Grocery shopping. You’d think it would be fairly simple to gather food for your family, pay for it, and head home with a trunk load of goodies. But no trip to the grocery store is complete without a fair amount of annoyance, irritation, and perhaps even outright rage. From disorganized stores and idiotic policies, to malfunctioning technology and obnoxious fellow shoppers, we found 31 completely and utterly annoying things about grocery shopping to share with you here. A few helpful tips are included, but mostly we just share your pain.
1. Screaming Kids
This is number one on everyone’s list, especially for the parents of said children. It seems you just can’t make it through a grocery store trip without at least one shrieking brat sending you dashing for the Tylenol aisle – or the liquor aisle, if it’s your own kid throwing a tantrum. Unfortunately, people with kids have to eat, too, and until grocery stores offer delivery service or free daycare we’ll all just have to continue in our collective suffering. You can try doing your grocery shopping at 2 am, but this is a big risk to take. There might still be some irresponsible jackass dragging their toddler to the store in the middle of the night. In this case the screaming might register an unusually high decibel, since Junior is exhausted and being raised by a crackhead is hard on kids.
2. Out of Advertised Specials
You saved your coupons and planned weeks in advance, and when the special day finally arrives…. You can’t purchase 27 tubes of toothpaste for 12 cent each, because some asshole beat you to it. Your grand plan has been foiled! Unfortunately, not all grocery stores offer rain checks, or your coupons might expire before the next toothpaste shipment arrives. Sucks for you. You’ll have to pay regular prices on toothpaste, like the rest of us poor schmucks. And now you’ve wasted your time with all that ridiculous planning.
3. Long Lines
The super stores are the worst about this. You know damn well they have 300 employees working in that place, but there are never more than three registers open. Even on a busy day like Saturday, you can expect to stand in a line worthy of the new Dumbo ride at Disney World. Only you don’t get to ride a flying elephant at the end. They just take your money.
4. Dumb Self-checkout Machines
Let’s say you decide to skip the long lines and use the self-checkout register instead. Guess what, there’s a reason no one lined up to use that stupid thing. And you’re about to find out why. After you scan each product, the computer bitch inside the machine passive-aggressively reminds you to please bag the item before you’ve had a chance to do it. The way she says it, it’s like she’s implying you’re trying to commit some sort of Grand Theft Grocery. Other times, she asks you to please wait for assistance even though you don’t need any damn help. This is maddening since the entire reason you used self-checkout to begin with was to avoid time-consuming, unnecessary “assistance”.
5. Fat Asses Blocking the Aisles
You won’t be checking out at all if you can’t make it through the store. You just went in there for juice and bread, but the bread aisle is blocked up like I-10 after a tractor-trailer truck flipped over in a tornado. Only it’s not a truck, it’s just some lady deliberating over different brands of white bread, and she’s completely and blissfully unaware that her ass occupies the zip code directly behind her.
6. Kids Pushing Grocery Carts
It’s very considerate of the parents to give kiddies something to do in order to hopefully ward off World War III in the middle of the cookie aisle. Unfortunately for you, “something to do” means severing your Achilles tendon with a shopping cart. Ouch.
7. Malfunctioning Carts
You wouldn’t think a basket on wheels would be so damn difficult to engineer. When you’re not being assaulted by pint-sized shopping cart drivers, your own cart is doing its best to try your patience. You either get the squeaky one, the warped one, or the one that won’t roll. Your options are to bring a tool kit to the store with you, or just use a handheld basket. The downside of using a basket is that you’ll end up going to the store every single day. Option three: bring a wagon. At least you’ll have some childlike fun of your own.
8. Old People Writing Checks
You finally made it to the front of the line, and you’re ready to board Dumbo – oops, we mean fork over your entire paycheck. But no. It can’t be that simple, because nothing ever works out for you. After the hours of your life slowly melted away in that line, now the old lady in front of you searches through her purse, slooooooowly pulls out a checkbook, and the 37 people in line behind you let out a collective sigh. You’re going to be there a while longer, folks.
9. Forgetting Something
It never fails. You make it through the torture that is grocery shopping, you conquered the line without resorting to violence or Xanax, and you’ve just exited the store. That’s when you remember that you forgot one crucial item, and without it your family will not eat supper tonight. Two rational choices here: Go back in the store and suffer a little while longer, or let the family starve. You end up choosing Door Number Three and eating out, which you shouldn’t do since you just spent three hours shopping and gave your entire paycheck to a store that sells food.
10. Express Lane Woes
It says “20 items or less” for a reason, people. For those of you who aren’t math oriented, 20 is the number right after 19 and just before 21. That’s where it falls on the number line. And yet so many people just disregard that rule altogether and hop in line in front of you with enough food to feed the Duggar family for two months. You’ll have to wait a little while longer to pay for that loaf of bread.
11. People That Stop Right Inside the Door
The annoyance of grocery shopping isn’t limited to your experiences inside the store. Oh no, you can’t even make it into the place without someone pissing you off. In this case, it usually happens when you’re in a really big hurry or there’s a blizzard going on outside. The gaggle of morons that enters the store directly ahead of you abruptly stops to discuss the meaning of life. Why are we here? they ask one another. Well, you’re there to buy a bag of apples, so they need to shuffle off and philosophize elsewhere before you show them what heaven looks like.
12. People Who Can’t Afford Their Groceries and Put Stuff Back
Just when you thought that lady with the seven kids ahead of you in line was finished checking out, she realizes she has gone over her weekly food budget. Oopsie! So she starts searching through bags for items that she wants to put back, and the poor cashier has to call the manager to help her figure out how to remove items from the bill. Look to your right. See those two-dollar calculators hanging with the rest of the impulse purchase stuff? Do humanity a favor and buy her one, and suggest she bring it with her on future shopping outings.
13. People on Food Stamps Buying 457 Dollars Worth of Junk Food
This may not inconvenience you personally, but it’s just sort of maddening. There you are with your paltry 40-dollar weekly food allowance, because half of your paycheck was sucked away by Uncle Sam. And along comes this women on a scooter with four barefoot kids trailing behind her, and one of them is pushing a cart laden with Ding Dongs, white bread, and juice that isn’t really juice. Thanks for paying those taxes. She needed that stuff, as she would say, “real bad”.
14. Tricky Pricing
Did you know “10 for 10 dollars!” doesn’t mean you really have to buy ten of those things? Did you know the regular price is actually 87 cents? Oh yeah, they marked it up but made it sound like a good deal, and you’re going to buy nine more than you really needed because of the sneaky subliminal message. Well, now you know. So if you fall for it again, you can only blame yourself, dumbass.
15. Annoying Little Tags
All those advertised specials, which aren’t really all that special, are identified by crappy little tags that cling precariously to the shelves. If you walk fast enough to create a little wind as you walk by, the tags blow off and hit the floor. You feel kinda responsible for making a mess, so you try to reattach the tags and end up feeling like the slow kid in a highly competitive game of Barrel of Monkeys. They simply won’t stay put, so you get frustrated and toss the damn things right back on the floor. From now on, just pretend you didn’t notice.
16. Crappy Bagging
You spent all that time and worked yourself up into a frenzy of annoyance, only to return home and discover smooshed bread in the bottom of your bags. You wouldn’t think grocery bagging would require a great deal of intelligence or high-level training, but you’d be wrong.
17. Can’t Find Stuff
For the love of God, where is the sauerkraut?! And some noodles are on the noodle aisle, while others are on the “Asian aisle”. What’s the difference? No one knows. Every grocery store has a different and wildly unpredictable stocking system. You do eventually find the items on your list, but next week they’ve been moved somewhere else.
18. They’re Sold Out of a Vital Item on Your List
Your cart is full of almost everything you need for tonight’s meal…. and then you can’t find that last crucial ingredient because everyone else in town also needed a tiny jar of cumin. You can revamp your menu and start over, take the family out to eat tonight, or endure another house of horror down the road. Choose wisely.
19. Frosty Freezer Doors
The freezer aisle can also double as an IQ test. Hint: the doors are clear. Now here’s your question. When selecting a frozen food item, should you make a decision before or after opening the door? 50 percent of people fail this simple quiz. They usually visit the frozen food aisle shortly before you do, fog up the doors by lollygagging around in front of open freezers, and cause you to be completely unable to find the items you need without being forced to open every. Single. Door. Brrrrrrrrrrrr
20. Crap in the Aisles
As you’re attempting to steer your flat-wheeled cart through a flurry of fluttering tags, another obstacle looms in your path: a giant cardboard display of some cartoon character holding 184 pounds of crappy junk food. And the thing is constructed as sturdily as… well, a cardboard shelf. Don’t bump into it or even look directly at it. It’s about to fall. And it will be all your fault.
21. Nosy People Looking at Your Stuff
It’s bad enough that you have to purchase hemorrhoid cream; now every old lady you pass has to glance in your cart and ask how well it works. Or how about those people who point to your fruit and ask what it tastes like? They’re about to find out, because you’re tempted to ram it down their throats.
22. Parenting Advice
It’s hard to say what’s worse: Being subjected to someone else’s screaming kid, or having to endure the unsolicited advice when you’re the parent of said child. Yes, the sound is annoying, but it’s also pretty standard kid behavior. You came here for pickles, not an interview with Dr Sears. Most of the people offering you advice have never had a child, so keep in mind that one day they will have a kid and discover this special form of hell on their own. Karma’s a bitch. They’ll probably get an even worse kid than you did.
23. Sex Headlines on Magazines
Yeah yeah, product placement, sex sells, yadda yadda yadda. When you’re the parent of a seven-year-old girl, though, you don’t really want to answer questions like “what’s a sex position?” and “why are there 47 of them?” in the middle of a grocery store trip. Not to mention the fun of your pubescent son getting his first boner right there in Food World, because US Weekly just had to display Kim Kardashian’s bikini body on their cover.
24. Coupons Don’t Work
You wouldn’t have brought 24 cans of stewed tomatoes up here to the front of the store if you’d known that coupon wasn’t going to work as advertised. Your cashier has to take them all off your bill, and now you’re that annoying person everyone is staring at in the checkout line. It’s not your fault though. It was coupon devilry and they were hoping you wouldn’t care and just pay for the stuff anyway.
25. Crop Dusters
Don’t act like you’ve never done it. But when you have to walk through someone else’s furtive farts on the salad dressing aisle, it’s pretty bad torture for your senses. Stop following people so closely. Don’t you hate it when you need to fart and someone won’t get off your ass? You literally walked right into that one.
26. Bad Produce
You reach for that juicy, ripe tomato…. and a bunch of foul slime coats your hand. The bottom of this tomato is rotten due to a poorly-maintained produce department, and there are no paper towels to be found. Ew.
27. Workers Have All Disappeared When You Need Something, But Are Ever-present When You Want to Be Left Alone
When you can’t find an important item on your list, you’re forced to wander aimlessly throughout the store searching for it. But when everything is just peachy, there are stock boys everywhere nagging you about whether you’re finding everything okay, are you having a pleasant experience, and would you like to try this disgusting appetizer. It’s like they can’t read your mind or something. Stupid workers.
28. Grumpy Old Ladies
Old ladies love the grocery store. They’re old, they have nothing else to do, and usually they’re pissed off about something. So they go to the grocery store to wreak havoc upon unsuspecting shoppers. No matter what you do, some grumpy old lady doesn’t like it. And she will tell you all about it.
29. Hidden Bathrooms
Who decided to put the bathrooms way back in the stock room? You feel like you’ve trespassed and might be arrested at any moment. On the other hand, you hope the police do show up soon, because it is freakin creepy back there.
30. People on Scooters
No jerk would be annoyed by an actual disabled person on a scooter. However, the vast majority of those scooter users can walk just fine. You even saw them lumber into the store and plop their fat asses down on a scooter. Then they spend the next couple of hours backing over people and blocking aisles because they’re simply too lazy to walk.
31. Expired Stuff
Sometimes groceries expire, and they aren’t removed from the store shelves…until you come along and purchase them. Unfortunately, you don’t discover they’re expired until you drive home, put away your groceries, and make yourself a snack. Only then do you discover that you spent two hours and 362 dollars to purchase rancid vegan cheese and soggy tofu.