Do You............?

Joined May 6, 2001
I was reading one of the "rants" on Alton Brown's website that made me wonder. Do any of you eat food while shopping? A little nibble from that box of whatever while you cruise the aisles? I don't-I think my head would explode if I opened a package before I paid for it but, reading this I actually felt some sympathy for him. I'm one of those people who place eating something from your cart while shopping up there in the rudeness factor as those people who chat away on their cell phones in the store. What do you think?
Joined May 26, 2001
Only -- ESPECIALLY -- whatever they put out as samples. And when I taste their samples, I'm always disappointed, because the stuff is awful.

You mean, open a package and eat from it! OMG!!! No! Not even if it's in my cart and I'm going to pay for it eventually. Maybe that's more the nature of what I buy, though (who wants to eat raw flour!?!?!)
Joined Feb 21, 2001
We had a case of checkout rage recently here and they were talking about it on a radio talk show, and saying that people who get into the express lane with more than the "approved" number of items should feel the sting of the lash on their pathetic and bony shoulders. Big deal. The stupid store is there for my convenience and if I can slide into a line with a couple over the limit, not a lot, I do it every time.

After spending the winter standing behind the bakery counter at an upscale natural foods store, and watching people opening food and munching, coming back and refilling their coffee, walking around swilling on a bottle of Reed's ginger beer that then gets left on a shelf, I'm convinced that retailers must get crazy from those kinds of losses. I would never open anything until I was on the other side of the checkout. Until then it's not mine, and I just don't need the kind of aggravation Alton Brown went through.

And as far as an employee going up to a customer and saying, "Oh, by the way, you left your donut holes behind..." Not me. If the store I was working at is any indication, retailers are putting the peek on customers more than you might realize. They have classes on "loss control" and there are posters where you can't see them saying things like "Can you spot the shoplifter in these pictures?" Employees are encouraged to look out for losses wherever they occur, whether it's a customer, a fellow employee eating something they shouldn't, or your supervisor doing a lousy job on the ordering.
Joined Nov 19, 1999
Nibbling the food while shopping, unless it is a free sample is nothing short of theft. I have seen it happen a couple of times throughout my life of shopping in large chain stores, but thankfully, not often. People know better, whether they choose to do it or not. Nobody ever had to tell me it was wrong.
Joined Jul 28, 2001
Was on the opening team of a couple upscale grocery stores in the 80's. I was amazed the mark-up on the can goods 8-9% and the shrink forcast was 9-10%. this also included perishable dept.'s but the actual theft and breakage was around 4%. Not a problem though, it was "built into the price". We're paying for it.
Joined Apr 19, 2001
And what about those folk you see nibbling on the fresh fruit? Like 'sampling' a grape? Makes it easy, they don't even have to open the package! Of course, unfortunately, the supermarkets around here seem to have answered that problem by packaging their grapes - now I have to buy what They have weighed out, and deal with the excess packaging when I get home!
Joined Oct 28, 1999
Ever try to take a 2-year old to the groccery store and not open a bag of fruit chews or pretzels? Restraining a child amidst a sea of goodies is nearly impossible- and why try? And with the average shopping trip nearing two-hours, a snack for the kids isn't out of line. The box is in the cart and the contents of the cart will be purchased. Certainly, a 'weighed' item (like fruit popped into ones' mouth) is theft, as is opening a soda and leaving the empty bottle a shelf. Alton Brown is alluding to a portion of something out of a box that will be purchased is not neccesarily a high crime. IMHO.
Joined Feb 11, 2002
Okay. I admit it - I am one of those people who walk around stores talking into my headset. (God forbid one of my people can't get a hold of me - I never hear the end of it!) I will also on occasion. eat/drink as I am walking around the store (usually sushi in those little bento boxes and a bottle of water). Sometimes it's my only down time to eat as I continue to try get through all the **** I've got to do in my day. Problem? I don't see any. I ALWAYS pay for my
stuff - never once has anyone asked me to refrain from munching my way through an aisle. Unweighed produce yes - I understand - that's thievery (although what they charge for the stuff these days...that's another rant)
but as I tidly put my empties along with all the other items I'm purchasing on the conveyor belt , the only question I'm ever asked is "are you finished with this and can I throw it away for you?"
To which I happily reply, "yes, and thank you!"
Joined May 11, 2001
I'm too chicken and conventional to eat or drink something before I pay for it, but I don't see anything wrong as long as you do pay. My mother is a grape taster, but she really only tastes one. I don't see this as being wrong either because I hate getting home and having a bunch of sour grapes. In Vancouver's Chinatown, I think they have a system where you pay a dime for a taste. Those vendors get pretty mad when you try to taste without paying.

On a related note, if the store has a bin of lychee with the LONG stems and they are selling the lychee by the pound, can you remove the "nut" from the stem and pay just for the nuts? Same for brussel sprouts on the fat heavy stem. I ran into the brussel sprout dilemma last Thanksgiving. One store only had these huge stems of brussel sprouts and no loose brussel sprouts. I only needed a few sprouts since I don't know too many sprout eaters and I wasn't going to pay for the fat, tough-looking stem.
Joined Nov 29, 2001
Yes, I test the samples at the deli or bakery counters.

Yes, I open a box of something and shove one in my mouth fully intending to pay for the balance of the box. Here's why - and this might open some eyes, possibly giving others a perspective they haven't explored.

If I go shopping after work, I might not have time for a snack. Everyone knows you shouldn't shop hungry. If my opening something and consuming part of it can stop me from binge buying, it's no harm or foul to anyone, as long as I pay for the whole quantity. The act of putting an empty package back on the shelf is repulsive but I know the value of having something in my stomach vs. shopping on an empty stomach.

If I need something that's weighed, if I'm hungry, I'll go there first. The weight label on my package stays the same at the cash register regardless of whether I've had some.
Joined Jul 28, 2001
your right on the money, if I shop hungry I spend twice the budget. I also spend twice as much for the same exact groceries as my wife. Whats up with that?
Joined Nov 29, 2001
Someone's watching her prices...and someone, while doing a noble deed like grocery shopping, might just have his attention on the quickest way out of the store!

You're still a gem for shopping :D
Joined Nov 29, 2001
When I lived in NYC in the Village, I shopped at D'Agostino's on University Place. I loved that store. They had great products, including store-brands (when $ was tight). Given lots of shopping in NYC is for single-resident apartment-holds (as opposed to households), they had several express lines.

"Twelve items or less," was what the sign read. I had eleven items.

I placed them on the belt.

The cashier, upon reaching my order, began shouting at the absolute top of her lungs, EXPRESS LANE, 12 ITEMS OR LESS, NO CHECKS, NO DELIVERIES.

To which I responded with equal or greater volume (thank God for Italian operatic lung capacity), I HAVE ELEVEN ITEMS AND YOU'D KNOW THIS IF YOU COUNTED THEM BEFORE YOU BEGAN SCREAMING.
Joined Aug 11, 2000
2 hours in a store with a small child....ieeeeeeeee
nope I don't have a problem with taking sprouts off the trunk, I sometimes remove outer leaves of cabbages and by them for lining bowls.....most of the time produce guys will give me the cuttings, the prettiest ones are usually thrown away.
I started taking substandard shtuff back.....I got chicken from a well known national chain that was BAD, I took it back a few days later with the reciept. Interesting how attitude affects the outcome, they refunded my chicken $, when I quietly told the meat dept director he gave me chicken on the house and I got a $10 gift certificate from customer service!!!! I didn't rant, I explained how I cannot be shorted product and when I get to my client's home returning to the store for more is I travel 20 minutes to shop at THIS STORE because of their fish and meats.
I used to do the sushi dining ala store, but the one I shop at has put it up front near check out....thus by the time I get there I 'm done and they lost a sushi customer. Location location location.
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