Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Not About Food >
Sep 12, 2008 01:47 PM

Do you find people who eat at the grocery while shopping rude?


I'm not really a prude - and while I do shop at gormet grocery stores somewhat regularly, my "go to" grocer is a chain - as in there are many all over the region I live in. So that said, I hardly expect Emily Post manners in the grocery store. But ON THE OTHER HAND - after seeing someone in sweats and flip flops eating Cheez-its while they shopped (acting as if they had paid for them already) the whole idea of eating while you grocery shop really got on my nerves. For one thing, I think you should PAY and then EAT. For another thing, there seems to be something unsanitary and about someone with their hand in a cracker box as they handle items in the market. And finally, and OK, this probably DOES sound prudish, it seems extremely slovenly and self indulgent. It reminds me of sitting in front of the stove and eating while you cook. What do all of you think?

  1. rude...? no, something I would do...? no.

    1. I don't think I would eat while I shop, but I have opened drinks and drank them while shopping. I pay for them later, of course.

      Would it matter to you if it's an adult or a child? I have vague memories of being given animal crackers and eating a few while going shopping with my parents as a child.

      1. it does not bother jfood at all as long as they pay for it.

        And anyone who pushes a cart and eats with those same hands should google on the cleanliness, or lack thereof, of the cart handles. You would be amazed and totally refrain from ever eating, or thinking about putting your hands anywhere near your mouth after reading those articles.

        5 Replies
        1. re: jfood

          Interesting - I really thought more people would be bothered by it. In response to akq - I kind of think of the child animal cracker scenario as the exception to the rule. I know many little kids need to eat frequently, and if it keeps them settled, that seems OK - but I would still say that I think you should only open an item after you buy it.

          1. re: SamuelAt

            Why does the sequence matter? You eat in a restaurant before you pay.

            1. re: jfood

              In a restaurant you are expected to eat before you pay. You also pay to be served at a restaurant. In a grocery, you are in a store that is not meant to be an environment to eat in, and is a shop - a place where you select items, pay for them, and leave. Unless there is seating for dining.

              1. re: SamuelAt

                then why do they give samples? And why do they serve coffee?

                Hey, you do not want to eat in a grocer, go for it. But if the grocer does not care why should the other patrons be the police?

                1. re: jfood

                  When I enter the grocery store, as a courtesy, they always have a plastic canister with antibacterial wipes. I wipe down the grocery cart and my son's little hands. During the visit, I almost always open up something just so he won't scream his little head off. He is too young to understand why he cannot have the Nilla wafers NOW. It keeps him and the rest of the patrons happy. There have been times where he wanted a banana, that can get a little tricky since the cost is determined by weight. I have told the cashier to run a single banana threw twice and have not felt guilty. I rarely see adults eating in the grocery store unless it is for sampling. It doesn't bother me. What does bother me is when they make a meal out of the sampling, now that is rude.

        2. I don't do it myself (unless I grab a bottle of water from the chilled drinks section), but I have opened up a pack of crackers or something to appease one (or both) of my kids and stop them from whining that they are tired of shopping and want to go home. LOL

          1 Reply
          1. re: boogiebaby

            That's fair enough. Kids can be a handful!

          2. I don't find it rude. I guess I never thought you could do that before my roommate took a pepsi out of a fridge in the grocery store and started drinking it. I gasped thinking that was "illegal" but then I got used to the idea.

            I'm confused by your use of the word "prude"

            1 Reply
            1. re: Chew on That

              What confused you about the reference? It's someone who is excessively modest or proper...