Bad Food from the Grocery Store: Do You Return or Toss?
Friday, May 18th, 2012
This hasn’t been a great shopping week for me.
First, we got overcharged several times at different stores.
Then my ‘sale’ items didn’t ring up correctly as I went through self-checkout, and you know what that means: the computer voice telling me to wait, I need help; the helper assisting someone who really should have just gone through the regular checkout line because said person didn’t know how to operate self-checkout; too much time spent waiting on assistance, which meant the kids had touched and sniffed every candy bar within a two-aisle radius and, therefore, had begun wrestling in the middle of the floor; and me, frazzled and frustrated and ready to ditch everything in my cart and leave.
Which, maybe I should have done.
When I got home and opened the ‘fresh’ bag of coffee I’d just purchased, I inhaled the scent of not aromatic coffee beans but, well, dead rat. So I did what all good wives do. I called in hubby and said, “Smell this. Does it smell bad to you?”
Hubby responded with something short of fainting and suggested I toss it in the trash.
It’s not the first time I’ve gotten ‘bad food.’ The other day I purchased strawberries that, by the next morning, had grown fuzzies on their skin. I’ve gotten meat that smelled rank when I opened the package, despite a good sell-by date, and stale bread – in fact, just a few days after the rotten coffee.
If I lived closer to the store, I’d put it back in the car, drive it over right away, and replace the item. As it is, the closest grocery store is a good ten minutes and the one I normally shop is closer to twenty. With gas at $3.50 or so per gallon, I feel I waste more in fuel to get to the store to return the item than I do by just dropping it in the trash. And who wants rotten meat in the fridge for a week until the next shopping trip?
The one time I put yucky meat back in the freezer because I wanted to return it but didn’t want to take it back until my next shopping trip, I worried I’d forget which package was rotten and unthaw it again. I marked it as a reminder, and then I forgot I had it; a few months later, I tossed it in the trash.
But I know this is wasting money. The coffee, though on sale, wasn’t at its lowest price, and meat is never cheap to throw out. I need to make a better effort of taking the yucky food back to the store and asking for an exchange or my money back. But I need a better system for doing so.
The coffee is on the counter until tomorrow, when I grocery shop. One week later, I will return it to the store and let them take a whiff. If they don’t pass out, I’ll request my money back or an even exchange.
How do you handle getting bad food from the grocery store? Do you hang on to it until you return and then exchange it? Do you make a special trip to the store to do so? Or do you toss it in the trash and chalk it up to lost money?
What do you think?