Death to the Adverbs at the Grocery Store

Today’s Prompt for Writing 101: Go to a local café, park, or public place and write a piece inspired by something you see. Get detailed: leave no nuance behind.


This morning was my grocery shopping trip for the month. The prices of foods and other products have gotten ridiculous. Some of the items I often buy have risen in cost by 50%. Now, that’s killing me.

When I go to the grocery store I am not looking for anything to inspire me (sorry WP University).

I go to the grocery store to do my “hunting and gathering thang.” My mind and eyes are focused on the items that are on my list and on finding the best “deal” possible (which may or may not include the cheaper brands).

Grocery shopping has become much harder over the years. One thing I notice more and more now regarding shopping for groceries is that prices for the products are ambiguous. They don’t make it easy to read what the prices of the products are. Because of that, you have to be on your toes when you are checking out to make sure the products you are purchasing are indeed the prices you thought they were.

When I have finished my hunting and gathering and then gallup to the check out stands, this is when I feel like the cashier and I are face to face in a shoot-out and I have to focus on the task at hand. My right hand hoovers over my price pistol in my pocket along with my insistence that they help me bag my groceries and place them inside the basket.

Many times (literally) I have had to stop cashiers in the middle of their work because the price was not what I thought it was or the price in the computer system wasn’t changed to the “on sale” price. This is very irritating.

Some grocery stores (Walmart, to be exact), do not want you watching the prices going into the register. Instead, they are insisting that you sack the groceries and put them in your basket as they are doing the scanning. My answer to this is, “NO. I am going to watch the prices going into the register and the cashier IS going to help me bag the groceries and then help put them in my basket. Those checkers do not want to help you with bagging and placing the bags into the basket, insist they do it anyway.



43 thoughts on “Death to the Adverbs at the Grocery Store

  1. I am still getting use to not having the price on each item in my state.
    I am always checking the scanned prices as well.
    Either that or I double check the receipt on my way out. Trying to teach my husband to do that.

  2. Prices are the same for food in the UK and the cashiers pass those items through their scanner at lightening speed. If I am in doubt about the price of certain items I put them at the front and ask them to verify the price.

  3. It pays to be cautious. The other day, a cashier charged my mother for instant noodles twice but she didn’t notice. She had held a vengeance ever since.

  4. Wow – I could learn a thing or two about shopping from you. I’m so busy gabbing with the cashier or whoever is nearby, I don’t even pay attention – probably get nabbed plenty. And then shopping once a month – oh you must be so organized! 🙂 I am forever going.

  5. I try my best to always look out for prices because I hate overspending. But like you said prices are constantly changing and it’s hard to find sales on certain items. My husband hates that I’m always on the lookout because he says it doesn’t matter, it’s food, we gotta eat something. So sometimes I let it slide but it bugs me. I’m surprise your Walmart does that. Over here the cashier bags the items and at the end we place them in the cart. Lately, I prefer to do self check out because I get to see the prices and do it all myself.

  6. I’m always watching how they cram things in the bags…bread items can get smashed very easy and too many heavy items in one bag can be a real problem. Also, a lot of times you can save more money when you buy two smaller items instead of the larger size! Great post, Joy. You have a lot of company when comes to experiences in the grocery store.

    • I know what you mean. I believe the Walmart cashiers (here) are the most unhappy employees I have ever seen. They don’t want to do anything except scan and are rushing me out of the store as fast as they can. I can’t go that fast! It is very very irritating!

  7. 🙂 I keep my eyes trained on the cashier’s screen also but if something scans up wrong, I let it go and go to customer service instead after checking my receipts. An error for an item that costs under $10 = free, item over $10 means $10 off the price it should have been in the first place! 🙂

  8. I agree that food costs have gotten out of control. It is ridiculous and very frustrating. I feel bad for cashiers. I seriously think it is a pretty tiresome job. I don’t think they are purposely trying to screw you- just trying to do their job. I am sure they are watched for how long it takes them to process customers. I am sure the larger powers that be set it up this way to get free money from people not noticing the errors and also to maximize employee productivity. I do agree with you about being vigilant though. Even though it is not their fault you still don’t want to be taken….

    • I agree with you 100%. I do not blame the cashiers for trying to push us through the line as fast as they can because they are doing what their bosses are telling them to do. I also don’t think it is there fault if the prices come out higher than we thought it was. That belongs on the shoulders of those that update the computerized prices. I do, however, feel they could still take the time to be friendly and accommodating to the customers.

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