The Worst Thing Everyone Hates About Grocery Shopping

Ask anyone what one of their most hated chores is and no doubt they’ll come up with a long list. Dusting, scrubbing toilets, changing the cat litter — there are a few household tasks that almost no one likes doing. Another common complaint is grocery shopping.

Heading to the grocery store can — and should — be a pleasant experience. But so many supermarket shoppers bring up similar issues when discussing the most hated aspects of stocking up on food staples every week. Ahead, check out the worst things that people hate about grocery shopping.

1. Not enough checkout lines open

Walmart checkout line

Checkout line | Tim Boyle/Getty Images

Hands down, one of the biggest complaints for shoppers has to do with the ease and speed of checkout.

Walmart is notorious for never having enough registers open so customers are stuck wasting time in line to check out. Self-service checkouts may help prevent this common problem, but they’re not enough to completely solve it.

Next: This layout complaint could easily be solved.

2. Narrow aisles

empty supermarket aisle

Empty supermarket aisle | paulprescott72/iStock/Getty Images

No one wants to shop in tiny, cramped aisles or play chicken with an oncoming cart barreling in from the opposite direction. One of the reasons Wegmans is consistently named America’s favorite grocery store is that they have wide, well-lit aisles that are easy to navigate.

Next: Ever feel depressed while shopping?

3. Dismal atmosphere

Many different drink bottles

Supermarket | Kwangmoozaa/iStock/Getty Images

Fluorescent lighting, dirty floors, screaming toddlers — going to the grocery store isn’t exactly a spa-like experience. But it’s not like stores have to stick to the status quo when it comes to presentation.

Again, Wegmans is well-known for their clean, beautiful stores that customers enjoy shopping in. Other grocers have been stepping up their game to compete and remodeling outdated stores into destinations with prepared food courts, coffee bars, and other amenities rather than regular old ugly supermarkets.

Next: Here’s why some people are critical of Aldi especially.

4. Not enough choices

Latin brunette picking up some food at the grocery store

Grocery shopping | Antonio_Diaz/iStock/Getty Images

One way that Aldi keeps prices low is by stocking fewer products than traditional grocery stores. But if you’re married to a certain brand of peanut butter and won’t buy anything else, then you’ll end up wasting time making multiple trips to different stores just to fulfill your list.

Next: This can make you not want to shop at a particular store.

5. Employees with attitude

Cashier handing receipt

Cashier | iStock/Getty Images

Not every grocery store employee has a sunny disposition, and they usually aren’t hanging around when you need to ask them a question. People hate shopping at stores where they can’t get their questions answered or find the help they need.

Next: This one small detail can double the time you spend shopping.

6. Confusing layout

Customers shop at an Aldi grocery store

Grocery store | Scott Olson/Getty Images

Most grocery stores are set up similarly: produce in the front, milk in the back, processed foods in the middle. But some stores are notorious for strange organization tactics, like putting toys next to the soup. The worst thing they can do? Move everything around right after you memorize the layout.

Next: Does this job even exist anymore?

7. Insufficient grocery baggers

four reusable shopping bags filled with grocereis

Grocery bags | iStock/Getty Images

Bagging groceries is a lost art. Whether you bring your own bags or not, the person at the end of the register should do a few things automatically, like keeping your meat separate and ensuring your bread doesn’t get crushed. But at some stores, you’re lucky to get a bagging person at all, much less one who does a great job.

Next: This occurrence is always a huge disappointment.

8. Out-of-stock specials

sale in a grocery store

Store ad | Spencer Platt/Getty Images

That glossy advertisement was one of the main reasons you visited the store. But when they’re out of stock on the special product of the week, it can be so frustrating. A raincheck to return just means you’ll have to spend more time making trips to the store when you have better things to do.

Next: This is frustrating to so many shoppers.

9. Tight parking lots

Store parking lot at Night

Store parking lot at night | Inner_Vision/iStock/Getty Images

Runaway shopping carts and people who don’t park between the lines are just some of the hazards your car faces in a tiny grocery store parking lot. Plus, a lot with fewer spaces means you’ll inevitably have to park far away and walk further in inclement weather, especially when you visit on busy shopping days.

Next: Stores running out of this one thing is unacceptable.

10. Not enough basic items

Gallons of Water on Grocery Shelf

Basic items | 805promo/iStock/Getty Images

You go to the store for flour or sugar, only to find they’ve run out. What gives?

If store managers aren’t keeping a close eye on inventory, they’re liable to run out of the important staple items you need that don’t have high sell-thru. People report a lack of basic necessities as one major annoyance at the grocery store.

Next: Always check to make sure this doesn’t happen.

11. Checkout errors

Shopping receipt

Shopping receipt | iStock/Getty Images

There’s nothing worse than getting home from the grocery store only to find that your carefully clipped coupon didn’t scan or that the cashier accidentally charged you twice for cranberry juice. Accidents happen, but it still feels like a rip-off.

Avoid this by always standing to the side and checking your receipt even before you leave the store. Then get a price adjustment at customer service immediately so you don’t have to come back.

Next: This can be a major turnoff for customers.

12. Expensive pricing

shopping cart in a grocery store aisle

Shopping cart | shironosov/iStock/Getty Images

Not many people have time for in-depth price comparisons. High prices at the grocery store leave customers feeling irritated and makes them just want to shop somewhere else. One thing all grocery store shoppers are looking for? Consistently low prices on basic items.

Next: This is why shopping in the summer sucks.

13. Cold temperatures

Grocery store freezer

Grocery store freezer |

Ever shop at a grocery store that feels like the Arctic, even in the heat of summer? That can be very uncomfortable for anyone shopping in shorts and a tank top. Plenty of customers complain that the excessive air conditioning is another reason they dread grocery shopping.

Next: This is the biggest complaint about shopping.

14. Takes too long

grocery shopping, budget

Grocery shopping | iStock/Getty Images

In a nation obsessed with one click ordering, the long, tedious task of grocery shopping feels like a real burden. And while online grocery stores haven’t caught on in any significant way just yet, services such as grocery delivery services are heating up in certain markets and saving busy shoppers lots of time.

Next: Here’s how supermarkets trick you.

15. Going over budget

shopping together

Grocery list| iStock/Getty Images

Grocery stores are designed to make people stray from their list and fill their carts with impulse buys. These marketing tactics usually aren’t well-known, but people will certainly get annoyed if they constantly go over budget while shopping at certain places.

Read more: The Most Hated Grocery Store Chains in America

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