Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Checking Out at the Grocery Store


Recommended Posts

@Katie Meadow, I have a similar methodology, but I write my shopping list with items sorted by the aisle layout since that is how my Mom did it. Supermarkets would be wise to offer a downloadable PDF shopping list arranged by aisle category. 

  • Like 3

"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast" - Oscar Wilde

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, BeeZee said:

shopping list with items sorted by the aisle layout

I used to do that but stores down here like to change their layout frequently. It has something to do with impulse buying. The more you have to hunt, the more you grab as you go by.

The store where I do my main shopping is a chain grocery store. They have one store 5 minutes from my house that changes its layout constantly. There is another one that is 20 minutes from my house that has had the same layout for the six years that I have been going there. That's where I go. My favorite store also has a carousel for shopping bags and the other one doesn't. I really like the carousel system because the checkers seem to be less rushed and by rotating the carousel to the different bags they sort and pack them beautifully.

Going to my favorite store is a delightful experience and I always leave with a smile. Going to the other store is a chore and I just can't wait to get out of it.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The major grocery chains here have gone all-in on self checkout. At the store I go to most, there is usually only one lane with a checkout person and that is the one at the counter where they sell cigarettes so they are constantly leaving you for the smokers. They have also made it very hard to pay with cash - I assume handling the cash and paying for armored transport costs more than the credit charges. Since they do such large volume I wouldn't be surprised if they negotiated a very low fee. 


Along with this they have been getting heavily into face recognition, AI monitoring to see if you were keying in cheap veg for expensive ones, and various methods to keep people from dashing out with their trolly. Like experimenting with ways to lock the wheels if they think you are stealing. Very dystopian. 

  • Confused 1
  • Sad 4

It's almost never bad to feed someone.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 12/5/2023 at 7:13 PM, BeeZee said:

@Katie MeadowSupermarkets would be wise to offer a downloadable PDF shopping list arranged by aisle category. 


That would be the death of them.


They want you to stay in the store as long as possible hunting for what you want (and picking up stuff you don't).. Supermarket chains employ psychologists to trick you left, right, and centre. Expensive goods at eye level, cheap stuff at floor level. Go look for salt in your supermarket. Where is it 99% of the time?  At floor level. They make almost nothing from it; they're not going to place it at eye level.


Some supermarkets even control how quickly you push your cart through the aisles: slower in the luxury impulse buy section, faster in the boring staples. The vary the size of the floor tiles; we instinctively try to keep the clicks of the wheels even, speeding up or slowing down subconciously as we go.


And that 's only the beginning.

Edited by liuzhou (log)
  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
  • Haha 1
  • Confused 1

...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.


The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

Link to comment
Share on other sites


15 hours ago, BeeZee said:

Supermarkets would be wise to offer a downloadable PDF shopping list arranged by aisle category. 


Some local stores used to do this! I just loved it. A chain of stores mostly here on Vancouver Island had this feature.

( @MaryIsobelwill know Thrifty Foods as does @Ann_T and despite its name it tended to have slightly higher prices but it also had a great meat and produce department, a pretty good bakery and quite a bit of specialty or ethnic items). 


Unfortunately, it's been bought out by a national chain and it's not the same. But it used to allow you to create and save a list from the fairly lengthy online flyer and then you would pick the store and it would arrange your items by aisle and you could print that off or save it and take it to the store. Each store was a different size and arranged differently, so it was pretty cool. When I lived in Victoria I would shop at any one of several of their locations depending on where I was working that day and it was so nice to know which aisle had the different items without having to hunt them down.  


You could add other (non-flyer) grocery items to your list but I don't think it could sort those by aisle. 


Anyway, they got bought out and now you can print/save your list but it doesn't allow for shopping by aisle anymore. 😠 And they don't have the same range of products anymore either. 😠 And they don't contribute to local charities or community events the same way at all. 😠


A female friend of mine in Victoria loved those stores so much that when I told her they had been bought out by the big Sobey's chain, she broke down in tears. 


I'm sure there are other stores that allow for shopping by aisle. Canadian Tire and Home Depot give precise aisle and bin locations for products, but I don't know if they do a shopping list arranged that way. But those are different types of items, too. 

  • Sad 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Moe's says I haven't met a grocery store I didn't like.


I love grocery shopping and I shop almost daily.  I've always shopped this way.

When I worked in Toronto many years ago,I worked downtown and lived along the Yonge Subway line.  

Lived in a neighbourhood where there was a Fruit and Vegetable store, a butcher, bakery and depending on which stop I got

off, a seafood store.    I got off the subway and shopped for dinner and then walked the rest of the way home.


I pass a Country Grocer on my way to work everyday and stop there every morning to pick up anything I might need for dinner or for



They have a good vegetable/fruit department although other than chicken, I don't tend to buy meat there.   

Thrifty's is just five minutes from home so I will often go there in the morning and drop stuff off at home before heading to work. 

Thrifty's has both a butcher counter and a seafood counter.  And their beef is the best.  And the butchers are always happy to cut a roast or steaks for me. 


I don't like the Superstore's self check out, but the Duncan Thrifty's has a self=checkout and I like it.  The Mill Bay location doesn't have self-checkout.


@gfweb I loved Wegmans and when we lived in Dunkirk, NY  we were about halfway between Erie  and Buffalo and Jamestown.  A couple of times a  week

I would go to at least one of them.  It varied as to which location  depending on what other shopping I planned to do.    



  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

From an informative article in the Atlantic:

The barcode as it currently exists is now 50 years old. It may well be supplanted soon by the QR code, which in addition to simply pulling up a link to a web page can now function as a barcode, but one than can encode much more information than a collection of lines. (It's actually the white space between the lines that encodes the information.) Of course, this would mean more -- much more -- intrusive advertising and marketing.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 4

"There is no sincerer love than the love of food."  -George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, Act 1


"Imagine all the food you have eaten in your life and consider that you are simply some of that food, rearranged."  -Max Tegmark, physicist


Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."


"...in the mid-’90s when the internet was coming...there was a tendency to assume that when all the world’s knowledge comes online, everyone will flock to it. It turns out that if you give everyone access to the Library of Congress, what they do is watch videos on TikTok."  -Neil Stephenson, author, in The Atlantic


"In questions of science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual." -Galileo Galilei, physicist and astronomer

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Create New...