Why I Don’t Grocery Shop on an Empty Stomach


Grocery shopping on an empty stomach never ends well for me or my wallet. On lifehacker.com’s list of Top 10 Mistakes We Make When Grocery Shopping, shopping on an empty stomach is slotted at number two. In case you’re wondering, not having a meal plan is number one.

Why I avoid buying groceries when hungry.

The one bright spot to grocery shopping when I’m hungry is I get it done quickly. With that said, here are five reasons why I avoid food shopping on an empty stomach.

#5 Easy to Miss the Bargains

I find it hard to focus when famished. Smart price shopping no longer matters when all I can think about is getting something to eat. It’s like going sight-seeing in a foreign city and suddenly having to pee – finding a restroom becomes more important than the sights.

#4 It Costs Double

Why walk two or three blocks to the supermarket to cure a growling stomach when there’s food available a half block away at the convenience store? When hungry, it’s easy to rationalize paying two to three times more for food than what you’d pay at the grocery store.

#3 Labelled as a Grazer

Grapes and loose food in bulk bins are tempting places to grab a quick nibble when food shopping on an empty stomach. Be careful with this approach. In high school I worked in the produce department at a local supermarket. My coworkers and I knew who the habitual grazers were AND where they liked to feed. A few guys I worked with found it funny to lure grazers to food that had been tampered with. Wasn’t right, but it happens. 

#2 Buy More Food Than Needed

When hungry my stomach and eyes are in charge. The rational side of my brain shuts down and the impulse buying begins. As I put away the groceries at home I wonder “what was I thinking?”.

#1 Not Myself When Hungry

I’m grumpy when I’m hungry. For the sake of others, it’s best if I eat beforehand. Makes me a friendlier and happier fellow shopper = ).

What impulse items do you buy when you grocery shopping on an empty stomach? Bounty chocolate bars sold at the checkout are my weakness. What’s yours? 

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