16 Unwritten Supermarket Rules You Should Never Break

Supermarkets are a constant hub of activity. So, to keep the peace, there's usually a standard set of rules every supermarket has in place. However, there are also some unwritten rules that make the shopping experience much smoother for everyone. Here are sixteen unwritten supermarket rules that you should never break.

1. Don't Block the Aisle 

This is the most obvious rule, but it's also the one that gets broken most frequently. People will often leave their shopping carts in the middle of the walkway while perusing the shelves. But it's important to be considerate while shopping and keep your cart on one side of the aisle so others can pass by unobstructed. 

2. No Snacking Before You Pay 

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How many times have you been hungry while shopping? It happens to everyone. While it might be tempting to sip on a soda or open a bag of chips while strolling through the aisles, it's definitely frowned upon. You should wait until after you've gone through checkout before you start eating your purchases. 

3. Never Leave Your Cart Unattended 

Leaving your shopping cart unattended in a busy supermarket is a recipe for confusion and inconvenience. Employees might think your cart's abandoned and clear it or move it out of the way, or shoppers might start helping themselves to the items inside. Always keep an eye on your shopping cart; when you need to head down a different aisle, take it with you. 

4. Don't Cheat the Express Line

The express line is a blessing for anyone wanting to grab a few quick items. However, it's called the express line for a reason, and sometimes, people will try to slip by with a few extra items. Although the sign clearly says “10 items or less,” people will try to get away with a few more and hope the cashier won't notice until it's too late. This is unfair to everyone in the line and creates unnecessary delays. 

5. Respect People's Personal Space

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Have you ever been to the supermarket and the person next to you doesn't seem to realize they're standing too close? Supermarkets are notoriously crowded, but this doesn't mean you should disrespect other people's boundaries. Since the pandemic, people have become accustomed to social distancing in overcrowded areas. Give people enough room to move around comfortably. 

6. Don't Sample Foods You Aren't Paying For 

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Unless the supermarket offers free samples, you should never sample the products. While you might wonder whether the strawberries are sweet or the nuts are fresh, taking a handful without paying isn't sampling; it's stealing. If you're confused about whether or not something can be sampled, always ask an employee first.

7. Be Prepared During Checkout 

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You shouldn't wait until the cashier is finished with your cart to search for your wallet. Digging through your bag or pockets to find your wallet will frustrate the cashier and cause a delay for everyone waiting in line behind you. Always be prepared at checkout with your card, cash, or coupons. 

8. Put Things Back in the Right Place

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Have you ever picked up an item and then realized several aisles away that you don't want it anymore? It happens to everyone, but what you choose to do with it makes the difference. Leaving an item on the wrong shelf creates more work for the employees and could lead to perishable items going bad if left in the wrong place for too long. You should never leave an item on a random shelf; always return things where you found them.

9. Never Ask to Cut the Line

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No one likes to wait in line, but asking someone to let you cut ahead is generally considered rude. Sometimes, you're at the supermarket and in a hurry to leave, but it feels like the line is taking forever. However, unless you have a genuine emergency, you should wait your turn like everyone else.

10. Don't Leave Your Cart in the Parking Lot

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Have you ever been tempted to abandon your empty cart in the parking lot? After you load your groceries, you must return the cart to the designated area. Leaving an empty cart in the parking lot can cause accidents, block parking spaces, and create extra work for the employees. 

11. Never Leave the Checkout Counter to Get More Items

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Once you've arrived at the checkout counter, stay there. During checkout is the worst time to run back to grab a forgotten item. It holds up the line and inconveniences the cashier and the other shoppers. If it's so important that you can't leave the supermarket without it, finish your transaction, then go back for the missing item and checkout through the express line. 

12. Pay Attention to Your Kids

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Don't be the parent of a child causing mayhem in the grocery store. While kids are unpredictable, and some outbursts can't be avoided, this doesn't mean you should ignore bad behavior. Teach your children to always be near you while at the supermarket so you can monitor their actions and avoid any accidents or disruptions.  

13. Be Kind to the Employees 

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Your favorite supermarket could not run smoothly without the employees, so be kind and offer them respect. They're hard-working people who spend long hours ensuring you have the best possible shopping experience. A simple “please” and “thank you” while dealing with supermarket employees could go a long way.

14. Don't Shop at Closing Time

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If the supermarket closes at 9:00 p.m., you shouldn't arrive at 8:55 p.m. to go shopping. Although you might be tempted to rush in and get a quick shopping trip done before the store shuts down for the night, it's better to avoid this if possible. The store employees must finish their daily tasks and close up for the night, and your last-minute trip will only delay them. 

15. Never Squeeze the Food

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How often do you see people squeezing and tapping produce to test its ripeness? Gently squeezing some foods, such as avocados, bread, or tomatoes, can give you a good idea of how fresh they are. However, aggressively squeezing and touching food at the supermarket could damage it, making it less appealing to other shoppers. Always handle supermarket foods with care. 

16. Clean Up After Yourself 

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Many people assume that because there are employees, they don't need to clean up after themselves while shopping. However, you should pick up after yourself if you've dropped a crumpled list, used tissues, or knocked something minor off a shelf. Also, if you've caused a massive spill, don't just walk away; notify an employee so they can handle it. Leaving a mess behind and expecting someone else to take care of it is inconsiderate. 

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She started her blog, The Money Dreamer, when she realized the 9-5 job was not the lifestyle she wanted anymore. After designing for a while, she wanted a more meaningful life, which was freedom, so she decided to venture out. She took action so that she can live her dream life and decided to help people to live theirs by helping them how to save, budget, and invest.

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