Are you one of those people who just can’t resist the temptation to nibble a little while grocery shopping? 

Personally, I used to think it was kind of weird. I felt like you should pay for your groceries before you consume them.

However, that changed when we had children. 

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One day I was grocery shopping with my wife when she grabbed a piece of fruit from the produce section and gave it to our daughter, who was maybe 3 years old at the time. I asked her if that was okay and she said yes, the store we were shopping at was totally fine with children having a piece of fruit while we were shopping. 

But is it typically okay for everyone to consume groceries before paying for them? 

Well, according to FindLaw, it depends. First and foremost, it’s at the discretion of the store. 

Also, the type of food you’re consuming makes a difference. If it’s something that’s being sold at a fixed price like a bag of potato chips, it’s fine if you ultimately pay for them.

Photo by Ryan Quintal on Unsplash
Photo by Ryan Quintal on Unsplash


But if it’s something that’s being sold by weight such as grapes or jellybeans, it could be considered shoplifting because you’re not paying for it. 

Photo by Bill Nino on Unsplash
Photo by Bill Nino on Unsplash

Again, it’s ultimately up to the store. If an employee sees you do it and doesn’t call you out for it, the store is most likely fine with it. 

So, since I see people around here do it all the time without being escorted from the store in handcuffs, I assume most grocery stores are perfectly okay with it.

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