Expenses are Too High or Too Low– GGC 1 May
Free Money Saving Tools 2017
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.
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 2017
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.
2017 Grocery Shop Results
Yearly grocery budget for two + 1 Toddler 2017: $3180 or $265/mth
(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 this Month: $265
- Total Grocery Budget with any carry-overs $265
- Total Gift Cards used to date: $0
- Total Rewards Points redeemed this week: $0
- Total Rewards Points used to date: $0
- PC Points Plus Earned to date: 486,000
- Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP) to date $0
- Shoppers Optimum: Just under 850,000 Optimum points (I will update this twice a year) $1500 worth of free stuff.
Coupon Apps (add any other apps you use to save money)
- Zweet to cash out : $18.25
- Checkout51 to cash out : $24.50
Our Grocery Shop This Week
This is a N0-Shop week for us as we are going away for a few days out of town and are stocked up for now.
All totals below already have tax factored into them.
- Total to spend this month : $265-$8.83= $256.17 to spend in May.
- Stockpile budget 2016 : $25.00/month
- Stockpile budget used this month: $20.00
- Total coupons used this week: $0
- Total coupons used to date: $1
- Total in-store discounts this week: $0
- Total in-store discounts to date: $529.07
- Total spent this week: $0
- Total spent so far this month: $113.99
- Total over/Under spend this shop: under
- Total over/Under spend for the month: under
- Total left to spend for the month: $142.18
- Total Spent To Date 2017: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $231.06+Feb $255.16+March ($5 budget increase) $263.60 + April $273.83+ May $
Weekly Overview (your final thoughts)
As mentioned we are stocked after all the great deals we found last week. It’s probably best we stay out of the grocery store anyways lol. We are heading out for a few days but with the new info about Mrs. CBB’s nanny and her deteriorating health we may be longer.
Coupons and Coupon Apps
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?
If you notice I’m missing a valuable link please message me and I’ll get it added to the savings list below.
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!!
Plus check out these other hidden areas online to get more coupons!!
If any of these links are broken please report them to me.
- Healthy Essentials Printable Coupons (Johnson and Johnson)
- Danone Coupons Get up to $25 in coupons
- 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
- MySavings.com 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 Save.ca, Brandsaver, Smart Source etc.
Grocery Game Challenge 2017 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 to reflect changes for the 2017 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-$20-$50 PC Loblaws Gift Card and for our out of country friends it’s $CDN via PayPal. Please see GGC rules.
- 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 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 Save.ca that mailed coupons to households has gotten involved with the addition of a new mobile Save.ca 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 Know what stores accept coupons?: If you are not sure it’s always best to call the store and ask.
- 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 is one of the most popular hang out spots for people who want to save money on groceries.
If you’ve just joined The Grocery Game Challenge 2017 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 2017!
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