I have been shopping this morning, and I was just thinking on how I preferred the old shops to the supermarkets of today.

I think you were treated a lot better when it was more of a one on one service, yes you had to queue, but not as bad as you do in a supermarket.

I also think that a lot of the cashiers would be useless without the electronic tills doing all of the adding ect, for them.

I have never used algebra since I was at school, and will admit I hated it, but I did use my brain to add up, and serve people, when I was in shop work.

Plus if a shop was out of an item that you wanted, they could get that item pretty darned quickly for you, all you get in the supermarkets is, ' I do not know when it will be in stock again.'

Even the Chemist these days take forever to get a prescription together. That really annoys me as we had to count tablets measure medicine and put creams , and ointments into boxes. Plus wash returned bottles. These days the tablets ect are all pre-packed.The labels print out( we wrote them by hand).I cannot imagine them coping on a busy evening with an outbreak of something, and having to decide how many tablets would see a person through until a delivery the next day.

Why is everything wrapped in plastic? We never had Apples or any fruit and veg wrapped like this when we were younger.

Give me the old brown paper carrier bag any day , to all this plastic stuff.


What are your opinions?

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Published in Senior Chatters


  1. Scorpio

    I remember going to the corner grocery store with my mother when I was a child. The grocer always invited her to sit on a chair by the counter whilst he put up her order. Always a smile and pleasant conversation , sometimes these days your lucky if you get a grunt ! My local supermarket is replacing plastic bags that one puts loose fruit etc in but now one has to BUY a reusable net bag. This I think is a bit cheeky and I’ll bring a bag from home to put the items in. I’ll look forward to the comments when I empty the bag on the conveyer belt at the checkout ! 😆 One does have a huge variety of goods to choose from at supermarkets but the older among us miss the good old days when the customer was king and personal service was the order of the day.

    1. tania Post author

      Thank you, Scorpio, Yes there was always a small chair in the shops I worked in, remember going into the butchers , and all the sausages on hooks behind where we stood. Bacon was sliced to your liking, and you could get things as you wanted. I also Liked the fresh fishmongers, so much nicer than what supermarkets sell. I guess I am well passed my sell by date lol

  2. he76r45n

    I can totally relate to this.
    Paper bags, choosing your own goods and cuts of meat.
    A smile and a chat.

  3. annemarie

    TTania , Yes growing up in a small town in Greencastle , Pa. there were small family owned grocery stores but there also was a A& P and Acme in the late 40’s . Today the small family grocery stores are gone and there are 2 grocery store that are out on Rt 11. and now are downtown anymore . Enjoy reading what you wrote on the shops.

    1. tania Post author

      Thank you, Marie, our town now is mostly charity shops, and cafe’s. It is such a shame all the lovely shops have gone.

  4. happysailor1

    Being raised in a small rural farm/ranch town, I was not exposed to big supermarkets, until well into the 70s. I can fully relate to Tania`s blog and the comments made by Scorpio, he76r45n, and Annemarie. For us way back then going into town was more of a treat and communal affair than a shopping tour. The lead up for us young bucks required us to dig out our best jeans and Sunday Go to meetin hat and shining up the boots and belt buckles. My Mother and sister Grandfather and Grandmother all dressed in our finery, would pile into the pickup and away we`d go.
    Our local Food/feed store was a Mom and Pop family-run store. I can still hear the clinking of the register key and the bringing of the bells as a purchased was made. Plastic bags? electronic registers? conveyor belt service? I cringe even now. There was always gossip, banter and of course the local girls peeking around the corner from the magazine stand, while fathers chatted about the weather and local news and events.
    I still remember when Piggly-Wiggly food chain first came to town. memories I treasure to this day
    Recently I needed a few things, and before I could leave I had to do a complete pre-flight. Mobile Phone, Keys, cloth tote bags. When I had finished checking that all was start ready, I took off. Now as I sit here thinking back, I realize just things have completely changed, the faces of the customers, young and old devoid of pleasantries, hustling and bustling for a coveted place in line. The store face cashier, speaking a good morning greeting that sounded more like the ship’s computer on star trek and thinking when can I go home.
    Welcome to 2019 earthlings….” beam up up Scotty ” Thank you Tania.

  5. tania Post author

    ha ha Thank you Happysailor1, yes I really miss the shops we had, The town was a rural farming town , until a lot of outsiders came in.They had a lot of things changed much to the dismay of the locals As I said on another reply , our small town is now mostly cafe’s , and charity shops.Thursdays and Saturdays used to be Market days, where we had four streets of stalls with everything on, Fruit , and Veg, Fresh Fish, just everything really. Now you are lucky if you see four stalls.

  6. mart

    I was once queuing at the Asda checkout and two cashiers were arguing, and one of them said “we’ve been told not to make conversation with customers “. I don’t shop there anymore

    1. tania Post author

      I do not blame you, mart, we always chatted to customers, that was always part of the service. After all some people were lonely , and only saw people to chat to when they were shopping.Thank you

  7. starlette

    Hi Tania….. the best thing about the old shops was they didn’t stock hundreds of tins of variety of foods and frozen stuff like the supermarkets do…… bought fresh, cooked fresh and ate fresh……gardens and allotments were filled with veg….hence the knock on effect of the supermarkets is that it doesn’t involve any effort to put a meal on the table…one of the reasons for the obesity problem today….everything is labour saving…..Vacuums, washing machines, dryers etc…….not suggesting we go back to the back breaking chores of the past. but the corner shops played a part in keeping us fit and communicating with each other…..

    1. tania Post author

      Hi Starlette, I totally agree with you, and some of the younger generation cannot cook a dinner. We always had home grown veg.

  8. happysailor1

    although we have all these modern high tech places to shop today, There are still weekend Farmers Markets here where I live. There too you can see smidgens of modern tech, but mostly older patrons going about their shopping as in the days of old. Times have changed and we all must accept these changes like them or not. We all must do what we can to help slow down this ever-increasing waste problem even if it is only in small ways. I pray that our children and grandchildren too will see our efforts and duplicate them.

  9. annemarie

    I know I didn’t know how to cook when I got married but did learn after a while but am not the cook that my Mother was or my grandfather cousin Maggie who lived with us and did most of the cooking at home. We have a Amish Market here in Cockeysville which is just 10 minutes away from where I live and the Amish are driven down from Lancaster, PA. every Thursday , Friday and Saturday and I like going up there to shop and also eat in the one restaurant up there . We also have farmers markets here in the area in the summer time that the farmers in the area here bring their fresh produce to sell. I do most of my grocery shopping at Walmart or the Grauls Market that is 5 minutes from my condo and they sell alot of local produce that is grown in this area where I live. Piggley Wiggley food stores are in the south and have been in one when my daughter lived down in Florence , Alabama and the cashiers were so friendly and nice down there in that town. Well my oldest grandson lives in the city of Baltimore in an apt. and he does not cook but his father is a great cook and so is my daughter and think that Ryan should let his Mother and Father teach him how to cook as he orders his meals and has them delivered or eat outs . Hope if he gets married his wife will know how to cook .

    1. tania Post author

      Hi Marie, yes I have watched the Amish , from LansacterP.A. on Television I love watching them cook, and eating with all of their friends. I taught myself how to cook after I married, my mother was good, but always at work. The young these days all seem to live on fast food. My youngest son, who is a butcher is a good cook, he likes to come and cook for us at weekends….Thank you for your input.

  10. happysailor1

    I have never met an Amish person, but my stepfather and his family were raised among them. I agree in basic term with the Amish traditions relating to the belief in hard work, family loyalty and respect for nature and others. But then, on the other hand, the Amish elders do push the envelope concerning modern-day conveniences.
    As a young boy, I was the oldest of 2 brothers and 2 sisters, Aside from my daily chores outside of our home, cattle and such. I was responsible for helping care for my younger siblings. Our mom taught us all that we needed to know concerning housekeeping and such. And being the oldest, I learned mostly through trial and error the basics of feeding us. My Mom was the cat’s meow when it came to grub, but with so many mouths, she needed a helper, and you got it, me. Today, I cringe and quake when I think about the follies that I cooked, better yet tried to cook. I am so proud to say though that my brothers and sister have forgiven me…
    Over the years, I have learned many things and I would say that my kitchen skills have increased. ( smiling )! Years later my mom told me she wanted us to be self-sufficient, in domestic matters, so that when we did marry, we would be a help and not a stone in the shoe ( Pain ). I thank her to this day…

    1. tania Post author

      I think you have done well Happysailor1, my sister and I did do a lot of preparing of food at home when we were younger, but as my Grandfather lived with us until I was eleven , he used to finish off for us , we had other household chores to do,Nevertheless we both mastered the art of cooking after we married. I am not one for all of these fast food places.Thank you

  11. foreveryoung2

    The things I dislike about Supermarkets (1) stock is not always available and you have to go around the Supermarket to find someone to ask them if there is any out the back not yet unpacked. And I have to admit, the staff are always obliging in this regard where I shop. (2) Fruit and vegetables do not LAST more than a couple of days once you take them home. I hate having to through some out after only a couple of days. The days of FRESH fruit and vegetables are long gone, unless you travel to areas where there are Markets with fresh food. When I first moved to the area, everything was packed in plastic bags in bulk. I complained to the Manager that that is no good for persons living on their own. Eventually loose produce was made available.
    I have two sons and I taught them to be self-sufficient. They can cook, wash, and keep a house clean. My eldest son’s partner is so grateful 🙂

    1. tania Post author

      I agree with you about the Fruit and Veg being in plastic FEY, you do know that they keep it in fridges, don’t you. It never keeps fresh, I like you hate to throw food out. Thank you

  12. 5mintbreak

    Another good topic Tania,
    Memories of how things were, war years food rations, my elder sister, I was the middle one, and younger sister, take it in turns to take coupon in and get sugar, flour etc. Can remember few years later as 10 yr old riding my bike 6 miles on sealed main road to farm where Mum’s friend lived to get home made butter. No way would a ride like that be safe these days . Home made butter I learnt to make as I married a farmer.
    Fresh food was a joy to have, Today’s fresh is often days old before it gets to supermarkets. Bread, eggs, fruit and vegetables, so much preservatives in all tinned and prepared frozen meals. Added salt, sugar, read the labels. As I have aged I have gone back to only using fresh, shun the tinned foods. The so called fresh fruit and vegies are often picked half ripe, do not have the full flavour and lot have been modified to have tougher skin so can travel to markets without bruising. Ah the old days, wonder what today’s children will say when they reach our age!!

    1. 5mintbreak

      as for shop assistants, one could chat and not get frowned on, you are holding up the next customer!, the milk man, baker, all had time to say hello and how are you going.

      1. tania Post author

        I agree with you 5mintbreak, I used to walk to the farm for a jug of milk for my mother, we could get fresh eggs and some veggies, actually there is a farm on Birkrigg Common in Ulverston where you can still get eggs , and fresh produce, they make jams , and chutneys as well all very good. I just do not like Supermarkets. Thank you.

  13. deaks

    my supermarket is my church
    the customers are friends but they also remind me of how lucky I am
    an out of stock item reminds me of all the people that go without
    a que at the till reminds of the depression years I use my wait to remember those who had it hard
    process food reminds of the feeding of the 5 thousand
    to make food last longer go further to feed 5 billion now
    not 5 thousand
    my customers remind me of the lords prayer
    don’t know it well but theres a line
    something like may we be truly greatfull for what we receive

    1. tania Post author

      Deaks, the prayer you are thinking about is one you say before eating.It says…..

      For what we are about to receive..May we be truly Thankful.

      I like the way that you think of the customers….Thank you

  14. deaks

    no the prayer im thinking of is about life
    be greatfull for what we receive
    we need so little to sustain life
    yet we take so much
    why do we moan about that which doesn’t require to be moaned about
    accept the rain and it will pour sunshine
    accept the pain and it will heal all wounds