What the heck is supermarket etiquette? I have never heard of such a stupid thing! Perhaps we all should try to learn and practice this concept. Then maybe shopping for groceries would be a pleasant venture. The whole experience would not leave that "bad taste" in your mouth.
I think that a good starting point would be the parking lot. This is usually located in front of the supermarket where you plan to shop. Just as on the highway you should use your turn signal in order to make people aware of your intentions. Don't just speed up to the spot where you want to park and zip into the space. Take your time, tell other drivers that you want that space by signaling and then proceed cautiously until you safely reach your destination. If two people are vying for the same space at the same time from opposite directions, it is the one who signals first that is entitled to the parking spot according to proper etiquette. That is an unwritten rule that everyone should know and abide by.
You must try to park in designated parking areas only. This rule holds true for the grocery carts as well as your vehicle. Loading zones are just what the name implies. These places are only for the unloading and loading of vehicles. Please adhere to these areas as congested traffic frustrates everyone. When parking keep your vehicle squarely between the lines and pull the whole way into the spot. Other people need enough room to enter, load, or leave their vehicle. If there is a removable hitch on your vehicle you should take it off as this is a potential trip hazard.
I am going to share an experience that happened to me at a supermarket. About 15 years ago an elderly woman backed in to me with her vehicle. She hit me in the back of my legs as I was walking across the parking lot. I was on my way back to my car after picking up the groceries I needed. In an instant my body was lying face first on the parking lot. Lucky for me the woman stopped before she backed over me. That incident was too close for comfort. Nobody was injured seriously which was a big relief. My point here is that regardless of whether you are driving or walking in the parking area always be aware of your surroundings. Be a defensive walker and driver because people don't always see you.
Let's now take a look at some of the occurrences that happen inside the grocery store. A big peeve of mine is when a customer takes their whole grocery cart full of items to the checkout line that is designated for 15 items or less. There are a few unwritten rules to abide by in this situation. Four apples in a bag constitutes only one item. However, four cans of the same soup is considered 4 items in your cart. When in doubt go to the regular checkout line. There will be more about the checkout later. That one is just too important not to mention first.
For safety reasons please do not allow your children to ride on the front of the carts that you are pushing around. Injury is something that the responsible person can and should prevent. The responsible person is always the adult. Please use common sense when it comes to having your children grocery shopping with you. Then too don't let your children to push the shopping cart as they lack the control both physically and mentally to get the job done properly in a crowded (or even uncrowded) store.
Yes you see quite a number of people that are acquaintances while shopping in the grocery store. That does not mean however, that in the middle of the aisle you should stop and hold a 10 minute conversation with them. Everyone else in the store would like to get their shopping completed in a timely manner. Please consider other peoples' wishes too. Do your talking when you visit those people and just say "hi" when you're at the supermarket.
Cell phones are next. Just as driving your car and talking on a cell phone is dangerous this is also true when walking the aisles and hunting your groceries. I understand that you want to get the order correct and have to ask for help at times. But, when you do this please stop pushing your cart. Pull it out of the way and make your phone call. Yes just like what you're suppose to do in a vehicle.
We have gotten all the groceries and we now are at the checkout line. It is proper etiquette to allow enough space between the person at the checkout and the next person in line so the shopping carts can pass through. This way there isn't congestion in a certain aisle because of no space to get through at the checkout. Also before you reach the checkout register you should have all of your coupons ready for presenting to the clerk. This will save you and the people behind you in line a whole lot of time and aggravation.
Doing these things will help to make your supermarket experience a pleasant one. Then too the people who happen to be shopping at the same time as you will have the potential for their experience to be a positive one as well. So let's all work together on making our supermarket etiquette adequate, shall we?