Is It Ever Okay to Snack on Your Groceries Before Buying Them?

groceriesIs it just me, or does anyone else keep making the mistake of grocery shopping while hungry? I know you're supposed to avoid it because then you end up buying a load of snack food you don't need, but sometimes it's just hard to time my grocery shopping with the 40,000 other things I have to get done.

So there I am in line, starving because it's 2 o'clock and I haven't had lunch yet, and everyone else in the world has decided to go grocery shopping at the same exact time, naturally. The checkout lines are so long, you'd think we were waiting to buy the mythical iPhone 5 instead of milk and broccoli.

Is it really so horrible if I tear open a Mojo Bar so I can remain upright and keep pushing my cart? You know, as long as I save the wrapper for the cashier to ring up the bar code?


It's not like I'm snacking on grapes. I do know better than that. No snacking on groceries that need to be weighed. That is absolutely stealing.

And it's not like that one time I stumbled upon a jam-sampling party in the condiments aisle. A group of women were opening jars, scooping out blobs of jam with their bare fingers, licking off the jam, and then sticking those same fingers into new jars for more samples. And then -- the most disgusting part: Back on the shelf went all those defiled jars of jam for unsuspecting shoppers. I would have said something, but my head was exploding. Who does that, I ask you?!

Ever since that horror show, I always check the lid for tightness when I buy jam. You should, too. You never know. But I digress. 

Anyway, what I've decided about grocery store snacking is this: As long as I'm buying the food, I think it's okay to have a nibble before I hand over my money. It's been at least five years since I last forgot my wallet, so I'm 90 percent certain the food will be paid for. Make that 95 percent likely. No, I promise, 100 percent. I am definitely paying for that food.

Really, the grocery store is doing itself a favor when it looks the other way at my line snacking because noshing makes me a much sweeter customer. I am a snarling, dangerous zombie when I'm hungry. Slaying the hunger beast is a service I perform for the world, for humanity. It's the ethical thing to do.

That's right, I said it. Snacking on my groceries while in line is a morally upstanding act. Now hand me my Nobel Prize and those Cheddar Bunnies. Please.

Do you ever snack on your groceries before paying for them?

Image via Jessica Mullen/Flickr

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