Supermarket Etiquette Guide

When I first started this blog, one of my earliest posts was in regard to things that go on in the supermarket and pretty much my complaining about them.  When Chef P and I do our weekly grocery shopping, we’ve noticed the same things that go on that really seem to annoy us; maybe it’s our age, but crikey, we’re not THAT old and cranky!

Yesterday, Chef P suggested that we come up with a supermarket etiquette guide that I could post here.  Even though I’ve already posted complaints before, this is an updated version with some more points thrown in by Chef P.  He wrote the majority of this (well alright, all of it) and I’m just being the little secretary and copying it onto here.  However, I have added a few additions of my own.

He says that he was prompted to write this after suffering at numerous supermarkets across the country, so here we go:


Gather your bags-for-life.

What?  You don’t have any?  Your grandparents were not given bags at the shops – if you bought potatoes and had no bags, you carried them home loose.  Apart from that, there is no need for lots of extraneous plastic bags that put a burden on the landfill system.  Get into the habit of putting them into your car before going shopping.

Gather any recycling materials that cannot go into the bins.  Almost all supermarkets have a recycling bank for glass, cans and paper and by taking them along, you reduce the need for someone else to collect it.  It takes no more than a few minutes at the supermarket to drop these into the recycling bins.  As a side note, if the recycling banks are situated near parking spaces, then by all means, park in the space and not directly next to the banks.  It keeps your vehicle out of the way of other vehicles that are trying to pass.

Do you really need to take the whole brood with you?  We have nothing against children, but a supermarket is not the best place for them, in general.  Yes there are times you need to take them (Chef P was a single father for some years and understands the necessity) but when we see a family of 4 or 5 with both parents, we wonder if the shopping trip is being made into the weekly family outing.

If you do have to take the kids with you, please keep control of them and if they are screaming at least have the goodness to take them clear of earshot of other customers.  Believe it or not, listening to screaming children is not the reason we have gone to the supermarket.


SLOW DOWN! You are in a car park, not a motorway or even a residential road.  Those speed bumps would not be necessary if people just slowed down because they understood there will be pedestrians in the car park which could walk out from between parked cars or elsewhere without warning.  As it is, if there are speed bumps somewhere, it means the local community has decided some people are travelling too fast and want you to:


Parking the car.  The car park is loaded with marked out spaces for your vehicle to be parked.  Don’t use the set down/pick-up area and taxi bays.  You are not special; park in the white-llined spaces as that is what they are there for.  If you are disabled, the supermarkets provide a fair amount of dedicated parking close to the doors.

We do note that supermarkets are getting more aggressive about abuse of the disabled parking areas by giving out fines…GOOD!  Don’t complain if you get a ticket.  If you’re not disabled and not displaying a parking badge, then you shouldn’t be parked there.  End of discussion.

When entering the supermarket with your cart/trolley, do not block the entrance.  Believe it or not, others wish to enter and leave; the stores have something to listen to here as well.  keep your seasonal displays clear of the entrance!  I want to be able to get in and out without having to navigate around a bulky display.

In the Supermarket:

Please do not stop in the middle of the aisle for a nice gossip with someone.  It’s lovely that you have friends who wish to speak with you but go somewhere where there is no traffic.

Supermarket management:

Stop moving all the stuff around.  I know why you do it and it won’t work with me; if i can’t find the product I want where it usually is, i am not going to hunt it down taking me past products I don’t usually buy that you want me to buy.  I am going to leave without it and buy it elsewhere.

Back to the shoppers…

When stopping to get a product off the shelf or perhaps to choose from a range, park the trolley along the side of the aisle – do not leave it at a 45 or 90 degree angle that prevents others from getting past you.  Also, do not leave it in the middle of the aisle which is just as bad or worse.

Exit an aisle as you would a side road.  Slow down and look; don’t just barrel through as if there will not be anyone else going past; there very probably will be.

At the checkout:

Put your cart at the end of the checkout so the person in the other lane (as these lanes are usually dual) can get their cart past; besides, you’ll find it easier to bag and put stuff in the cart if it is placed there.

If you have placed your purchases on the belt with care, then you will find bagging easier and quicker; for instance, put all the cold stuff together.  Put all the lighter items at the end.

Cashiers:  Please scan the things on the belt in the order I have placed them – there is a reason for that placement and that is to make bagging more convenient for myself.

After loading the care, take your trolley to a proper trolley area – don’t leave it next to where the car is.  That is just sheer laziness and means the supermarket has to employ people to retrieve then; that is a cost that is passed on to the customer (you and I).

When driving out, remember:  SLOW DOWN.  Most supermarkets have a speed limit of 10 mph for a very good reason.  Many people would be given speeding tickets if a cop was around.

Adhering to the spirit of these rules will make the weekly supermarket trip a lot more enjoyable and easier on everyone.

So….how much of this do you agree with?  Do you have anything to add?


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