Every week we have to do it. Whether it’s a few things or a big haul, we all have to go to the grocery store. Some people love it, and some people hate it. Personally, I don’t mind it because I love to cook, plan meals, and make a list. I actually look forward to going every week. I enjoy walking the aisles and occasionally talking to people, which I’m trying to get better at. I’m an introvert by nature, but most of the time I can strike up a conversation with people.
Regardless of whether you love to go or hate it, this is the perfect place to spread some kindness. I see all kinds of people at the grocery store, from those who look like they are struggling to those who have excellent jobs.
Overall, this makes no difference. A person who looks put together can still appreciate a random act of kindness, just as much as someone who may be down on their luck. You never know what people are going through. The well-dressed person may have just lost their job, or may be going through a divorce or may be in over their head in massive debt. The person who looks like they are struggling may just need a few dollars to cover this week’s groceries. The bottom line is, you never know.
There are lots of ways you can spread kindness at the grocery store or super center or wherever you get your groceries. Here are some ideas to get you started.
1. Compliment the cart person: If you see someone fetching carts out in the parking lot, thank them for what they do. These people have to go out in the blazing hot and bitter cold to round up the carts we use to gather our groceries and so quickly take for granted.
2. Say hello to the door greeter: If you shop at your local Walmart Supercenter, how many times do you walk by and not acknowledge the door greeter. Next time, say hello and ask how their day is going.
3. Take extra coupons: If you have additional coupons for items in each department you will be visiting, leave them on the things they pertain to and make someone’s day. For example, one day I had an extra coupon for paper towels. Once I decided what I wanted, I left the additional coupon on another package of towels. It made me feel good to know that someone was going to be able to save some money that day.
4. Share your extra coupons in person: If you see someone in the same aisle looking at the same item, offer them your additional coupon.
5. Help someone reach an item: If you see an elderly person driving a cart, help them reach an item that they want.
6. Compliment the deli display: I worked in a deli for eight years, and it is tough work. There is always cooking, cleaning, and filling of the displays to be done. Those who serve you work hard to make sure the food you are buying looks appetizing. So the next time you order meat or cheese, or from the salad or hot case, compliment how it looks. Also, thank the person who waits on you. When I was having a really rough day, this made a world of difference.
7. Compliment the other departments: Let the butcher or the person working in seafood know how great their display cases look. Thank them for serving you. They all work hard too.
8. Leave random gift cards in small amounts: This will take a little planning, but buy 5-10 store gift cards with $5 or $10 on each. Leave them in random places around the grocery store. (Note: Make sure you have your receipt of payment for them with you just in case.) You could also pass these out to people as well.
9. Leave your quarter: When you shop at Aldi grocery stores, you have to pay a quarter to get a cart. Instead of retrieving your quarter from the cart when you are done, leave it in there. I do this randomly so if someone doesn’t have a quarter, they can still get a cart.
10. Buy a stranger lunch or dinner: Most supercenters have a Subway, Burger King, or McDonald’s in them. Offer to buy the person either before you or behind you lunch or dinner. My Mom and I usually do this during the winter months when the Salvation Army bell ringers are out.
11. Offer to pay for someone’s groceries: If you see a single mom or elderly person ahead of you, and you can afford it, offer to pay for their groceries. Start a “Grocery Helping Fund” just for this purpose. If you aren’t able to pay the whole bill, offer to pay for a quarter or half of it.
12. Give someone a compliment: Pick out a few random strangers and give them a compliment.
13. Help someone find something: If you see a person who is having a hard time finding the item they want, take the time to help them. This happened to me a few years back. A gentleman was looking for mini M&M’s baking bits and couldn’t find them. I helped him look but couldn’t see them either. He thanked me, and we parted ways. It wasn’t until I looked in the next aisle over that I found them. I grabbed a bag and started running to the front of the store. Surprisingly, I saw him still in the checkout line. He thanked me and told me I was a lifesaver.
14. Let someone go ahead of you in line: If you see someone with just a few items, and you have a huge cart full, let them go ahead of you.
15. Compliment and thank your cashier: When you are checking out, compliment your cashier and ask them how their day is going. This will definitely brighten their day and break the monotony.
As you can see, there are many ways to spread kindness at the grocery store. So go out and put a smile on someone’s face today.