How to Shop in a Grocery Store. Part Two


Josh Bowman is spending the next couple of weeks offering tips on how to do basic activities (you’re welcome). Today: shopping in a supermarket. Part Two.

  1. I shouldn’t have to say it, but the express lane is for people with a small number of groceries who are in and out quickly. They post the number of  groceries on a huge sign above the lane. It is usually around 12 (maximum). One easy way to find out if you qualify for the express lane is to count the number of grocery items you have, and then refer to the number on the sign. If the number on the sign is lower than the number of grocery items you have, don’t use the express lane. Also, if you are only planning on paying in pennies, don’t use the express lane.
  2. Avoid the middle lane. It has all the chips and pop and garbage. Avoid the temptation.
  3. Try shopping in the “ethnic” aisle. It’s amazing what you can find in there. Calypso sauce, ackee fruit, rice paper, curry pouches…yum.
  4. No matter how many bags of chips and magazines and candy bars you buy, your cashier will still know that you are buying condoms.
  5. If you are singing along to the Muzak, you might be an old person. Be ok with that, as you settle into the John Tesh easy listening hour. “Crimson and Clover, over and over….”
  6. Children are always engaged in a war for candy. The supermarket is their battle ground. They will do whatever it takes to ensure that you don’t leave that store without at least a sweet cereal and a box of chocolate bars. They will also fight to get a bouncy ball or small handful of Thrills from the red vending machine just past the cash registers. Be prepared for battle; this could get ugly.
  7. Get your produce from small vendors. It’s cheaper and often local. Unless it’s one of those guys that sells apples off a wooden table on the street. Then you’re really rolling the dice.
  8. Do you need six cans of chick peas? I know they’re on sale if you buy six cans. But do you need all six cans? Do you really make that much bean salad and hummus?
  9. This. (yes, I’m Jewish)
  10. Go ahead. Get that ice cream cake. Treat yo’ self.

—Photo Yuya Tamai/Flickr

About Josh Bowman

Josh Bowman is a professional fundraiser, story-teller, comedian, and blogger. He has worked and consulted in Vancouver, New York, and now Toronto for almost a decade. Josh improvises around Toronto, including regular shows with Opening Night Theatre, and also blogs for the Huffington Post. You can email Josh here.. If you want to know more about Josh, check this post and this post out first.


  1. #6: oh, yeah? Please don’t tell my kids, I don’t think they got the memo.
    #8: yes

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