Apr 5, 2012

Don't Grocery Shop on Thursday Morning if You're on Deadline and Other Small Business Tales

One of the great things about owning your own business is being responsible for your own schedule. (It's also one of the not-so-great things, because that business is your baby, and it's hard not to work during every waking hour. But that's another story for another time.) 

When you can set your own schedule, you can run out to the grocery store mid-day if you run out of coffee, or if you need some snacks to keep you going. So you can shop during "off peak" hours. 

Which is great - right?

Antique coffee mill. via CalloohCallay.

Not so fast....

If you're new to this "set your own schedule" thing, no one probably bothered to tell you that just because you can avoid the post-work "rush hour" supermarket crowds and snarky teenage cashiers doesn't mean that you'll have an annoyance-free or obstacle-free shopping experience.

Image via TheImaginaryWorld

(Do you remember when grocery stores had produce section employees who would weigh your produce for you? Sometimes we pine for the good old days when the words "customer service" actually meant something.... But we digress. )

Let's get back to the supermarket in modern times. 

Here are a few experiences you can expect to have if you decide to make a late-morning or mid-afternoon dash to the grocery store on a weekday. (Now that we think about it, it's pretty much the same stuff as in the late afternoon or evening - we've just found that one runs into these particular experiences more often during "off-peak" hours.)

(1) Senior citizen discount days

Reusable grocery bag. via Who Doesn't Want That.

2. The cute-as-a-button 3-year old who jets out his hand, ninja-like, to knock a jar of tomato sauce off the shelf just as you walk by. (Better leave those cute white capris at home!) 

image via  French Fries to Flax Seeds.

3. The mathematically challenged. (That is, assuming the express lane is even open during your early afternoon snack trek.)

Vintage children's book. via Lucy's Books.

4. The supermarket getting its restocking & inventory-taking groove on.

Kraft displays, Jenkins' Groceteria, Calgary, Alberta, c. 1945. image via dockedship on Flickr.

5.  People with more coupons in hand than groceries in the cart - who then argue with the poor cashier over how much the coupons are worth. 

We're all for saving every penny, especially in these lean times. But when your cart is filled with organic produce, sushi, and gourmet cheese .... ah, but we digress again. 

Vintage S&H coupon book. via Vintage Collector Lover.

6. Shoppers who pay with checks, which they proceed to fill out one...letter...at...a...time. (People still pay for groceries that way. Who knew?)

Vintage blank checks, 1930s. via Wink & Me.

7. People are lining up. Plenty of cash registers are available. Er, where are the cashiers? (Bueller? ... Bueller?)

Vintage toy cash register by Dream Queen

The moral of this story: if you're in a hurry, or under the gun on a deadline, don't go to the supermarket during the morning or early afternoon on weekdays. If you decide to go anyway, don't wear white pants.

Happy shopping!


  1. Cute post, and I love the photos of the old grocery stores! Thanks for featuring my coffee grinder.

  2. Love love your blog! Vintage cuties is where it is at. Love your collectiona dn I feel honored to be apart of it : ) Thank you so much!