10 Grocery Store Etiquette Rules


That Cart's Not Going to Park Itself

You don't want your grocery cart to end up all alone and upside down like this one, do you? Robert Redelowski/Hemera/Thinkstock
You don't want your grocery cart to end up all alone and upside down like this one, do you? Robert Redelowski/Hemera/Thinkstock

The documentary "Carts of Darkness" follows the exploits of a group of hotheaded homeless guys whose favorite pastime is to go bombing down the hills of North Vancouver, British Columbia, on shopping carts. Dangerous, subversive and incredibly fun, this is the kind of low-tech, no-rent extreme sport that your cart can be subjected to if you don't take the extra few seconds to bring it back to its station when you're done using it. Carts are designed to trundle placidly over polished tiles; they're not made to clock high velocity runs that include underhanded racing shenanigans worthy of "Ben-Hur." The carts in question have a short shelf life. Suffice it to say, there are no pit stops in the world of cart-racing.

Less spectacularly, if you leave your cart in the middle of a parking lot on the theory that some poor store employee will be forced to retrieve it, you're right — one of them will. But in the meantime, you're adding more clutter to the already difficult terrain of the parking lot. Also, you're increasing the odds that it'll get stolen by a joyrider. Don't let it become another cart of darkness.

Author's Note: 10 Grocery Store Etiquette Rules

Before we moved recently, I used to find shopping with my kids stressful. They both wanted to sit in the designated child seat, but they couldn't both fit there. So the older one bundled himself into the lower section of the cart. This was fine for a while, but then they would want to switch spots mid-shop or climb down and scamper off into the maze of aisles screaming at the top of their lungs. Thankfully, our new local grocery store has an ingenious solution to this problem: toddler-sized carts. My two little demons have become model shoppers, carefully guiding their personal carts, which I load down with all my unbreakable purchases. So far, so good.

Related Articles

More Great Links


  • Asghar, Rob. "27 Etiquette Rules for Our Times." Forbes. April, 22, 2014. (March 24, 2015) http://www.forbes.com/sites/robasghar/2014/04/22/27-etiquette-rules-for-our-times/
  • Curtin, Michael. "A Question of Manners: Status and Gender in Etiquette and Courtesy." The Journal of Modern History. Vol. 57, No. 3. 396-423. 1985. (March 28, 2015) http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/1879686?sid=21105806027351&uid=3739448&uid=2&uid=4&uid=3737720
  • Dowling, Tim. "Supermarket Etiquette: A Guide to Modern Manners." The Guardian. July 3, 2013. (March 28, 2015) http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/shortcuts/2013/jul/03/supermarket-etiquette-guide-to-modern-manners
  • Drenten, Jenna et al. "An exploratory investigation of the dramatic play of preschool children within a grocery store shopping context." International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management. Vol. 36, Iss. 10. 831-855. 2008. (March 28, 2015) http://www.emeraldinsight.com/doi/abs/10.1108/09590550810901017
  • Morrison, Amy. "Why You're Not Failing as a Mother." Pregnant Chicken. Nov. 9, 2012. (March 30, 2015) http://www.pregnantchicken.com/pregnant-chicken-blog/2012/11/9/why-youre-never-failing-as-a-mother
  • Nakládalová, Renata. "A Cross-Cultural Analysis of Social and Business Etiquette in the United States of America and China." 2011. (March 28, 2015) http://digilib.k.utb.cz/bitstream/handle/10563/19872/nakládalová_2012_bp.pdf?sequence=1
  • Ojito, Mirta. "Danish Mother Is Reunited With Her Baby." The New York Times. May 15, 1997. (April 2, 2015) http://www.nytimes.com/1997/05/15/nyregion/danish-mother-is-reunited-with-her-baby.html
  • Schwartz, John. "Study Gauges Plastic Level in Oceans." The New York Times. Dec. 10, 2014. (April 2, 2015) http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/11/science/new-research-quantifies-the-oceans-plastic-problem.html
  • Siple, Murray. "Carts of Darkness." National Film Board of Canada. 2008. (April 2, 2015) https://www.nfb.ca/film/carts_of_darkness/
  • Wouters, Cas. "Etiquette books and emotion management in the 20th century: Part one: The integration of social classes." Journal of Social History. Vol. 29, No. 1. 107-124. 1995. (April 2, 2015) http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/3788711?sid=21105806027351&uid=3737720&uid=2&uid=3739448&uid=4


What's the Difference Between Misogyny and Sexism?

What's the Difference Between Misogyny and Sexism?

The terms sexism and misogyny are often used interchangeably, though they have distinct meanings. HowStuffWorks explains how they're different.