This is why I never pick up the first box on the shelf

Old El paso Canada

When grocery  shopping, do you just grab the first box on the front of the shelf or do you dig deep in for a newer “untouched by mankind” box?

[picture source]

53 responses to “This is why I never pick up the first box on the shelf”

  1. Wilson says:

    I always pick one from behind the first one – I don’t know why, I’ve just always done that.

  2. greenbear says:

    if it is something breakable, like crackers of taco shells I never take the first one.
    same with magazines or newspapers, I just can’t take the first one, OR the only one.

  3. orchidgirl says:

    i would send this pic to the manufacture with a note “Please come up with better packaging…I wanted tacos not chips” Thanks

  4. Sally says:

    Don’t lie. I was with him guys, he stepped on the box just to make this post.

  5. sara says:

    wow! I go for ones further back. Stores usually place items about to expire at the front when they stock shelves to clear them out. Some stockers can’t be bothered though and just push existing stuff back. I always compare expiry dates just in case.

  6. Al says:

    Having worked in a grocery store many years ago, when we’d put back items on the shelf, it will always go in the front, even for frozen and refrigerated items. Since the employee typically has no idea what the item went through, you’re best taking from the back.

  7. maliha44 says:

    Aww, poor you. I never go for the first ones, I always buy the ones a couple back from the first.

  8. Boo Radley says:

    It’s people like Sally that scare me. They intentionally pick up boxes at the store and jump on them just to turn tacos into nachos and ruin people’s dreams of heavenly taco summer nights.

  9. harrlett says:

    I always go to the back of the pile…and if by chance that happens to me I call the company and tell them and they will replace it for free.

  10. Abby1 says:

    I always make fun of my parents for picking the box like three behind the first one, but I do it too. And @ greenbear: totally get that. I find I’m the worst with books! I keep searching until I find that copy without little tears and bends in the cover.

  11. Sally says:

    Don’t shift the blame on me Radley. I saw you do it.

  12. KM says:

    r u the same one complaining about your delivered pizza a few months back?

  13. Stephania says:

    I don’t pick the one in the front. I go behind. If the box is crushed, I’ll look for new packaging.

    In terms of chips, I’ll squeeze the bag, choosing one that seems more “full”. I don’t get it if it’s deflated! 😉

  14. Sallycat says:

    I also choose items that are further back on the shelf. Main reason is that I don’t know how many people have touched the first package. Some kids who shop with their parents go around touching everything and you don’t know where they’ve been. I once saw a little boy, about 5 years old, licking his fingers and touching all the fresh bread in the bakery section. Ewww!!

  15. Perturbed says:

    I agree with Sallycat – it’s those terrible kids you have to worry about. Parents should be able to manage their children when shopping or they shouldn’t bring them.

  16. mandee says:

    i go for the ones further back.. (: my boyfriend always makes fun of me when i do this… -_-” but i ignore him!!!

  17. Christi says:

    Always take the one a few back. I would def write the company, you are likely to get a voucher for a free product.

  18. mel says:

    I go for the ones in the back hoping they have a later exp date.

  19. dawn says:

    Take the photo back to the store and also send it to the company we as customers need to stand up to stores that do this .

  20. Jen M says:

    I always dig deep and always check expiry dates.

  21. Lily says:

    Funny, we just bought a pack of taco shells this weekend and when we unpacked the groceries, my boyfriend dropped the shells and another box on top of it. We winced and opened the pack but, surprise! They were intact!

    I don’t know what happened to that pack that would make them all break.

  22. KR says:

    I always dig deep, but maybe for different reasons. We practice food storage and (like us) most stores keep their freshest product at the back. I have added as much as 18 months onto the expiry date of a package by grabbing from the back!

  23. V says:


    Why do you think other packs on the shelf were better than the one you’ve got ?

  24. Melody Halls says:

    I always dig deep. I’m looking for the latest expiery dates!

  25. Janetta says:

    lol like most people, I totally reach for the ones in the back. The box has to be undamaged and expiry date as late as possible..I guess I’m just OCD like that! (My parents are the same this way, so I guess I got it from them..) Same with magazines and everything else I spend my hard earned cash on! I’ve taken the initiative to train my bf too after seeing him buy way too any packages of veggie-meat that were expired.

  26. boxedlullaby says:

    My mother definitely taught me to never ever grab anything from the front! Always go to the back. They’ll hopefully be fully in tact!! And we know that they always put things that will expire first in the front!

  27. Rebekah says:

    This exact thing happened to a friend. She contacted the company and she got $30 in product via vouchers. Helpful, but if you had your heart set on Tacos for dinner, tough luck.

  28. C says:

    I have just recently found this out with my own stockpile. Put delicate items further back because there is a very good chance they`ll get knocked down.

    At least with taco shells, you can make nachos 🙂

  29. Alee142010 says:

    If I can comfortably get the box at the very back, I will.. :D! I bought a box of taco shells just like this a while back, so I always shake the boxes before I buy…

  30. anisa says:

    i dig deep for everything! you never know

  31. mhk says:

    Always 2nd or more back. Even Milk!

  32. anonymous says:

    Depends on what I’m buying, anything that could be broken, like cookies, crackers, etc. yes I always try to grab further back. Because that (pointing to your picture) happens 😛 Like someone else said, returned items usually end up at the front plus the stuff at the front is the stuff that is manhandled by who knows how many people and children (my kids have been guilty themselves of picking up crushable foods and throwing it on the ground).

  33. anonymous says:

    @ Perturbed – yes children are all terrible and they are to be blamed for everything 🙂 While I do agree that there are people who need to keep a much closer eye on their children, I have had one of my children seated in the cart seat and reach out and knock something off the shelf…it happens sometimes…

  34. Peppermint Patty says:

    Mankind can build space ships to go to the moon but has yet to figure out how to package taco shells without half of them breaking. Maybe now that the shuttle program is over NASA can get to work on this little problem.

  35. Jenna says:

    always pick from a couple back not sure why but force of habit

  36. Shannon says:

    Taco Salad – yum

  37. Monica says:

    I never take from the back and I could probably stand to check more expiry dates. Alot of good tips given, thanks.
    …always learning from this site – LOVE IT!
    oh and Peppermint Patty that was great!

  38. Mark says:

    I always shake the taco box to make sure not rattling around. You can make mini tacos…lol!~

  39. erin says:

    ALWAYS go for a ‘FRESH’ one I would say .. and do. lol

  40. itsjustmebub says:

    stop saying dig deep! lmao

  41. Jeanna says:

    Oddly enough, I am usually tired and just take from the front and I’ve never had such a thing like that happen. Guess I’ve been lucky. I do check for expiry dates though.

  42. Ounmouy says:

    I always remove the first 2-3 bottles or boxes and grab the next item from there and put it in my cart. I do that every time I shop, from food to household items to makeup/skincare. A couple of week ago I went to Shoppers to buy a jar of nail removers, for fake nails. It come in a little jar where you dip your fingers in. I was in a rush so I didn’t think and grab the first one hanging on the rack. I got home, open the plastic (a clip plastic) and unscrew the lid and the seal was peeled in the middle! I was so mad! Someone opened and ripped the seal and decide to put it back on the rack and I was the unlucky girl who took it. 🙁 Lesson learned.

  43. Diane456 says:

    I have always gone for one at the back, and check the date, it’s amazing how many drackers are our of date.

  44. Diane456 says:

    opps crackers I mean

  45. Diane456 says:

    out of date I mean ….time for bed lol

  46. Tracy says:

    I always pick as far back as I can and check expiry dates. Never the first few. You just never know!

  47. espresso-romance says:

    Definitely check expiry dates even on products in the back. I used to work at a grocery store with “lazy” stock boys who wouldn’t rotate the product. Which meant the ones in front are actually the fresh and news ones. And well…nobody really cared! Yes, it was a shitty grocery store. Be warned!

  48. Natalka says:

    Gee, sorry you had that happen to you, Boo – I’m sure there would be no problem exchanging it at the store. Must have been some really careless handling by someone to have done such a mess!

    I always go a few items back when selecting items.

  49. Theresa says:

    I always grab the first box. When buying produce though I always pick from the back. I have never had that happen with taco shells though. Guess you will be returning it for a refund?

  50. AmberLab says:

    It’s always amusing when people think this is product that Boo bought. He’s more likely to be found at Taco Bell for ready made, than try to “cook”. 😛

  51. Sally says:

    Amber, I know its not Boo’s the pics source is from Reddit.

    Myself, personally i’m just being an arse 😛

  52. SuperM says:

    HAHAHAH – sorry too funny!

    I typically just grab and go but with taco shells…

    After having 3-4 packs in a row that were broken, every time I buy taco shells I open the box whey bagging my groceries. If they are all broken, I just tell the cashier that I am getting another one.

    Also – store prices have to be increased when they have to throw out so much dated product – just for all you out there complaining about high prices. My parents own a store where people would grab at the back because the expiry was LONGER – not that the front product was expired. Now they don’t restock until all the initial product is gone. Things like milk etc, I do check the date – but other things are so full of preservatives that they never go bad!

  53. Tanya says:

    that happened to me a few weeks ago (not quite as bad though). i went to the store and exchanged it for a new one. i opened the new one before i left and it was broken too! i looked through almost all the boxes (5 or 6) and then gave up and got a different type. but yes i too take from behind, however, that doesn’t always mean you will get the better stuff


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