Home Lifestyle 7 Things I Loathe About Supermarket Shopping

7 Things I Loathe About Supermarket Shopping

by LaurettaCWright
7 Things I Loathe About Supermarket Shopping

Supermarket shopping – those two little words will either have you rolling your eyes or rubbing your hands with glee.

Depending on whether or not I'm with the kids, I have mixed emotions when it comes to the weekly shop. I used to do mine at 11pm at night at the 24-hour Tesco when the kids were little and tucked up fast asleep in bed – that's how much I hated going shopping with them. And there are plenty more things I loathe about supermarket shopping.

You might be wondering why I'm bothering to put this post together, especially when, with a few clicks of a mouse, I could avoid the hassle of supermarket shopping by opting for online shopping in my PJs, cuppa in hand.

But considering the highlight of my week is getting out of the house to do a food shop (anyone else have a sad social life?), I've resigned myself to putting up with these minor irritations.

But that doesn't stop me from wanting to write about them (and I just know this will be soooo cathartic), so here goes…

1. The purse fumbler

You've unloaded your shopping on the conveyer belt and you're waiting for your turn to be served. And while you stand there in your own little world, what do you do?

If you're thinking ‘Nothing – I just stand there and wait to be served', then shame on you!

You purse fumblers should surely know what's coming next: The cashier will scan your items, you'll pack them into your bags and then…guess what? THEY ASK YOU FOR MONEY! Yes, you have to pay for your shopping these days – who knew?!

So….given that most of us pay with a debit or credit card, here's an idea for you:


That's right people; you really don't have to wait for the cashier to state how much you owe before you fumble around in your bag for your purse/wallet, followed by more fumbling in purses/wallets for cards or money.  You can do this WHILE STANDING THERE DOING NOTHING IN THE FIRST PLACE! And breathe.

2. Is anybody there?

I've been tasked with finding some ingredient that I can't even pronounce, let alone know what it's used for. It's for my son's home economics work and he needs it tomorrow.

Yes, the little blighter has decided to give me this news at 6pm on a Tuesday night. And so, already feeling annoyed that I've been landed with another task on my ‘to-do' list, I begrudgingly head to the supermarket.

And I search the aisles – and I search them again. And then I give up and decide to ask someone, which is probably what I should have done in the first place.


It's like they've all decided to play a cruel joke on me and are stood hiding behind one of the supermarket pillars, laughing at me whilst I look for them.

With not one uniform in sight, I decide to start looking for some intelligent-looking person to see if (a) they've heard of the ingredient and know what it is and (b) Where I'm likely to find it.

And when I finally think I've found someone to ask, they tell me they haven't the foggiest either. And then I start wishing that I had chosen a posh supermarket like Marks & Sparks or Waitrose as I'm pretty sure the people who shop in those places would be buying what I'm looking for on a regular basis.

I silently curse my son for putting me in this predicament and I return home empty-handed and more wound up than ever.

3. Is that all you've got?

I can occasionally be found frequenting the aisles of Lidl at the weekend. If you've ever shopped in Lidl you can probably hazard a guess as to what I'll say about it.

Yes, they do great products and yes, the prices are very attractive, but be warned: you have a really long wait at the checkouts to get served.

The supermarket always seems busy – and unfortunately no one thinks to tell the manager that it might be a good idea to put a third cashier on the tills when there are ten people waiting in each of the queues already.

But I've learnt my lesson on this. You either go to Lidl as soon as the doors open so that you're first in, first out, or you simply shop when you've got more time on your hands.

But what I really loathe about supermarket shopping is when you've bought just a couple of items and the person in front of you (who is still unloading their trolley) clearly sees you and the TWO items you want to buy AND THEN TURNS AROUND TO CARRY ON UNLOADING THEIR SHOPPING. I mean, REALLY?

I'm a nice person. But I sometimes think that's my downfall, as I expect everyone else to be nice too. If I have a lot of shopping and the person behind me only has a couple of items I'll ALWAYS let them go ahead of me.

By the time they've paid and left, I'll probably still be unloading my trolley anyway, so it makes sense right?

I have been known (on more than one occasion) to ask the person in front if I can skip the queue when clearly it makes sense time-wise. To date, no one has ever said no, but I'm half dreading when they do as I'll probably get embroiled in some argument that will annoy me even more!

4. Oh my god, is that you?

This next situation has probably happened to most of us, but it's something I totally loathe about supermarket shopping as it's all about the preparation and thinking ahead – something that I'm usually good at doing.

Picture the scene: you woke up late, grab the first clothes you can find off the floor to put on, scrape your hair back, run downstairs, start sorting the kids out with breakfast, uniform, book bags etc – and then…when you finally put the kettle on to make yourself a cuppa, you discover there's no milk in the fridge.

And before you've even had the chance to have your morning wee, it's time for the school run. So you decide to go straight to the supermarket after the school run.

Bad, bad idea. You look like crap remember – and you know exactly what will happen….you'll BUMP INTO YOUR NEIGHBOUR/FRIEND FROM SCHOOL/COLLEAGUE/YOUR HUSBAND'S EX – OR WORST OF ALL – YOUR EX. 

And while you stand there chatting away to them – and watching as their eyes take in every last inch of your flaky skin and dark circles under your eyes, you silently vow to yourself – NEVER AGAIN WILL I FORGET TO MOISTURISE AND PUT MY MAKEUP ON IN THE MORNING.

And then one day a few weeks later you're running around like a blue-arsed fly and you discover that you've run out of bread, so you make a mental note to grab some on the way back from the school run…

7 Things I Loathe About Supermarket Shopping

5. I can't reach!

The next problem I've got with supermarket shopping probably won't be shared by 99% of the population. You see, I appeared to have stopped growing around 10 years old and, at just 5'1″, everybody seems like a giant compared to me.

I hate being vertically challenged for three reasons (1) I'm at eye level with most people's armpits. On a crowded train, you can imagine the pleasant sights and smells I have to contend with. (2) I'm often overlooked – whether it's trying to get a bartender's attention or when someone's looking for me in a crowd and (3) I hate not being able to reach for things.


Just the other day, I fancied a packet of custard. It happened to be on the top shelf and it was quite far back on the shelf. I eyed it up, which is what I do when faced with this frequently occurring situation: do I make a jump for it and run the risk of giving myself a hernia? Or do I balance on the bottom shelf to give me those precious few inches?

Standing on a shelf once backfired when it broke and I ended up on my backside in aisle number 34 in Sainsbury's, praying that no one saw what happened.

I waited for the giggles but, on quickly looking around, discovered that I was alone in the aisle – clearly other people were not in the mood for buying custard that day. But I was so embarrassed that I had been ‘caught on camera', that I hot footed it out of there – minus the god damn custard.

Nowadays, if I can't reach it and I don't fancy climbing or jumping up to get something, I'll usually just succumb to asking another shopper for their help – and then try my best not to look pissed off as they offer me a sympathetic smile and joke about my lack of inches.

6. Over social shoppers

We're back at the checkout and another one of my supermarket loathes is when the little old lady in front of you (sorry, but it is mostly women who are guilty of this) decides to start telling the cashier about her cat who had been sick on her slippers that week.

The conversation morphs into another topic and before you know it, they're discussing their whole medical history – and that of their neighbours. Oh come on!


And yet I somehow always manage to pick the queue where little old Dorothy is looking for her daily verbal exchange.

Don't get me wrong; I'm well aware that a lot of elderly people are lonely and that a few minutes having a chat with the 16-year old cashier is the highlight of their day, but please be aware of other people who have a look on their face that reads ‘hurry the feck up!'

Maybe supermarkets should forget the separate basket/trolley checkouts and instead introduce checkouts for chatterboxes or those who just want to pay for their goods and get the hell out of there.

Yes, I probably won't be feeling this way when I'm retired – and I'll be striking up my own little conversations. But for now I'll just carry on being envious of people who have more time on their hands than I do.

7. Trolley Wars

Sticking with things I loathe about supermarket shopping at the checkouts, my next bugbear is what I've coined ‘the side trolley' – and it really narks me off.

It's when you get two aisles next to each other and two people simultaneously unloading their shopping from their trolley.

How do you unload yours? Do you turn your trolley 180-degrees to unload it from the end of the trolley? Are you tall enough to reach over the top of the trolley to grab your items or do you turn your trolley to the side to unload it?


Please don't! Look around you – you're not the only person shopping in the supermarket today, so please don't act like you are.

Even for me, the half pint that I am, I still don't turn my trolley to the side blocking other people's paths just to make it easier to unload it. And if I can do it, albeit with difficulty, then so can you.

I would bet my life savings that the people who ‘side trolley' are the same people who, when turning right into a road, leave the back of their car sticking out, meaning that other cars can't get past. Absolutely oblivious they are.

Again – another invention needs to be happen here. Trolley designers – get your thinking caps on! A self-raising trolley base might solve this problem perhaps?

Well that about sums up the things I loathe about supermarket shopping the most. Of course there are plenty of others…

  • Screaming kids with swearing parents
  • Parking wars (cars in family/disabled spaces when they shouldn't be)
  • People who take ages using the self-service checkouts (just go to the normal one if you can't work it out!)
  • The cashier loading her till with more coins just as it's my turn to get served
  • People who clearly haven't washed themselves in more than a month doing their shopping and absolutely reek

I could go on, but this blog post would never end!

So, wrapping up – which supermarket situation do you loathe the most? And if it's not on my list – then share the pain – what's the one thing on your list guaranteed to wind you up?

You might also like…

7 Things I Loathe About Supermarket Shopping
Article Name
7 Things I Loathe About Supermarket Shopping
Supermarket shopping can certainly test your patience - here are the top 7 bugbears that are enough to grate on anyone when they're food shopping
Publisher Name
Home and Horizon


Robert Chase 11th March 2019 - 10:11 am

Hello Lauretta,
Hi, Thanks For Sharing This Awesome And Informative Post. How Can I Appreciate To Your Work I Can Not Describe It On My Language? Your Blog Help Me More To Survive My Disable Life and travel with it. I read the full post very carefully that gives me extra energy to survive my disabled life as a new human like a wheelchair user. this place Is mobility friendly, Now time to taste it.

Angela C. Adelman 26th May 2018 - 12:02 am

I agree with you. My biggest pet peeve is this lines. They see long lines and then they will send people with full carts to 10 items or less and then that line gets backed up. I hate that so much.

LaurettaCWright 27th May 2018 - 10:39 am

It’s a pain in the backside – they just need to be better organised and get staff jumping on tills at the drop of a hat

Iris Tilley 4th May 2018 - 9:21 am

Ofdly enough I use to love supermarket shopping and over spending being forced into putting things back??? My partner hated it too and use to embarrassingly sigh and moan “How Much!!! and I don’t drive So now it’s online for me lol

Andrea F 28th April 2018 - 8:40 pm

I love going to the supermarket! Especially sans enfants!

LaurettaCWright 4th May 2018 - 10:02 am

It offers a little bit of ‘me time’ doesn’t it Andrea? I then I smile smugly when I hear other kids complaining 🙂

Dawn Samples 28th April 2018 - 6:39 am

I try to avoid taking my kids with me to the supermarket as we always end up with ice cream and sweets in the trolley that I wasn’t intending to get x

LaurettaCWright 4th May 2018 - 10:04 am

Ha ha! I end up in that aisle even when the kids aren’t with me! 🙂

Alice 7th April 2018 - 7:33 pm

Great list. I can definitely relate to the “Is that all you’ve got?” one. One thing that really does get my goat when I am out shopping is when there is only one or two tills open thus a 10 mile long queue, which seems to be the case with many discount shops. Those sort of shops are great for when looking after your pennies, but only if you have plenty of time (and patience).

LaurettaCWright 8th April 2018 - 9:51 pm

Yes, I’m with you on that one – I only shop in discount stores when I’m not in a rush as I know there will only be a couple of people on the tills. I guess it’s about anticipating what will happen half the time isn’t it?!

Anna 6th April 2018 - 5:46 pm

Well I don’t have to wait long in Lidl. But yeah can relate to the rest, except the can’t reach part… I’m at hand to help get that off the top shelf 😉
But oh god the newstalk at the checkouts does my head in, I avoid a certain supermarket like the plague because of that (cashiers are no better in said supermarket). Not to mention the ones that stay there, slowly putting change in their purse, closing it, putting it in their handbag before actually taking the shopping out of your way, so you can get the darn trolley to the end of the checkout. Meanwhile the cashier is firing your stuff through like the Guinness book of world records!
I have actually had people take stuff from my trolley when my back was turned!! I guard it with vengeance now…lol

LaurettaCWright 8th April 2018 - 9:54 pm

Thanks Anna – yes, that’s definitely another annoyance – the cashier firing through your shopping and you don’t even have time to pick two items before they are asking you for the money. I heard somewhere that cashiers are expected to scan in X amount of products in a certain time, but it’s unfair on the shoppers if we don’t pack at 100mph!

chris bull 5th April 2018 - 5:43 pm

Loved reading this, I so feel your pain and I have to bite my tongue constantly 🙂

LaurettaCWright 5th April 2018 - 9:25 pm

Ha ha! Thanks Chris! 🙂

Kim Styles 3rd April 2018 - 5:30 pm

yep I agree on every single one of those things!!! I have also experienced the shelves so stacked that you cant get the item out. particularly the freezer cupboard type – just because you want to empty out the whole box of a product onto the shelf so you don’t have to take some back into the warehouse make sure shoppers can get the item off the shelf without a tug of war and a squashed product at the end of it . And the mid aisle chatters drive me mad taking up most of the aisle with two trolleys whilst they discuss their day or kids etc and don’t think about the trolleys trying to get past!. Out of my way!!!!

Laura H 28th March 2018 - 2:55 pm

lol seeing someone you know when you’ve just thrown on some old outfit for the supermarket shop is the WORST!

LaurettaCWright 8th April 2018 - 9:54 pm

That happens to me a lot – even when I think I might get away with it!

Laura 28th March 2018 - 12:04 pm

All of these things!! I really loath going to the supermarket but it has to be done!! Waiting at the tills for ages is so annoying and I always have issues with reaching for things as I am only 4ft11

Laura x

LaurettaCWright 8th April 2018 - 9:55 pm

You and I have the same problem with the high shelves then Laura – I doubt even wearing high heels would help me!

Melissa Lee 28th March 2018 - 9:21 am

This really make me chuckle 🙂 especially the first one which I can really relate to. Then after they’ve paid they take another five minutes to zip their purse up slowly, place it in their bag in a particular spot (moving other things around), zip their bag up slowly, then adjust their carrier bag handles. No rush love….

LaurettaCWright 28th March 2018 - 11:02 am

Ha ha! Yes…EXACTLY! Glad it’s not just me who ends up exasperated by these people!

Kira 28th March 2018 - 8:15 am

I hate the supermarkets . That’s why I shop online ha . Have done for years 🙂

LaurettaCWright 8th April 2018 - 10:00 pm

Mmmh – I don’t blame you!

jo liddement 28th March 2018 - 7:23 am

I particularly dislike going to a large supermarket for most of the above reasons too. I always forget to take my reading glasses and then can’t read the labels and also find there are so many items on the shelves they all merge into each other. I have recently started online shopping and actually saved money so will stick to doing this in the future.

LaurettaCWright 28th March 2018 - 11:03 am

Ooh that’s good if you’re saving money online – I guess there are fewer things to tempt you if you are online shopping!

Stevie 27th March 2018 - 10:43 am

I think it’s a shame that the bargain shops don’t have toilet facilities for you or the kids.

LaurettaCWright 8th April 2018 - 10:00 pm

Yes – I’m with you on that. Many a time the kids have been desperate but stores haven’t let them use the loo. I did find an app recently though – can’t remember what it was called but it locates the nearest toilets for you to use which is a great idea!

Kara 26th March 2018 - 3:45 pm

This made me chuckle. I used to be a manager for a well known supermarket and was always frustrated by all these things. Especially shelf heights as I am vertically challenged too.

LaurettaCWright 8th April 2018 - 9:56 pm

Maybe supermarkets should start installing mini ladders for people like you and I!

Nazrin Miah 26th March 2018 - 12:49 pm

I’m sorry, I know you’re frustrated but I can’t help but chuckle away at my desk while reading this & thinking of my mum on her weekly shop ever Saturday God bless her soul! I can relate with not ever being able to find someone to help me when I need it but that’s everywhere I go! You rant it out girl!


LaurettaCWright 26th March 2018 - 2:21 pm

It was good to vent let me tell you! I feel so much better now 🙂

Fashion and Style Police 26th March 2018 - 9:07 am

This post made me laugh. I can totally relate. The trolley wars are hilarious.

LaurettaCWright 26th March 2018 - 2:20 pm

Glad to have been the source of entertainment! 🙂

Susan B 25th March 2018 - 2:33 pm

Wonderful! I thoroughly enjoyed your amusing, candid and well written post. Thank you!
I also let people who have only a few items in front of me in the queue if I have a very full basket. And do they all say thank you? Do they heck! I very nearly growled to last person ‘You’re welcome!’ as they walked away after being served but I chickened out.

LaurettaCWright 25th March 2018 - 7:09 pm

Thanks Susan – I’m glad you were amused! Oooh – that would REALLY wind me up if someone didn’t thank me. I think I’d have to say it again to them to see if they thank me when they get a second opportunity. Almost makes you not want to offer doesn’t it?

Sally Collingwood 25th March 2018 - 9:19 am

My pet hate is when the assistant talks to other people at the same time as serving me and does not give me their full attention.

LaurettaCWright 25th March 2018 - 11:16 am

Ha ha! Yes – that’s a good one. Thanks Sally 🙂

Cal at Family Makes 24th March 2018 - 7:28 pm

Haha very good observations Lauretta! I must admit I enjoy a good shop, even if it is a supermarket, as I don’t get out much either! It’s often too much for me these days though, so I let hubby do the honours. My pet frustration though would be the chatters, and those who take ages to count out loose change or quibble about vouchers!

LaurettaCWright 24th March 2018 - 10:15 pm

Yes Carol! The vouchers are a good one….people who argue the toss about how their voucher is valid because they bought some toothpaste (or something like that) and then we have to wait another 5 minutes while they search through their bags for the product to prove it! I should have made it 20 things I loathe about supermarket shopping


Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge