People Share The Best Grocery Store Hacks They've Ever Picked Up
Grocery shopping can feel like a live-action video game sometimes.
While only some of these are factual, there is a feeling to do well every time you go shopping. Find the best deals? Get the freshest items? Spend the least amount of time there? How can it be done?
What are your best grocery store hacks?
Go in mentally ready, physically prepared, and don't let your stomach decide.
Don't Let Your Stomach Decide
"Always eat before you shop so you don't buy stuff just cause you're hungry"
"I make the worst grocery store decisions if I haven't eaten. Seriously even just a handful of peanuts makes the difference between "stuff that's on the list + a logical set of ingredients for dinner" and "well I managed to get 7 different snacks and partial components for 3 different meals".
Map Out Your Route And Don't Deviate
"Take a list"
"Preferably, make that list in the order of your route through the store."
For The Love Of All That Is Holy, Stay Away From Sundays
"I worked grocery for 16 years. Usually late evenings in the middle of the week are the slowest and best time to shop."
From Someone On The Inside
"As a grocery store worker, here's one for you shoppers."
"Park your cart on the same side of the aisle you're looking at, that way you're not blocking the entire aisle."
Sometimes, the numbers do add up.
Don't buy things willy-nilly, or let yourself be captivated by "Sale" signs. Do a little bit of extra math and you can find how deep the savings go.
Talk To Them
"You can negotiate with your local butcher about the prices of the meat. Sometimes I get extremely cheap cuts of meat because they're going to expire soon. If I'm cooking it tonight, who cares?"
Do The Math
"Pay attention to price per ounce, not just price per package."
"This is the ultimate hack. The biggest pack isn't always the cheapest. Pay attention to unit cost, and spend a few extra seconds figuring out the price when the same product type presents units differently - sometimes soda will have a fl.oz. price (or ml), and sometimes per can cost. Do a little math and save yourselves some cash."
Go For The Back
"Buy the bread at the back of the rack behind the other bread... it's normally freshest"
"This. I actually had the job of organizing the bread from oldest to newest. The way they did it is the color of the twisty represented what day of the week it was delivered. Even after not working there for a while I would buy bread according to the color of the twisty."
Getting Ready For The Year
"I check clearance 100% of the time I go to the store - almost all departments have a clearance section and I am famous for stocking up on vitamins, cold meds, toys and stocking stuffers throughout the year. Often times i get a discount of 70-90%."
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Saving Is Always Good, No Matter Where You Are
"When possible buy at the farmers market or farm stand, significantly fresher and significantly cheaper than the grocery store."
All in all, a little bit of extra help can go a long way when you go shopping.
Follow In Marge's Footsteps
"I learned and adapted mine from The Simpsons."
Apu: Uh, Mrs. Simpson, the express line is the fastest line not always. That old man up front, he is starved for attention. He will talk the cashier's head off. Let's go to... that line.
Marge: But that's the longest.
Apu: Yes, but look-- all pathetic single men. Only cash, no chitchat.
"Taught me to pay attention to who else was buying and what. I've saved myself a lot of queuing by choosing the long line of people with baskets rather than going for the one with one person with a trolley."
Read The Fine Print
"The 2 for $5 dollars doesnt always mean you have to buy 2 of them. Just means they are 2.50 each. (theyll usually state "must buy 2 or 2.99 each othewise.)"
Let The Children Do The Work
"My best 'hack' was bringing my daughter shopping with me every single week starting from when she was around 7 years old. Over time, she learned to coupon, do quick math in her head, compare ounces in packages, and really find good deals. She was also great at running to other side of store to get something I forgot! And of course, the bonding. We did that together all the time until she graduated high school, so over 10 years. I miss my grocery store partner so much. By the way, she is in college now and she is an excellent shopper, and always seeks out smart deals!"
"TL;DR Take your kids to the store with you from a young age and make it a habit."
Make Them Do Things. Seriously.
"If you have teenagers and/or a partner, split up the work. Send everyone to get a different batch of things. Or better yet, order online and pick up. Depending on where you are, find out when they discount meat. Ours does it on Monday nights."
A Few Tips
"Go in the morning to the meat department, they should have marked down meat 30-50% off. Eat it for dinner that same day."
"Dairy is rotated, so the fresher stuff is towards the back. Check those milk dates! Also, open the packages of eggs to make sure they are not cracked."
"If you eat frozen food, make sure the store you visit doesn't have freezers that always break. It seriously messes up the quality of the food."
"Bakery items are usually over stocked. There will be marked down sweets!"
"If they have a Deli, find out when they close. They throw away all the chicken that is not sold. If you ask for some before they bagged it up, they might give you extra."
Science Is Amazing
"Frozen veggies are often just as good as fresh. Especially green beans, peas and corn. Never buy canned except like mushrooms, beans or olives."
"The leafy greens in plastic wilt faster. Lettuce and cabage heads on the stem thing last much longer (realistically this goes for all greens). Avoid those plastic tubs and bags unless you need arugola or something."
"Dont buy baby carrot. They're just large carrots that have been trimmed down to snack size for marketing. They should not exist and are a sin against food. Just cut the damn carrots."
"If you don't eat rice fast enough, don't buy the huge 20lb bags or whatever. They can get contaminated with rice weevils if left to sit."
"Bread freezes surprisingly well if you defrost them slowly in the fridge the day before needed."
"Besides these, I feel like all the tips I have are more about cooking than grocery stores."
Grocery shopping doesn't have to be a challenge to your patience or your wallet. Follow some of these hacks and you're sure to find the inner peace wandering the aisles that you seek.
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Reddit user Meerkate asked: 'What are some foods that aren't as unhealthy as people make them out to be?'
Sources provided by health experts informed us to eat fruits and vegetables in order to nourish our bodies with energy, and to drink milk to ensure we grew up with strong bones and muscles.
However, nowadays, consumers are confused.
There seems to be conflicting information every day regarding the benefits, or harm, of eating the foods we were always told were detrimental to our health.
Curious to hear from strangers online about our misconceptions regarding the foods we eat, Redditor Meerkate asked:
"What are some foods that aren't as unhealthy as people make them out to be?"
People discuss everyone's favorite movie snack.
Pass The Popcorn
"Popcorn. For how good it tastes, it has almost nothing bad in it."
"You add the salt and butter of course, and those arent great, but you're not getting a super high amount of those."
"Adding in decent quality butter (not margarine) and a few shakes of regular salt is not unhealthy at all. The problem is with the sh*t that movie theatres put in popcorn."
Careful With The Seasoning
"My body started rejecting movie theater popcorn butter when I was about 25. That stuff will make you sh*t your pants and miss the end of the movie. Just salt for me thanks. Real melted butter at home or at Alamo Drafthouse."
"I love popcorn."
"You probably buy the kernels too but for those who don't, it's significantly cheaper and healthier to buy just a big container of popcorn kernels."
"Pop them on the stove top with a small amount of oil and sprinkle some finely ground salt (that's what movie theaters use for that magic flavor) and you're golden."
"It's super easy. I don't even add butter."
"You can also pop kernels in the microwave in a paper bag or in a bowl without buying the pre-bagged stuff. You'll never go back to those once you've popped your own kernels."
"An air popper works too of course, though that will definitely require butter."
Redditors talk about the health benefits of eating certain kinds of fat.
Not So Fat
"Fat in general (not the trans ones tho)"
"The low fat craze of the late ‘90s/early ‘00s has A LOT to answer for. My mom is still ridiculous about it. Yeah, moderation is good, but you can add some butter to your food so it’s edible and still live a long life."
Fat Is Your Friend
"Fat is a great source of sustained energy that doesn’t boost your blood glucose like other options."
"You really, really need fat in your diet for proper hormone regulation and other important body processes!"
Go easy on the carbs.
"Potatoes got several countries through famine! Probably alot of people associate them with fatty fries or crisps."
"Boil em, mash em, stick em in a stew"
"Exactly this. High satiation and low cost. You can wash out a lot of the starch if you're worried about it."
Let's discuss fruity.
"I’m so tired of hearing people talk about 'all the natural sugar in fruit.'”
"I guarantee you this banana is healthier than potato chips and cookies."
"My mom has done basically ever fad diet ever, but one thing I do like about the 'new' Weight Watchers is that fruits, vegetables, and lean meats like chicken breast are zero points. I think the logic behind it is that there is no f'king way you're going to eat enough carrot sticks and apples to make yourself gain weight, so they're trying to encourage people to default to that stuff when they're hungry even if they're out of points rather than just starving until they give up and eat a bunch of unhealthy foods. Weight Watchers doesn't really work long term, but that detail is nice."
"I think its the fiber in fruit that makes it not as bad. Also, it has nutrition to make up for it unlike the cookie that's just all refined flour and sugar."
"There are scientific studies suggesting that not all the calories in nuts are bioavailable, so you might only get 75% of the calories! There are also studies showing they contribute to weight loss even despite being high in calories."
When I was told butter is actually a better alternative to margarine–which is known to contain trans fat–I started cooking more with butter.
I believe we can eat anything in moderation, so as much as I love smearing pads of butter on my English muffin, I take it easy.
When it comes to baking with it and putting it on toast, nothing beats the flavor of my favorite dairy fat.
It goes without saying, that when we pay a visit to a hospital, either as a guest or as a patient, we only see a very small portion of all the working parts of a hospital.
While countless doctors, nurses and orderlies will be seen roaming the halls, their hands more than full, there are also lab technicians and administrators who are every bit as busy, just not as visible.
Knowing this does rather make one wonder what goes on in a hospital that we don't see, or don't realize.
Or, for that matter, what we patients are actually entitled to, that they may not realize.
A question possibly best left unanswered.
Even so, Redditor SingLikeTinaTurner was eager to find out, leading them to ask:
"Hospital workers of Reddit, what happens there that's hidden but that we should know about?"
If You Know, You Know...
"Not really hidden and kinda minor but I’ll say it anyways."
"I deliver food to patients and it’s not hard to tell when someone is on their way out."
"Could be simply not being hungry, or could be the inability to eat."
"Had one patient who hadn’t eaten anything off their tray for 3 days straight."
"The last time I delivered to them, they smiled and gave me a wink."
"Next day, they were gone."
"It’s rough seeing these things happen in real-time."
"I’m a grown @ss man who doesn’t cry often, but it always leaves me feeling extra empty picking up the untouched trays and replacing them with another tray that I know will stay untouched as well."- jgss2018
Hidden In Plain Sight
"Sometimes when people die we just put an oxygen mask on them and wheel them through the corridors."
"Less distressing for other patients and visitors to think they are asleep rather than see a body with a sheet over it."- dont-believe-me-·
Know Your Rights
"You, as a patient, have every right to refuse any test or treatment or even leave."
"At any time."
"For any reason."
"Unless a harm to self or others- that's different, at least in the US."
"Added bonus you should know: leaving against medical advice DOES NOT mean insurance will not pay for the care you've received."
"Your insurance will still be billed the same as anyone else who stayed the whole time till discharge."
"But if you leave with an IV in your arm we will call the police to find you and bring you back to remove it, because of drug abuse."- Suitable_Sorbet_8718
Peeking Not Recommended
"The hospital I work at has these big square covers."
"When I first started, I would see transport staff pushing these things around the halls."
"I thought they were food trays, or large boxes of hospital equipment."
"Turns out it’s a structured bed cover, so when they are transporting a deceased patient to the morgue, it doesn’t look like a person under a sheet."- rajortoa9
The Flashing Lights Only Get You So Far
"An ambulance ride is not a one way ticket to the front of the line."
"You still get triaged and could be rolled right to the waiting room if you’re non-emergent."- dozerdude1995emergency ambulance GIFGiphy
Whatever Gets Them In The Zone...
"We listen to music in the OR."
"Most people seem surprised when they hear that."- johnnyscans
Hide And Seek...
"I got a fast bleep (ie. drop everything you’re doing and attend this emergency please) one night to a side room on the ward to find no patient in the bed."
"Was just about to leave the room and go back out to the nurses station, where there had been a bit of a hubbub when I’d dashed past the first time, when something caught my eye."
"Looked up to see a face with wide, slightly wild 'psych eyes' peering down at me from a gap in the ceiling tiles."
"She was a lady waiting for a bed in the psych hospital who’d clearly thought the ceiling was the best place to hide from the people trying to poison her."
"Honestly can’t think of another occasion that I’ve been quite so terrified."
"Worst thing was that I had to walk (well, dash) back out underneath her to get help from the nurses and security to get her down."- Leas-Pe·
Speaking In Code...
"If you register in the ER and tell the triage nurse that your problem is 'personal' we know you’re here because of something genital or anal related."
"A lot of we healthcare workers have seen a lot."
"If you’re not truthful at triage, your care might be less prompt when it’s a true medical emergency."
"It is possible to die of embarrassment."- DocWednesdayHide Reaction GIF by florGiphy
Things You Can Tell Just By Looking At Them
"If you come into the ER drunk there is guaranteed a pool of bets on your blood alcohol level, possibly with odds if there's a pharmacist available to do the math for us."- K-Tanz
Ensuring They're Surrounded By Love
"In the ICU you spend a lot of time keeping corpses alive until their family comes around or their body gives out."
“'Oh Jesus ain’t ready for her yet!'”
"Yes, Jesus is ready for her; we’re just actively delaying it."- gamerdudeNYC
Maybe Not Just At Hosptials... Just A Thought...
"Not hidden, per se, but for the love of all that is holy, if you insist on bringing your kid into the hospital, do NOT let them crawl or play on the floor."
"The amount of literal blood, urine, poop, and vomit that has been on it and hastily (not thoroughly) cleaned up is, well, a lot."
"The hospital, especially the floors, is NOT a clean environment."
"Added to that, think of all the rooms nurses, doctors, housekeeping staff, etc. have walked into."
"Rooms that have COVID or Norovirus or group A Strep."
"We walked into those rooms and those same shoes walked into other rooms."
"Tl;dr hospital floors are disgusting as f*ck."- duckface08Baby Crawls Face First Across The Floor GIF by ViralHogGiphy
Not An Exact Science...
"Hospital lab worker here."
"Not particularly scandalous, but most people don't realiZe their lab tests are just very accurate guesses, and have an error range."
"When we say your 'X' is 10g/L, we might actually mean it's 10g/L ± 10-20%."
"I see too many people get extremely worked up about small fluctuations in blood test values that aren't actually in excess of the reference change value, and so technically aren't genuinely different from a previous value."- Hayred
A Decision No One Wants To Make...
"You are doing your 90 year old grandmother a great disservice by making her a full code, she will not survive CPR and her death will be significantly more traumatic because of it."- singlenutwonder
WASH YOUR FREAKIN' HANDS!!!
"I help patients to the bathroom nonstop all day."
"The amount of patients that just leave the bathroom without washing their hands is disgusting."
"If I didn’t hear the sink or soap dispenser your a** is getting led right to an alcohol hand station."- MadamiamadamWash Hands Water GIF by Jared D. WeissGiphy
More goes on in a hospital than we're ever likely to know.
If you check out from a hospital healthier than you were when you checked in, that's probably all you need to know.
Even if it's understandable to ask what song the doctor was listening to when you were open on the operating table.
My family went on a lot trips when I was young, and we always stayed in hotel rooms. Around the time my brother and I were old enough to stay in a room by ourselves (our parents would stay in another one, usually across the hall), he also became a bit of a germaphobe.
At the time, I actually believed hotels changed the sheets on the beds daily, so when my brother fretted about the cleanliness of the hotels, I reassured him they were fine. He believed me at first, since I was his big sister, but by the time he was 12, he got suspicious.
During one of our trips, he decided to test this by making a mark on his pillow cover with a pen and turning the pillow cover inside out before we left for sightseeing the next morning. When we returned, he turned the pillow cover back, and his mark was still there, proving that the sheets hadn't been changed. He only had to do this one more time, during our next trip, for me to realize this wasn't a one-off.
Ever since, and even now in adulthood, my brother and I always intentionally spill something on our sheets during our first night in order to get clean sheets, at least for the duration of our stay. This, in fact, is the first thing we do.
I'm not the only person who does something a bit quirky like this when they first enter a hotel rooms. Plenty or Redditors have stories about this and are ready to share.
It all started when Redditor BlundeRuss asked:
"What’s the first thing you do when you get into a hotel room?"
Preparing For Sights
"Go to the balcony to see if it's going to be public nudity or private nudity during my morning coffee."
"I love that this doesn’t change your plans, just prepares your mind. Excellence."
Show Me The Truth
"Put my bags up on something and check the mattress. I also bought a UV flashlight but after using it at home I’ve decided that bringing it to a hotel would be unnecessary torture. Nothing is clean when you shine the thing on it. And I mean nothing."
"One of my close friends travels a ton for business. She also loves to sleep in a f**king ice box."
"She has found some resource for how to basically jailbreak hotel thermostats. Each hotel thermostat has a specific key sequence that unlocks the lower temps that the hotel normally doesn’t allow guests to set because, you know, money."
"I do this in every hotel."
"Set bags down."
"Look at room for cleanliness."
"Take a dump."
"I showed up early to a hotel after 12 hours straight of driving. Took forever for them to get me in the room (really it was probably only 30 minutes and they were super accommodating)."
"Anyways, I had been feeling the tyrannical gouging of a sh*t demon trying to claw it's way out for about half an hour beforehand. I ran down the hall, opened the door, threw my bag at something, and was kinda hovering over the toilet just in time. Hadn't put cheek to rim yet and my darling baby began his exit."
"It wasn't until after I looked up that I realized neither door was the self-closing kind and you could see all the way in from the hallway."
"You’ve unlocked a childhood memory. I stayed in a lot of hotels while growing up and I saw someone in your position once, trail of belongings leading to the toilet. So I went and shut the door for him."
"Find the bible and flip through it. When my sister and I were kids, we went to Disney, and I think she asked why is there always a bible in the drawer, waved it by the spine and 20 bucks fell out. So I always check now."
"I found $100 that way. 5 crisp 20's,. I was pretty broke at the time too."
"First, I look at the area between the mattress and headboard for any signs of bed bugs, then under the sheets. I’ve never encountered them, but I’ve heard so many horror stories that I’m paranoid about them."
"As someone who worked in hotels, I always double check the door locks and then inspect for bed bugs."
"Look for cameras. I'm a paranoid f**k."
"If anyone wants to see an overweight guy in his mid-40s eat pringles in his underwear while reading Stephen King novels, then they have my flabby white blessing."
"They sell surprisingly easy to use scanners on Amazon. I found a camera in an air bb bedroom alarm clock, threw a towel over it and got the whole stay for free. Some will detect signals but the best way is there’s a looking glass that’s red and it emits a light and you turn off all the lights and look around the room. Any active camera will shine like a cats eyes when you skim over it."
The Things We Find
"I check in odd places to see if anyone stashed drugs or money. You would be surprised at all the sh*t I’ve found over the years!"
"We found an axe under the bed once."
"Yank the comforter off the bed and throw it in the corner. they rarely wash those things."
"I discovered this recently while calling home to say good night to everyone. Dried food stuck to the comforter. Threw that bad boy off the bed."
"I cleaned an air BnB for a little while and I was so disturbed when they told me they didn't wash the comforter because hotels don't.... Like I guess I get it because they're heavy and they're trying to save water on the washes but yuck dude... Cleaning that air Bnb made me NEVER want to book one because of the sh*t the owners wouldn't LET me clean... I don't think I'd ever survive as a maid for a hotel, I could never travel again lol."
It's A Process
"Make a condom for the TV remote control. Take the ice bag from the ice bucket and put the remote in it. Now I never have to touch the remote."
"I'm sure disinfectant wipes could do the job."
Check For Monsters...People Monsters
"Make sure no one is hiding under the bed or in the bathroom 😂😅"
"I travel a lot for work…and I’m shocked no one else mentioned this. First I check the closet, under the bed, the bathroom for a hiding serial killer…then check the mattress for bedbugs…"
Today I Learned
"Check for cleanliness and then take pictures Traffickcam."
"Traffickcam is an app where you take specific pictures of your room and then upload them to their database. They use these pictures to check on the location of human trafficking victims."
"Take a picture of the room and post it on the Trafickcam app so if the room or similar has been used by human traffickers maybe it will help find someone."
And thanks to those last two stories, I'm a little scared to stay in another hotel.
Small acts of kindness that only a few know about can change the world.
You never know.
One smile can change one person's day.
And that person could carry it on.
So doing it ourselves may be the only answer.Redditor sashayingthru wanted to discuss the ways we know the world is still good, so they asked:
"What small act of kindness were you once shown that you will never forget?"
As someone who has waited on many tables, just tip properly.
You'll go to Heaven.
StrangersRobin Williams Dancing GIF by 20th Century Fox Home EntertainmentGiphy
"I once walked to a store to buy bags for my vacuum cleaner and I forgot to take my wallet. The shop owner gave me the bags, shook my hand, and told me to bring him to money tomorrow. He put his trust in a total stranger to do the right thing and I did."
In the Rain
"A man in a full business suit with a briefcase handed me an umbrella in a torrential rain storm and wouldn't take no for an answer. I still had to walk through Times Square to get to the train and I'm sure he got soaked going wherever he was going. A couple of weeks later, I gave the umbrella to a lost girl in my neighborhood when it started to rain and she didn't have one. Felt like the universe wanted it to happen."
"I'll never forget that man though."
Leggo my Lego
"When I was maybe 4 or 5 years old, I made friends with another kid in an airport, and he was playing with a couple glued glued-together Lego cars. Me and that kid played for like an hour with those things and when it was time to go our separate ways and board the plane, the kid insisted I keep one of the cars, and while I insisted he should keep them, he said it was proof that we were friends, and to this day roughly 20 years later, I still have that car packed up with my childhood mementos box."
"That friend of mine was a good kid. Hope he’s doin' well."
Don't Cry Tammy
"My husband and I were sitting on our porch holding hands and crying, just feeling overwhelmed because we were waiting to find out whether or not my tumor was cancerous. Our neighbor saw it when he was coming home. About half an hour later he came over with some freshly baked cookies. He didn't even say anything, just smiled, handed them to us, and then went back home."
"Just thinking about that moment has me crying again. From his kindness, not the fear. Tammy the Ti**y Tumor turned out benign!"
Coasting...Fail Will Ferrell GIF by Paramount PicturesGiphy
"I literally coasted into a gas station out of gas on my motorcycle, then realized I didn't have my wallet. Some lady saw me patting all my pockets and I was upset and offered to fill up my tank. I only let her put $5 in, which on a bike is a lot. But it meant so much to me."
Give people gas as often as possible..
Pay it forward.
Generosityhappy silent film GIF by Charlie ChaplinGiphy
"My realtor took less commission so that I could get my dream home. It was a rare find in a great neighborhood."
"Years ago my car got egged real badly overnight while parked on the driveway of our duplex. We had to go somewhere the next morning so took the wife’s car. Came back hours later and my car was shining like new on the driveway. The neighbor whose name I didn’t even know at that point had washed it for me while we were away."
Are those still a thing?
"I was in maybe 4th grade and my parents just had my younger sister, so newborn focused. I went to my school lunch, opened my paper bag (are those still a thing?), and unwrapped the foil holding my sandwich. There was nothing inside. It was actually just 2 slices of dry white slice bread and I was sad."
"Literally, my table mates all chipped in various components and made me the most amazing ham and cheese sandwich I’ve ever had. I’ve been chasing that dragon of ham sandwich since but I’m sure it was the response and not the ingredients that I loved."
"19 years old, first apartment, first winter, first winter utility bill. I smiled and told my coworker I'd just pay it, skip lunch, and eat cheap Mac and cheese for dinner. It'll be ok. All that month co-workers accidentally got extra chips from the vending machine. A wife packed an extra sandwich. A box of my favorite crackers would be on my desk when I came in. It was still hard but I didn't starve. Thanks, you guys."
Just TearsBig Brother Omg GIF by Global TVGiphy
"I was on the subway, sitting there crying because I had just ended a relationship. I wasn't making any noise, just tears, but the guy sitting next to me gave me some tissues. I'll never forget that."
Some of the best people ride the subway.
Everyone has tissues.