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Who makes a better shopper -- women or men?

alkapal Sep 2, 2011 01:59 PM

I usually find that men I see in the grocery store could not care less about sales….they just grab the "item" and get going. There can be one a foot away and it is just the same quality (or even better maybe) and ⅔ the price -- but the man grabs the first one he finds. Same thing -- pretty much -- about produce. Grapes -- eh, they look OK, celery -- who cares if the leaves are there? onions? oh, there's a bag!

I think the grocery stores must love men shoppers -- when they come in to shop, that is!

What is your experience?

Do you think men are less careful as "shoppers" than we women?

Do men take as much time as women in the grocery store?

Do you think men just shop the "item" and not look for any sale of a similar "item" of comparable quality? <Granted, some of us do stick to certain brands for certain items, sale or not.>

Do you think I have stirred up a hornet's nest? Press #1 for YES, #2 for NO, #5 for Customer Service, #0 for I DON'T CARE A RAT'S patookus.

HAVE AT IT! (And have a great Labor Day weekend!).

PS, Who does the grocery shopping in your family? And do you use a list?

  1. inaplasticcup Sep 2, 2011 02:07 PM

    I'll bite.

    I think by and large, women tend to be more value oriented shoppers than men, but I do know men who clip coupons and shop specials. But I think it also depends on who does most of the cooking. People who don't cook often don't have a good grasp on how much yield they'll get from a certain quantity of an ingredient. I've known people (men in this instance), who would buy x number of hotdogs and 2x number of buns.

    In our household, I do almost all of the cooking, and I think it's safe to say that if I sent the Man for groceries on a regular basis, our bill would easily go up by half.

    2 Replies
    1. re: inaplasticcup
      alkapal Sep 2, 2011 02:15 PM

      i think who does the cooking does have a lot to do with it, too.

      1. re: inaplasticcup
        Bada Bing Sep 2, 2011 02:41 PM

        Yeah, the one who cooks matters. I'm male, I do all the cooking, and I'm regularly shocked by what my wife will pay for things if she goes to the supermarket.

        With meats, especially, I've noticed that she is seduced by very neatly packaged things that look as unlike an animal part as possible--think spending $5-6 per pound for boneless, skinless chicken breasts in a very tidy package with nice colors. I would buy beef loin steak for that much, or boneless, skinless chicken for 1/3 the price, on sale.

      2. f
        ferret Sep 2, 2011 02:11 PM

        Really? In 2011 we're going to stereotype by gender?

        The person who makes the best shopper is the one who prepares, and has an interest in, food - gender is irrelevant. My wife doesn't enjoy cooking and she loathes grocery stores. This would be more more appropriate as a Ladies' Home Journal poll from 1971.

        4 Replies
        1. re: ferret
          alkapal Sep 2, 2011 02:13 PM

          damn straight we are going to ASK about gender!!!! cause that's how we live!

          eh, i'm not stereotyping -- i'm speaking from experience.

          1. re: ferret
            Quine Sep 2, 2011 02:22 PM

            hehehe, Alka was just called an "old feminist" on another post here in CH.

            1. re: Quine
              s
              SpokaneFoodLover Sep 2, 2011 02:26 PM

              Hey, Quine, it was tongue in cheek. Lighten up.

              I think Ferret hit the nail on the head. Whoever cooks tends to be the better shopper. I cook, therefore I am...................a better grocery shopper.

              1. re: SpokaneFoodLover
                Quine Sep 2, 2011 02:32 PM

                Tongue in cheek, I think I have a recipe for that. Sorta like Turducken, but much trendier as using the whole animal is now so "in". And it is true that ALka was called that on another post here in CH land, I am merely reporting.

          2. s
            SpokaneFoodLover Sep 2, 2011 02:22 PM

            Women are generally better grocery shoppers than men. There, I admitted it. In my experience (as a male) I am about the same quality of grocery shopper as the majority of my sisters or female friends, but by far a better one than my brothers or male friends. When I was living with five other guys in college, I was shocked when we visited a grocery store and the guys just started pulling things off the shelves, without any comparison of price. I can recall a buddy grabbing a bag of sliced cheese, until I pointed out that a block of cheese of the same variety cost half the amount. Women may be more impulsive when it comes to grocery shopping, but the average man is an idiot in a store.

            As for me, I can't pick out a white onion without comparing the price and quality to that of the yellow and red onions. I stick to the outside of the store (produce, dairy, meat, bakery) and only venture inside the aisles for particular items that I know I need (canned tuna, seasonings, vinegars, oils, and the like). I like fruits and vegetables in season, and pure joy goes through me when I find crimini mushrooms on sale for $1.49 a pound. I just love all the experiences that food brings - planning, purchasing, cooking, eating.

            1. Jay F Sep 2, 2011 02:22 PM

              My father was a better cook than my mother, who hated it, so he did the shopping. It was different at my friend Jack's house. His mother was the one who cooked, so she did the shopping.

              1. m
                montrealeater Sep 2, 2011 02:35 PM

                I think, in general, women are better grocery shoppers than men. IN GENERAL. Most of the men I know, from those my age(20's-30's) right on up to my own Dad, prefer to view grocery shopping as a task to be accomplished in as little time as possible. My Dad would have a meltdown if he had to make a list, go to the store, compare various similiar products etc. Whereas I tend to actually enjoy that aspect of it. Also, the men I know are definitely less economy-minded. My mother won't actually let my Dad go grocery shopping with me because she knows the combo of his price ignorance and my expensive tastes on a beer budget will at least double the bill. And when he does go on his own, she checks the receipt and always has some kind of "oh my god, dishsoap wasnt even on the list, why do we now have 6 bottles of it?!" comment.

                Disclaimer - the above is opinion + anecdote. I know there are many men who rock at grocery shopping and many women who hate and suck at it.

                1 Reply
                1. re: montrealeater
                  p
                  pine time Sep 4, 2011 08:10 AM

                  I'm female and the chef in the household, and I love grocery shopping, so it's the thrill of the chase for me in finding the best quality at the best price. Mr. Pine couldn't care less about the quality, all he looks for in groceries is the price. HOWEVER, for electronics (his expertise, I couldn't care less about them), he LOVES to "research" ad infinitem and finding the absolute best features and a rock-bottom price. To each his/her own, I reckon! (As long as I don't have to schlep him along in the grocery store with me...)

                2. j
                  jlhinwa Sep 2, 2011 02:38 PM

                  I don't mind a little gender stereotyping if it's in fun.

                  I really don't know how it works in other households, but in my own, we have three shoppers: my husband, my brother, and me. (My mom used to do shopping but is now not allowed to drive and she hasn't figured out how to get to the store without one of us taking her. We, in turn, would rather take her list than take her.)

                  I do most of the shopping, and most times, I take a list. The primary reason I use a list is to not forget important items. As it is, I stop by the grocery store probably 3 - 4 times/week. Ridiculous. A secondary benefit of the list is that it keeps me focused and I'm less likely to impulse-buy.

                  I am a reasonably careful shopper. I wouldn't say I shop for lowest prices across the board, but I do shop for value. My husband would never be bothered with those little baggies and twist ties that you use to purchase spices in bulk, but I always do. Spending 75 cents for something that would cost $5.00 in a little jar just makes too much sense for me to ignore.

                  I definitely take longer in the store because I want to be thorough, and I am thinking of the needs of the entire household, not just my own list.

                  My brother is a bargain shopper, he zips in and out as quickly as he can, and he buys stuff that only he needs. If pressed, he will take on a list of up to three items. He is thoroughly unreliable for shopping and I only ask him when absolutely necessary. For beverages, he is generally better, and is willing to spend more, particularly for wine.

                  My husband shops probably once a week on average. He isn't the most price-conscious shopper and I sometimes cringe at his choices. He always acts sticker-shocked at the total, however, and I think that is why I end up doing most of the shopping.

                  1. raytamsgv Sep 2, 2011 02:42 PM

                    It depends on the experience they have in selecting food items. I learned how to shop for groceries from my father, because we had a family restaurant.

                    For example, I would much rather buy a whole fish than a filet, because with a whole fish, it's easier to tell how fresh it is. I want to poke at it, inspect the gills, inspect the eye, and smell the fish. If I need crab meat, I buy a live crab, cook it, and extract the meat. When I buy snow peas, I will feel each individual pod to determine if the pod is too old.

                    Other people have different priorities, such as convenience or ease of use. They may not be as selective as I am, but it's their meal, not mine.

                    1. ROCKLES Sep 2, 2011 02:45 PM

                      #5
                      First, between my self and my wife, we shop different because we cook different.
                      I cook gourmet, she cooks down home country style. When I go shopping I typically spend twice as much, but get higher priced items that I cant substitute for. I look for bargain priced items but not substitute items. I also download electronic coupons (which lately are useless anyway), I rarely deal with a coupon unless it a sticker on the item. I could spend two hours in a grocery store.
                      My wife-she goes in, finds what she needs and leaves--doesn't worry about sales or comparing, she simply gets what she needs and gets out (can you tell she hates the grocery store?)
                      As far as the cooking--we cook on our days off--I have weekends free so I cook then, she has midweek days off and cooks then. I do the shopping , typically for the daya to day stock up supplies, that's where I look for less expensive, substitute type items and bargains

                      1. s
                        sueatmo Sep 2, 2011 02:56 PM

                        I think it matters whether the shopper of whichever gender is invested in meal planning. Some shoppers want quality, some want low price, and some are looking for novelty or ease of prep. So, the shopper, male or female, shops according to his or her priorities. A female who isn't into cooking isn't going to take as much care with the shopping. A female who is oriented toward value above all else, will only buy the things she feels are "worth" it. Same with a guy, if he is the one responsible for meal prep. The male shoppers you notice looking for a specific item, who aren't shopping are probably fetching for their wives or girlfriends, or are looking for a specific item for a recipe. Or maybe they are prioritizing ease of shopping above all else.

                        If your husband sends you to the auto store, and you are not responsible for auto maintenance, are you going to shop carefully for just the right part? Or are going to look for the exact part he has sent you for?

                        1. viperlush Sep 2, 2011 03:03 PM

                          I don't really notice a difference. We use a list. I'm better at sticking to the list. The BF is better at shopping based on prices and sales. Neither of us is brand dependent. I am better at buying produce, but he isn't bad.

                          My mother on the other hand is adamant that the worst shoppers are males between the ages of 60-70 (aka newly retired). They are of the generation where mainly women cook and they are use to being in control/charge in the workforce. Therefore don't share aisles very well, don't ask questions, and generally look lost in the market.

                          1. FoodFuser Sep 2, 2011 06:09 PM

                            FoodFuser, a hirsute and heaving surly male here.

                            My Cro-Magnon head, with its forward-slant slope,
                            Is perfect for taking a Post-It note.
                            So, yes, I'm a lister.

                            As I evolved from Cro Mag to Neanderthal
                            I noticed that most folks weren't listing at all
                            Nor giving attention to to prices.

                            It was such a hard struggle
                            given size of reduced cranium
                            to know every price of every food item.
                            not just before I placed it in basket
                            but also before I scrawled it on list.

                            Ain't nuthin' of gender engenders good shopper.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: FoodFuser
                              h
                              HillJ Dec 14, 2013 06:04 AM

                              Miss you Food F.

                            2. j
                              joe777cool Sep 2, 2011 06:21 PM

                              Women shop, men buy.

                              yes its sexist, and yes I'm painting with a broad brush.....

                              My fiancee will got to 4 different stores in a 2 week span to get the items she wants/needs/is on sale, the mere thought of that drives me nuts....I just dont have the patience!

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: joe777cool
                                0
                                02putt Sep 3, 2011 04:10 PM

                                I don't know a man in my family that looks at price, uses the airmiles card, or reads labels. My 17 year old daughter knows more about prices/nutrition etc. than my husband. Yes, I do the cooking but we both grocery shop. I agree he just grabs whatever he needs off the shelf without comparison shopping. Point in case is when I was almost done going through the check out and realized I forgot milk. He went back to get it. When he showed up at the car I didn't recognize the brand. I asked for the receipt and almost had a heart attack when I seen he paid $7.99 for 3 bags of milk. Needless to say I went back in and exchanged it for the $3.99 milk. But the same goes for other items as well. (clothes) If he needs a pair of jeans he goes into the store and comes out later five minutes later. And trust me he is very well dressed. I clip coupons and have the luxury of having 3 large grocery stores and a farmers market within an one mile radius of us. Now I realize I am going to be lambasted for this comment but I agree with joe777cool, men just don't have the same patience as we do. And yes I always make a list otherwise I am bound to forget something. I even make a list with price, brand and aisle for my husband if I only need a couple of items. Then again I make a list for everything...things to do, Christmas presents yada yada yada.

                                1. re: 02putt
                                  s
                                  sueatmo Sep 3, 2011 08:27 PM

                                  If left to his own devices, Mr. Sueatmo would buy totally according to price. We haggled over turkey bacon this week! It is as much a stereotype that women gossip in the aisles of the market, as it is that men pick up whatever catches their fancies.

                                2. re: joe777cool
                                  YAYME Dec 14, 2013 06:01 AM

                                  I'm a woman and I buy food, mainly because I don't drive and the person who drives me doesn't have the time to shop around. Most of time neither do I!

                                3. i
                                  Isolda Sep 3, 2011 06:24 PM

                                  This is so alien to my experience that I am genuinely surprised so many of you say 1) the cook is the better shopper and 2) the woman is the better shopper. I am the cook in this house and I just grab whatever thing looks to be of better quality, regardless of price. Sometimes what I buy is the cheapest version; sometimes it is not. I do love to go grocery shopping so I do spend more time in the store, but I rarely look for the sale item unless it is the brand I prefer. Why on earth would I buy some other brand of flour when I know King Arthur is my favorite? I just buy what I buy.

                                  DH, on the other hand, has been known to buy some scratchy generic toilet paper and knock-off chex cereal just because it was cheaper.

                                  I often use a list, but it is never complete, and when I have my teenage daughter do it, it seldom has many useful items. She'll write helpful things like "kefir" and "red onions," but she'll also put down "another kitten" and "Mr. Darcy," so I can't really say they're helpful.

                                  4 Replies
                                  1. re: Isolda
                                    YAYME Sep 3, 2011 08:04 PM

                                    What your supermarket doesn't have a kitten or a Jane Austen hero aisle? Mine does it's awesome! I just wish they didn't keep running low on brooding anti-heroes when I got there.

                                    1. re: YAYME
                                      i
                                      Isolda Sep 5, 2011 04:37 PM

                                      Dang, I'm moving to Schenectady, where your profile says you live! Mr Rochester in the produce aisle would definitely be worth the trip.

                                    2. re: Isolda
                                      Bada Bing Sep 4, 2011 05:43 AM

                                      I think what you say actually doesn't clash with the view of at least some people, like myself, who feel that the cook is generally the better shopper. The better shopper isn't simply someone who buys the cheapest thing. It's someone who makes the most of their money. A cook can go to a supermarket and adjust the meal plan according to what's available. "Surprising killer sale on King Crab legs? Then we're ditching the baby-back-ribs plan."

                                      As for branded items, I also remain committed to many of them, but I just make an effort to get them on sale. One reason coupons don't really work for me is that the brands are rarely what I want--plus I don't buy much packaged food anyway.

                                      1. re: Bada Bing
                                        a
                                        acgold7 Sep 4, 2011 09:44 AM

                                        Bada-Bing-O. Right on the money. Your post and your other one above make me think we are married to the exact same woman. She has many talents but anything food-related isn't one of them.

                                    3. pikawicca Sep 3, 2011 08:08 PM

                                      My father was a great grocery shopper -- brought home really good stuff, but I don't think he ever looked at a price tag.

                                      1. mariacarmen Sep 3, 2011 08:19 PM

                                        my BF is the opposite. When i first started seeing him, lo these many years ago, we would make an after-date date of an hour or more in the all-night supermarket after bar hopping, shopping for breakfast items. He has to compare everything, including prices, and now, in our neighborhood full of little latino grocery stores, he buys a little bit here, a little bit there, shopping for better fruit, fresher veggies, a better deal, going from store to store. he's much better at that than i am. sometimes i just want to get in and out. but most of the time, i enjoy our saturday afternoon grocery strolls. He cooks as well, so I'm sure that has something to do with it.

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: mariacarmen
                                          operagirl Sep 4, 2011 07:09 AM

                                          Aww, grocery shopping after-date dates sound like so much fun! But then, I'm a woman, so of course I'd think that, right? ;-)

                                          My bf and I shop in the same neighborhood as you, but his priorities are different than mine. He's still price conscious, but there is a limit to how far he'll go to get a deal. At a certain point, his time is more valuable than the price difference at one store or another.

                                          I, on the other hand, love to spend an afternoon by myself strolling up one street, then down another, tackling all the things on my list. I go to one place for my organic, glass-bottle milk, another for reasonably-priced but well-farmed meat, another store for "clean 15" items and Mexican groceries (masa flour, flor de jamaica, dried peppers, etc.) that are half as expensive as they are at the store where I get my milk . . . and I wait for farmers' market day to roll around to buy most of my produce. Etc etc.

                                          Also, I am the cook in this partnership, so I have much more interest in the "ingredient" type groceries, whereas my bf is shopping for things he can eat with minimal preparation (fresh fruit, cereal, almond or rice milk, cheese, crackers, etc.).

                                          1. re: operagirl
                                            mariacarmen Sep 4, 2011 07:25 PM

                                            it was fun OG, it certainly was.

                                            i do love our neighborhood for shopping. Peruvian products at Evergreen, Middle Eastern at Samirami's, Asian at Duc Loi .... we've got it all. The boy tends to not buy things piecemeal as you describe, but more for meals. i'm the one guilty of impulsiveness. the only bad thing about the BF shopping is he never goes for organic - he goes for quality of "regular" produce - how fresh it looks - and price. he thinks our local FM is way overpriced. i can't say i totally disagree, but i still shop there when i'm on my own. tho it's further away, i really like Alemany. we should get over there more often, because that FM would satisfy both our needs - pricewise/organics/quality. plus variety!

                                        2. srsone Sep 3, 2011 08:20 PM

                                          i do the cooking and the shopping and the coupon clipping and the list writing and mostly deciding what to eat during the week (with input from the wife and my 3 yo)
                                          and yes i am the male....

                                          i dont always grab whatever is on the shelf...i am very particular about certain brands and foods...i do shop for sales..with coupons...
                                          and i also buy a mix a high end and middle and even store brands....some of the publix brand foods are actually pretty good..most of the walmart brands ..not so much...
                                          even target's archer farms stuff isnt bad

                                          and some times if i do ask my wife to run down to the store and get something...or pick something up on the way home...i have to be very,very particular about telling her what to get...and also a second choice..in case the first choice isnt available ..or to not get anything at all....if i dont she will get whatever she thinks "might work" ..

                                          part of it is me being particular and part of it is also being a cheap bastard as well...but i will buy what i want regardless of the price...(usually good quality meats)... if thats what we want..

                                          9 Replies
                                          1. re: srsone
                                            p
                                            pine time Sep 4, 2011 08:18 AM

                                            Ah, the "might work" conundrum. I usually ban Mr Pine from grocery shopping with me, but once I gave in. Halfway through the store, realized I had forgotten tomato paste & stupidly sent him back a few aisles to grab some. CAREFULLY explained about "paste" vs "sauce," and even told him which side of the aisle & which shelf to find it on. Many, many minutes later, I was heading for the checkout and he finally came back, hand behind his back, said: "They don't carry whatever that was you wanted. Use this instead" and (no kidding) handed me a box of corn flakes. "Might work"?

                                            1. re: pine time
                                              y
                                              yummfood Sep 4, 2011 06:46 PM

                                              LOL! Wow, seriously funny. That gave me great laugh :D

                                              1. re: pine time
                                                srsone Sep 4, 2011 08:19 PM

                                                ok.....even my wife isnt that bad.

                                                she at least comes kinda close....
                                                one of the earliest ones that i learned from...was garlic bread..we were having spaghetti ..and i forgot garlic bread...she was on her way home so i called and asked if she would stop and get some...we liked the pepperidge farms "texas toast" kind...so i asked her to get it again...she brought home a loaf of plain texas toast bread...but at least i could make garlic bread out of it....

                                                i dont get how corn flakes are anything like tomato paste tho....

                                                1. re: srsone
                                                  alkapal Sep 5, 2011 05:05 AM

                                                  good call on the pepp farms texas toast garlic bread---- yum!

                                                  1. re: srsone
                                                    p
                                                    pine time Sep 5, 2011 08:42 AM

                                                    My guess is that Mr Pine is crazy like a fox: I no longer allow him to go with me to get groceries, which probably was his strategy all along. And he was SERIOUS about the cornflakes. I laugh a lot around here, and we've been married over 35 years. (He hasn't caught on that I laugh AT him, tho. Don't tell.)

                                                    1. re: pine time
                                                      srsone Sep 5, 2011 02:49 PM

                                                      didnt they mention that on "Rules of Engagement"....
                                                      about messing up intentionally...so the wife wont make them do it again...

                                                      1. re: pine time
                                                        s
                                                        sherriberry Sep 5, 2011 03:10 PM

                                                        I think the same about my hubby. I once asked him to stop at the store on his way home for blueberries. We had just returned from a trip to Maine and I had a serious craving for blueberry muffins. He returned home w/ a box of Blackberry muffin mix. Said our grocery store doesen't sell blueberries. BTW-I had seen them there the previous day and told him exactly where to find them.

                                                        1. re: sherriberry
                                                          cowboyardee Sep 5, 2011 04:23 PM

                                                          My wife figured out that I was only pretending to be clueless as to how to wrap presents (for the better part of a decade) when she saw me making spring rolls.

                                                          Dammit.

                                                  2. re: srsone
                                                    j
                                                    jlhinwa Sep 5, 2011 05:12 PM

                                                    My husband (whose goal is to get in and out of the store as fast as possible) will either 1) decide that I don't need a particular item if it isn't easily located, or 2) will substitute, ala "might work" scenario above.

                                                    He is a good and experienced enough cook to know what things (or lack thereof) will ruin a dish but his cavelier approach to my shopping list means that I send him to the store only when desperate. I have occasionally wondered if he does it on purpose, but I'm not sure I really want to know.

                                                  3. crowmuncher Sep 3, 2011 11:00 PM

                                                    i will not be liked no matter how i respond; it's a trap- a lose/lose situation; from experience i know my boyfriend moves so much faster than me but we do forget to get stuff when we are rushing; we are best when we have xtra time and take it slow (visiting every aisle); i forgot to buy more pasta fri night because we were rushing not due to gender, but rather time-management issues; was my answer pc or what? ;)

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: crowmuncher
                                                      j
                                                      jlhinwa Sep 5, 2011 05:07 PM

                                                      Crowmuncher, that is the exact same thing that I hate about shopping with my husband. He is in such a hurry that he will take the cart ahead an aisle or two while I'm looking for something specific. Then I will rush to catch up with him and miss something important. It frustrates me to no end so I usually go without him.

                                                    2. h
                                                      Heatherb Sep 4, 2011 06:03 AM

                                                      I think it really depends. Once my grandfather took over much of the cooking after he retired, some sort of mighty hunter instinct kicked in with him and he soon began prowling the grocery stores for the best possible deals. My childhood memories are of him sitting at the dining room table in my grandparents' house, scanning the circular for the best deals. They got a membership to MAKRO, a predecessor to places like Sam's Club. He loved to do the grocery shopping. For myself, I'm a woman and a terrible grocery shopper. I mean really terrible. Mainly because I'm disorganized and tend to buy way too much. Working on ways to cut back now.

                                                      It's not a gender thing from my perspective though. I know lots of mad coupon-clipping women who can feed their families on very limited budgets. I think it's just a combo of temperament, organizational skills and familiarity/knowledge.

                                                      1. b
                                                        brooklynkoshereater Sep 4, 2011 07:13 PM

                                                        I'm a woman that does the majority of the food shopping for the family. I know what my kids will eat, I know what my husband will eat, and I know how to shop bearing in mind personal preferences and best value. Whenever my husband goes shopping he comes home with way too much stuff, and way too many bags of chips or cookies or whatever else he was craving at the time. He's like a starving man when in the grocery store, and he grabs whatever his eyes fall on.

                                                        1. ipsedixit Sep 4, 2011 07:23 PM

                                                          There are two groups of people in the word: shoppers and buyers.

                                                          People of both sexes can be of either group.

                                                          Which group they fall in just sort of depends on how they feel about the thing they are purchasing.

                                                          2 Replies
                                                          1. re: ipsedixit
                                                            BobB Sep 5, 2011 05:37 AM

                                                            Wife and I are both good shoppers - I even enjoy going clothes shopping with her. But we're both of the type who will go from store to store in search of quality, not price. And we're fortunate enough (with two substantial salaries) to be able to do that.

                                                            I do most of the cooking and food buying in our house, mainly because I work from home while she has a commute that eats up nearly two hours of her day.

                                                            1. re: ipsedixit
                                                              h
                                                              Heatherb Sep 5, 2011 07:14 AM

                                                              Probably the best summation of the situation:)

                                                            2. m
                                                              Muchlove Sep 5, 2011 05:49 AM

                                                              Surely it depends on the personality of the individual?

                                                              My Dad is a useless food shopper (gets distracted and spends too much) but often finds wonderful new things. My Mum is an efficient shopper but hates it and sometimes it shows in the amount of/ quality of the goods brought home.

                                                              I (female!) enjoy food shopping, can select high quality goods that I need at a low price but I am also good at finding awesome new things. I'm great at haggling and also at finding what I need even when it's well hidden. My brother is awesome at getting lots of stuff for very little money but resists buying anything remotely high quality...unless someone else offers to pay!

                                                              A female friend of mine doesn't have that much to do with food shopping or cooking in her house. She wouldn't really know where to begin. Her husband knows exactly what their family needs and can go shopping for it without fuss.

                                                              See what I mean? Different personalities, different shopping experiences!

                                                              1. jmcarthur8 Sep 5, 2011 07:13 AM

                                                                I do most of the cooking and am better at the regular shopping at Kroger or Publix than my hubby is. I think there are too many choices for him there.
                                                                On the days when he is out wandering around, running errands, he goes by himself to the dented can grocery outlet and picks up all kinds of interesting bargains. Got enough cans of artichoke hearts for 75 cents each that I can finally make that Justin Wilson artichoke casserole that I'd been hankering for.

                                                                1. s
                                                                  small h Sep 5, 2011 04:10 PM

                                                                  My spousal equivalent and I are different kinds of shoppers, and I won't make a value judgment about who is "better." He loves sale circulars and coupons, and he's made me more conscious of price (well, him & my general impoverished state), which is why I've taken to buying beer at the Rite Aid because it's cheaper there than at the grocery store. I am a dedicated greenmarket prowler, so some of my "OMG local corn & peaches!" nuttiness has rubbed off on him. But I cannot get him to up his game, cheese-wise, and he cannot get me to abandon fancy-pants eggs, even though I have a sneaking suspicion that I probably can't tell the difference between supermarket jumbos and Knollcrest $4.50/dozen.

                                                                  1. cowboyardee Sep 5, 2011 04:27 PM

                                                                    Slightly different question:

                                                                    Is anyone in a relationship where the better cook is NOT also better at buying groceries?

                                                                    And if so, WTF?

                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                    1. re: cowboyardee
                                                                      i
                                                                      Isolda Sep 5, 2011 04:41 PM

                                                                      No one here is actually going to be able to answer that objectively, because all of us (presumably) are the better cooks, so we will likely judge the best shopper to be the one who chooses the best ingredients. But an accountant who isn't a cook would say that the best shopper is the one who buys the cheapest stuff.

                                                                      1. re: Isolda
                                                                        cowboyardee Sep 5, 2011 05:13 PM

                                                                        I didn't think this was one of those objective-type threads.

                                                                    2. Kholvaitar Dec 12, 2013 07:20 AM

                                                                      Women are better shoppers.
                                                                      The more money they have to spend the more adventurous they will be in the stores and in the sack.

                                                                      1. 16crab Dec 13, 2013 12:07 PM

                                                                        We can say what we want about gender stereotyping, and I'm all for equality and breaking stereotypes, but there are differences between boys and girls, and women and men. Not better or worse, just different. True in every case? Of course not. But as someone who has worked with children for 20+ years, I feel pretty confident that there's something in the inner workings that makes boys and girls different beasts and as we all know, in most cases boys and girls grow up to be men and women. Nature or nurture or both...probably both, but who the heck knows?

                                                                        That being said, the husband and I are different shoppers. Because of having both a better memory, and more experience shopping, I think I have more of the general price of things in mind and will use that to influence my purchases. I know if a sale price is a good deal or not, or if it was overpriced to begin with. I also will alter the week's menu if I find something else interesting or if something is not available.

                                                                        The husband will lean more towards organic, though not always, and also doesn't always know if something is a 'good deal' and tends to spend more than I do. Also, he tends to stick to the list very closely (other than the ice cream or cheese curds or Doritos that just "fell" into the shopping cart). I think for fear of doing it wrong, if something is not available he'll overcompensate, ie, we'll have half and half on the list and that's out so he'll buy heavy cream AND whipping cream and just be sure another carton of milk even though milk wasn't on the list. On that note he tends to overpurchase....bread was on the list, I get one loaf, he buys three. So overall, we can shop with more or less the same list and I'll have spent say $80 and he'll have spent $100+. That being said, he's much more patient with shopping with the kids and so if he offers to do that with them on a weekend and leave me behind, I'm MORE than happy to have him do it. I prefer to do it myself, and would do smaller shops a couple of times during the week so as to not over-buy (I can't stand when the fridge is so full I can't find anything - perhaps this is because I'm packing the two lunches in the morning and that's often under a time crunch) and so as to not waste anything...nothing irks me more than throwing out veggies that we didn't get to because our plans changed in the week.

                                                                        We share the cooking, btw, and although I do the lion's share, we will plan the menu together if we have time. I wouldn't call either of us a better shopper, but our goals and end results are somewhat different.

                                                                        1. h
                                                                          HillJ Dec 13, 2013 08:23 PM

                                                                          In our household I'm the better shopper because a) I like it and b) I like 99.99% of the food going in the cart. My husband does not like food shopping for shopping sake. He's more of a MISSION man. Send him to the butcher and he's got a mission. Send him to the wine store, mission. Send him with a grocery list of 30 items and he rolls his eyes in agony. While men love to steer the boat, women cast the net.

                                                                          1. Veggo Dec 14, 2013 06:14 AM

                                                                            A man's objective in a grocery store is to get in and out in the shortest amount of time. Checking prices only slows him down.
                                                                            A woman's objective in a mall is to come home and crow about how much she saved, regardless of the cost. Gotta spend more to save more.

                                                                            7 Replies
                                                                            1. re: Veggo
                                                                              h
                                                                              HillJ Dec 14, 2013 06:17 AM

                                                                              Hold on there, I've seen plenty of men do some pretty impressive damage in a shopping mall and never think twice about the large red 2 for 1 sign on the wall.

                                                                              I'm thinking genders have more in common than less.

                                                                              1. re: HillJ
                                                                                Veggo Dec 14, 2013 06:22 AM

                                                                                IMO, what men and women have most in common regarding shopping is they both are terrible at it, for the very different reasons I cited...:)
                                                                                A true chauvinist would say that real men don't even go to malls. I haven't been to one in years. I prefer to do something more manly, like stay home and watch Judge Judy.

                                                                                1. re: Veggo
                                                                                  h
                                                                                  HillJ Dec 14, 2013 06:23 AM

                                                                                  Meaning neither can follow a set budget?

                                                                                  1. re: HillJ
                                                                                    Veggo Dec 14, 2013 06:31 AM

                                                                                    My weekly food and beverage budget is a known amount. My mall budget is zero.

                                                                                    1. re: Veggo
                                                                                      h
                                                                                      HillJ Dec 14, 2013 06:33 AM

                                                                                      Well let me assure you men with their arms full of shopping bags are frequenting the modern mall :) it ain't all Victoria Secrets for their gals.

                                                                                      1. re: HillJ
                                                                                        Veggo Dec 14, 2013 06:35 AM

                                                                                        Do they do this during daylight when there is golf to be played?

                                                                                        1. re: Veggo
                                                                                          h
                                                                                          HillJ Dec 14, 2013 06:38 AM

                                                                                          Oh heavens no, priorities!

                                                                            2. c oliver Dec 14, 2013 08:02 AM

                                                                              Bob's a far better shopper than I. To the point that I generally leave him in the wine dept. cause it takes him so long to find the very best deals on the six bottles of wine to get he 10% discount :) He will frequently see better deals than I do. I don't believe it's gender based.

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