Melting Under the Pressure

There are a lot of cardinal sins that a grocery store cashier can commit which can then easily destroy the whole shopping experience.

They can neglect the careful handling procedures needed for delicate items like cilantro and other herbs. They can improperly bag your goods, resulting in smashed bread loaves or broken eggs. And they can analyze your groceries, leading to comments on how foolish you look purchasing so many cartoon endorsed foods. I have even been stuck with cashiers who go into an elaborate conversation about why what you are buying is not something they would buy themselves…I like making friends, I like living in a friendly Southern community…yet sometimes I just wish grocery store staff would shut up and let me get home.

But, what I am really fed up with, is when I am trying to accomplish the very simple act of getting some ice cream.

It seems that as soon as I add ice cream to the pile of groceries on the checkout counter, the cashier instantly slows down. I am pretty sure there is a secret game among cashiers, where they are all betting on who can get a customer’s ice cream to defrost before they actually pay for it.

It happens EVERY time.

As soon as you remove a tub of Cool Whip or a pint of ice cream from the protective embrace of the grocery freezer, a race against the clock has begun. By being a sharp, intelligent human being, you have an obvious strategy. The frozen foods are the last ones you add to your cart, then it is a straight line to the checkout counter.  But no matter how much planning or preparation you make for your frozen desert pickup, there is that one immovable speed bump…that damn cashier.

There is hope for frozen products everywhere. The Fed Up team has found a few options to avoid the cruel cashiers who torture us with  slow movements, unnecessary price check and other delays that cause melting mayhem. Try this next time you are picking up something from the frozen food aisle:

* There is always the self-check out option, which removes the human element completely from the paying process

* The express lines, the “10-items-or-less” lines, and even the customer service desks can all be fast ways to checkout, as they usually have some of the more competent  grocery store employees who understand the need for speed.

* Some places (like certain Whole Foods) can provide you a bag full of ice to keep your ice cream cold for the commute home. Just ask, and you will be surprised what you can get.

*Cash, small bills, unmarked and in a generic duffel bag that is discretely passed under the counter can get you through line pretty fast too.

Do you have any more tips to avoid the pit falls of getting home with melted mush? Because I am running low on duffel bags right now, and I do crave my cold ice cream for the hot summer.


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Categories: Rants, Recommendations

Author:Mr. Fed Up

A guy looking for good grub. and YES....I have a website...and I am not going to bore you with one of those personal journal type of blogs. I promise. Check it out;


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10 Comments on “Melting Under the Pressure”

  1. April 20, 2012 at 2:31 pm #

    If you have a long drive, you can actually come with a cooler pre-loaded with ice.

    • April 20, 2012 at 2:52 pm #

      That is a great idea. I drive a jeep and during the summer when the top is down, I end up driving like a maniac to get home before everything melts.

  2. April 21, 2012 at 3:21 pm #

    More tips to avoid getting home with melted mush? Absolutely – get an ice cream maker. To avoid having to plan ice cream 24 hours in advance, keep the cooling element in your freezer permanently.

    You’ll be able to come up with flavours that you won’t easily in the supermarket: Mustard and honey works surprisingly well. As does cocoa-coconut. Sweet bacon-and-egg ice cream is nice and surprising the first time, but the novelty wears off pretty quickly. If you like exotic, try adding some ground cardamom to vanilla ice cream. I’m still going to try tomato/cinnamon//clove (I can totally see Portuguese tomato jam work very well as an ice cream flavour). I’m guessing that peanut butter froyo would work too, perhaps drizzled with some maple syrup?

    • April 21, 2012 at 5:07 pm #

      I never thought of making my own stuff…but created TRULY unique flavor combos like the ones you listed sound amazing! A mustard-honey ice cream would be great!!!

      I don;t know what your current day job is Kleinebre, but, YOU need to be the next Ben & Jerry. Seriously, you need to start selling ice cream…or at least your flavor concepts to one of the major producers.

  3. April 22, 2012 at 7:55 pm #

    I have problems with eggs and having them cracked by the time I get home. The bagger today killed the bread about 3 times over with all the man handling going on with it.

    • April 22, 2012 at 8:46 pm #

      haha. Our biggest issue is also with the bread…and herbs…AND spinach. Smashed spinach is TERRIBLE!

  4. April 23, 2012 at 3:41 am #

    I don’t live far from my store, but I have an insulated cooler bag – looks like a shopping bag, not a camping type bag. On really hot days I throw an icepack from my freezer in it when I leave the house to go to the store.

    Eggs I wrap in a plastic grocery bag…most the stores up here in MN are bag your own, but I always make sure to put all the items that could be damaged at the END of my groceries before I send them down the lane, then send all the cans, bottles and boxes down first. I hold out to the very end for eggs, bread and bananas…then the cashier has to make more of an effort to mess things up.

    If they are unloading, I put all the delicate stuff in the baby carrier part of the cart – I’d rather risk e-coli than bruised fruit!

    • April 23, 2012 at 8:33 am #

      I like your strategy. I too try and hold the fragile item in the cart until everything else has been scanned and bagged. But no matter how careful I am, there is ALWAYS a 50/50 chance my cilantro, spinach, or bread gets home destroyed:

  5. April 29, 2012 at 6:46 am #

    For me part of the problem with buying ice cream at the store too is you never know how the ice cream was handled before you even get a chance to take it out of the freezer case. There is one local grocery store that I refuse to even buy ice cream at because it is always full of big ice crystals (like it was at least partially melted and re-frozen) no matter how fast I get it home into my freezer. I found out why a while back when I went in late at night. The stockers actually just move everything out from the back storeroom at once, and then go and put it away. That’s OK for some stuff like sugar and canned goods, but I can’t understand why they think it is ok to let frozen food sit and defrost for a while on the floor. I really don’t shop there at all anymore mostly because of that practice (what else are they doing if the don’t mind ice cream sitting on the sales floor for an hour or more?)

    As far as bread goes, why do baggers think it is OK to put a loaf of bread horizontally in one of the stupid plastic bags that they use? They usually place the bread on top of the eggs. The weight of the eggs usually means that the bread gets squished left to right and ends up shorter than when I got it off the shelf. The ideal bagging companion for bread to me is a bag of chips so it sits vertically.

    I never have problems with produce getting smashed really, but cilantro almost never makes it into my cart. Italian parsley always comes out fine though.

    • April 29, 2012 at 10:56 am #

      Yes YOU are absolutely correct. half the time the ice cream has been ruined before you even get a chance to remove it. AND sometimes it comes from the regional distributor thawed out already!

      In the Fed Up household, smashed bread is one of our BIGGEST complaints. I like your chip/bread packing solution. Unfortunately baggers just don’t seem to care. What we now do is simply ask the to not bag bread, wraps/tortillas, leafy greens, and herbs. We just don’t bag them and instead carry them by hand. Or carefully place them in bags with appropriate “bagging companions.”

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