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Poll: How Do You Shop For Groceries?

When we go shopping for groceries, there are certain habits that are common to a lot of people. Most people probably don’t even give much thought to how they usually shop. Yet, the shopping practices can have a huge impact on the food budget and the health of the food that is consumed. Thus, it is a good idea to at least give some thought to how we shop. We can then be in a position where we can work on altering less efficient methods to come up with better ways to do the shopping.

Note that the poll questions are in regard to how you usually shop. You may occasionally shop in a different way, so the idea is what is ‘normal’ for you. This poll also focuses specifically on grocery and food shopping.

  • Question of

    Do you use a grocery list?

    • I don’t use a grocery list
    • I write a list, but don’t use it or use it only marginally
    • I write a list and stick to it when I shop
    • Other
  • Question of

    How do you usually shop for groceries?

    • I go shopping whenever I need groceries
    • I go grocery shopping multiple times a week
    • I do most of my grocery shopping once per week
    • I do most of my grocery shopping once a month or less
  • Question of

    Most grocery stores rely on people buying things they didn’t intend to buy (impulse shopping). How often do you impulse shop?

    • I rarely buy anything I didn’t intend on buying
    • I occasionally buy something I didn’t go to the store for.
    • I often buy things that I didn’t go shopping for.
  • Question of

    When you buy groceries, do you read ingredient labels?

    • I usually read the ingredient label
    • I read the ingredient label only occasionally
    • I seldom or never read the ingredient label when I’m shopping


What do you think?

25 Points

Written by Rex Trulove


  1. I have monthly and weekly grocery shopings. Monthly are mostly for flour, sugar and fat, while weekly are for fruits, vegetables, cheese, eggs and meat. Other things I buy when I need them, because there are several big markets near my house.

    • This is very true. I live in a small town that has just one grocery store. There are people here who live miles out of town who don’t shop very often. In fact, some of them don’t do any grocery shopping unless they need to go to the nearest city, 70-80 miles from here.

  2. Most of our food shopping is done online and it is delivered on a Friday evening. For odd items there is a village store only a minute’s walk away.

    • I know of a number of people who have groceries delivered, though none of them live in our town. It is too far away from the nearest store that offers a delivery service. The exception is WalMart, which does deliver even this far away, though the ship the food to the post office and not to people’s homes.

      • In the UK most of the major supermarkets run a delivery service – that is certainly true of Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and Asda (which is the UK version of Walmart). We use Ocado, which operates purely as an online supermarket with no retail stores of its own – although it is part of the Waitrose group.

        • If I’m not mistaken, most places in the UK are substantially closer to distribution centers than we are. We are around 70-90 miles from Missoula, Montana, Polson, Montana, Kalispell, Montana, and Coeur D’Alene, Idaho. We are actually closer to the Canadian border than we are to the distribution centers.

  3. In love my Costco store. We always buy in bulk and only once a month. Since we basically only buy meat, bread, coffee and the occasional laundry detergent and soaps and toothpaste, I rarely read all the label but I know I should.

  4. Usually we do one big shopping trip out of town and get the majority of what we need….then we go weekly and get the things that we need to buy more often.
    I have learned to always read the labels.
    Great poll!

    • A LOT of people in our town shop that way. Our town is small, with about 1,000 people in the entire valley. We have only one store in town. They work hard to make sure that people have everything they want, but there isn’t much selection. It is 24 miles to the county seat and they have a supermarket, so many people shop there once a month. A much larger number of people travel 75 miles monthly to one of three population centers. All three have WalMart, Costco, Safeway, and other major supermarket stores. The last time we went to one of these to get groceries, we paid $300 and got more food than we would have gotten had we spent $700 here in town.

      • Oh wow! I thought it was bad here! We have to travel 45 miles to do our major shopping…luckily we have a Wal-mart two towns over (15 miles)….but it’s still crazy. We have one store in town for 5,000 people.

        • I don’t think that there are 5,000 people even in our county seat. LOL It is sort of interesting that there are four cities within about 90 miles of here. Three of them are in Montana and one is in Idaho. It is roughly the same distance to the nearest major city in Canada. In fact, we are closer to Canada than to the nearest Walmart.

    • People are often surprised by the labeled ingredients. For instance, Jello brand gelatin has added acids, then other added chemicals to control acidity. That is one of many foods that contain chemicals that are more suited for cleaning or keeping a car engine from freezing in cold weather, than for eating.