We’ve all witnessed some pretty bad behavior at the grocery store. You know — the guy who grabs a quick snack from the salad bar or the woman who leaves her cart in the middle of aisle. It doesn’t matter what store you shop at or what time of the day you go, running into rude people is inevitable. But anytime you step into public you’re at risk for your own little social blunder, as well. Whether you realize it or not, if you do any of these things, you will be seen as rude by others:

sneaky Snacking

Everyone know that grocery shopping hungry is never a good idea. Shopping on an empty stomach means you’re more likely to buy highly-processed, fatty food items to your cart. But it also means you might be tempted to sneak a snack. When you “sample” items from the bulk bins or salad bar (anywhere you pay by the pound) before paying for them, you’re technically stealing.

Hogging the samples

You should already know this by now, but don’t treat your supermarket like a casual restaurant. Politely take one piece of whatever product is offered and move on. Also, don’t loiter while more samples are being cooked or prepared. While most grocery store employees are kind enough to carry on light conversation while you wait, they shouldn’t have to entertain you for 17 minutes while the next pizza cooks up.

Misplaced perishables

It can happen to anyone. You put a bunch of fruits and veggies in your cart, only to reconsider something when you’re half a football field away in the cereal aisle. Don’t just leave your unwanted goods among all of the boxed items. Circle back and return them where you found them, where they can be purchased by someone else. Leaving perishables like fruits and vegetables or milk and dairy anywhere you want is wasteful and disrespectful.

These are the cleanest grocery stores in America. 

Carelessly replacing items

It’s not just perishables that need to be returned where you found them. If you pick up a box of cake mix and then you decide you don’t want it, it should be returned to the baking aisle. Furthermore, it really should be returned to the exact location where you found it, so it’s not blocking the view of other products your fellow shoppers might be looking for. Plus, it’s just respectful to not make grocery store employees pick up after you.

Extra items in the express line

You want to get in and out of the grocery store as fast as possible. Of course. We all do. But that doesn’t entitle anyone to jump in the express lane with too many items. It’s disrespectful to the people patiently waiting in line and to the cashiers.

Leaving your cart in the aisle

Never leave your cart anywhere other shoppers can’t easily maneuver around it. This equally means if you have to run back to another aisle quickly, or if you’re taking your sweet time reading nutrition labels on salad dressings. Move your cart far to one side.

Wearing headphones

Grocery shopping can be a pretty boring activity, so it makes sense that you would want to pep up your step with some tunes. But anytime you’re wearing headphones, you’re less aware of  what’s happening around you, so you’re more likely to bump into people, knock things over, or ignore a situation that needs your attention.

Leaving carts in the parking lot

Those return cues for carts aren’t just suggestions. You should always return your cart to an appropriate place to help keep the lot clear for other cars and pedestrians. Carts strewn about can take up precious parking spots and even worse, cause unintended damage to cars they bump into.

Also see, 18 ways to save money at the grocery store.

Follow us on Instagram.




Meghan is a full-time writer exploring the fun facts behind food. She lives a healthy lifestyle but lives for breakfast, dessert and anything with marinara. She’s thrown away just as many meals as she’s proud of.