13 Thoughts Everyone Has While Waiting in the Grocery Store Check-Out Line

published Oct 7, 2015
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(Image credit: Tyler Olson)

You remembered to bring your coupons, you found the food on your grocery list, and now all that stands between you and home is the check-out line. Sometimes it’s super short and you can run right through, and other times it’s a drawn-out process with lots of heartache. Such is the life of a home cook.

Grocery shopping is a war zone and everyone is a soldier. Here are 13 thoughts everyone has had at some point while waiting in a grocery store check-out line — the good, the bad, and the meaty.

1. “I definitely chose the wrong line.”

You gather all your groceries and make a bee-line to the check-out lanes. You quickly try to figure out the shortest line. But no, somehow you managed to choose the slowest-moving line, and someone who chose a different line at the same time you did is now at the front. How did that happen? Where did it all go so wrong? It’s too late now to switch.

2. “What are they making?”

The person in front of you has a grocery cart with a whole bunch of interesting things. What are they going to do with that kohlrabi for dinner? Is it going to be a side salad for that piece of fish they bought?

3. “Shoot, I forgot to pick [ingredient] up.”

You brought your grocery list, you thought you checked everything off, and you got in line at the check-out. You’ve already waited five minutes when you realize you forgot to buy onions for that one dish you wanna make. Ugh! Well, it’s too late now. Shallots are an OK substitute and you have plenty of those at home.

4. “Fine, I’ll buy this new chocolate bar.”

You get into a check-out line that is showcasing a new chocolate bar you’ve never seen before. You know deep-down that this is some grocery store trick to get you to buy it, but you still really want to see what it’s like. So, why not?

5. “Um, is that person trying to cut me in line?”

You’re waiting in line at a big grocery store. You know, the ones where they call out your line number when it’s your turn to go to the cashier (ahem, Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s). Your number is called and you step forward but then some dude in the next line quickly runs to your designated cashier before you can get there. Oh, hell no.

6. “I shouldn’t have bought that [ingredient].”

You went to the grocery store hungry and you bought that way-too-expensive hunk of cheese that is totally not necessary for what you want to make. Do you dare put it in the check-out aisle? Nah. You’ll deal with it.

7. “Screw it, I’m eating pizza tonight.”

You had the best intentions to make dinner that night. You really did. But you go to the grocery store kinda late to pick up all the ingredients, and by the time you hit the check-out line you’re super hungry and realize you won’t be making dinner tonight. Instead, you’re ordering pizza. You can make dinner tomorrow.

(Image credit: Michaela Cisney)

8. “Her grocery cart looks way better than mine.”

You get all the things on your grocery list, maybe a treat or two from the freezer aisle, and then head to the check-out line. There’s this lady in front of you with a grocery cart that looks way better. There are more greens, it’s healthier, she chose better ice cream. Where did you go so wrong in your ways? Might as well start over.

9. “What’s the hold up with this cashier?”

It’s 6:30 p.m. on a Thursday and your local grocery store is slammed. You’re in the check-out line and you see all the other lines are going fast except yours. You look at the cashier and you realize she’s been chatting with a patron for the last five minutes instead of moving things along. Being friendly is great, but you’ve got dinner to make. Hurry it up!

10. “Can you save my spot in line?”

You’re in a super-long line at the grocery store and all of a sudden you spy the seltzer water of your dreams. The only problem is that it’s about 50 feet away. You wanna go run and get it, but you don’t know if the person behind you would be cool with you grabbing something really quick. What do you do?

11. “How the hell am I going to get this all home?”

You forgot to bring your reusable bag to the grocery store, so you’re stuck with something kinda flimsy that the grocery store supplies. You definitely bought way too much food to carry it all to the car or on your walk home. What are you going to do?

12. “Uh oh, did I forget my credit card?”

You made it. You’re finally putting all your grocery store finds on the conveyer belt and the cashier starts ringing everything up. You go to your wallet when suddenly you realize your credit card isn’t in the place you always put it. Did you put it somewhere else in your wallet? Did you leave your credit card at home? This is awkward.

13. “Is this going to melt before I get home?”

You splurged at the grocery store and decided to get your favorite ice cream. It’s a little expensive, so this is a real treat. The check-out line is longer than you expected, and suddenly you’re worried that your treat is going to melt all over you before you get home. What a waste!