The Great Debate: Grocery vs. Grocery Store

Living with people is a funny thing. Whether it be roommates or a husband, you learn a lot about yourself and a lot about them. I always try to prepare college freshman for this unique situation, but it’s just one of those things you have to learn through experience. A life lesson, if you will. Each of my roommates have been a completely different living experience, so there’s just no way to prepare someone for what may or may not happen. Some roommate situations are a beautiful thing, while others are completely disastrous. I think we can all agree on that. Anyway, what got me off on this whole tangent was something that one of my current roommates says that I’ve recently caught on to as well. Because we all know that living with people also means picking up some of their quirks for yourself. I find that actually humorous.

She calls the grocery store, “the grocery.”

For instance, if used in a sentence she says something to the effect of, “Hey y’all, I’m going to the grocery. Anyone need anything?”

The grocery.

For the longest time I gave her the hardest time, but more recently, I’ve been calling it the grocery while simultaneously kicking myself because what in the world? It’s the grocery STORE.

I pick up groceries at the grocery store.

This dawned on me this past Monday when I was about to head home from picking something up at my parent’s house and I said out loud, “Oh, before I go home I’ve got to head to the grocery.”

And then I stopped dead in my tracks. What did I just say?

I even googled it, because you know, the google is the answer to all life’s mysteries, but google was helpless to me in my time of need. Blast.

Although I was left stunned at my own ability to say “grocery store” I decided to make my list of items so I wouldn’t forget anything I needed.

This is what my list consisted of.

1) Apples
2) Peanut Butter
3) Avocados
4) Chocolate Almond Milk
5) Mascara

Otherwise known as my top five HEB (a Texas only grocery store) grocery items. These five littler items keep me frequenting HEB time and time again.

I realize one does not belong with the others, but that was my emergency grocery list.

I’m sure some of you are curious if I buy mascara every time I go to the grocery store, and I’m here to reassure you that no, that is not the case, but I do love me some mascara. Yes, yes I do. Thank you, Loreal.

It got me thinking that I can’t be the only one that frequents the grocery for certain items. We all have our go-to items that are on nearly every grocery list we make. And honestly, it has to say something about us, right?

I am the girl that can’t go a day without eating an apple with peanut butter. And the avocados? Well, why not? An avocado makes life better. As does mascara.

What are your top five grocery items? And because I’m a closure kind of girl, let’s settle the debate here and now: grocery or grocery store?

And yes, I just wrote an entire post about the grocery STORE. Deep thoughts, y’all.


309 Responses to “The Great Debate: Grocery vs. Grocery Store”

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  1. 151
    KT says:

    Funny post. ๐Ÿ™‚ makes me think of a king standing joke among some of my dear friends. I say “I’m going to Kroger.” She says “I’m going to The Kroger.” As if there were Only One! We joke that she is an old lady-she has about 8 years on me.

    On a related note, we received a mailer from a church in our community that included a small map. They had included a few landmarks from our small town including their location relative to ‘Krogers’. I saw the map and immediately knew this was “An Old People Church”. I got so tickled! It was confirmed with the words on the brochure: ‘traditional’.

    So all that to say: when I’m being silly I call it: The Krogers

    Top 5:
    Milk (I have a teenage son)
    Diet Coke

  2. 152
    Tharesa says:

    I’m with you…it’s grocery STORE!

    1. Steak (love to grill)

    2. Sugar free chocolate

    3. Fruit

    4. Greek Yogurt

    5. Tea

  3. 153
    Mindy says:

    Definitely Grocery store, although I usually just say Walmart or Target!!

    1.) Lactose free milk( for my 2 yr old:)
    2.) On the Border slasa
    3.) Bananas
    4.) Coke. lol
    5.) Tortilla chips

    I have to keep the chips and salsa in stock
    for my husband, and of course coke goes with
    that snack as well:)

  4. 154
    Tess A. says:

    1) Apples
    2) Onions
    3) coffee
    4) tuna
    5) cherry chap stick

    And I’m a northern girl…we say “going to the store”.
    Now on to the soda vs. pop debate? ๐Ÿ™‚

    • 154.1
      Brenda Bowman says:

      Dear Tess,
      In Texas we do not say “soda” or “pop” when referring to the genre of carbonated beverages we often say “coke”! I will say, “I’m going to get us some cokes…what kind do you want?” (and frequently the answer is Dr. Pepper, a favorite down here!) crazy, huh!

      • Mississippi says:

        We do the same thing here in Mississippi Tess! When our kids were small they would tell me they wanted “orange coke” or “clear coke” when they wanted Orange Slice or Sprite! ha And Dr. Pepper is definitely a big favorite around here too!

    • 154.2
      Barbara says:

      POP! A soda is a fountain drink made with ice cream and pop! : )

  5. 155
    Holli says:

    It must be a Southern thing- going to the “grocery store”. As I read your post, it hit me that I had never realized that that is what we’ve always called it, too. But then, we don’t get out much, and our exposure to folks from other parts of the country is limited. We also say y’all, we “tote” things, we use a “buggy” at the “grocery store”, and we go to the “gas station”, among other things. I say don’t mess with things that aren’t broken. Top fives? Bananas, Blue Diamond almond milk, pico de gallo (sp.?), apples, and cheese. I always say that I’m “going to get groceries”, too. It is what it is.

    • 155.1
      Rachel says:

      Just curious โ€” you mentioned calling it a “gas station.” I have never heard it referred to as anything else. What are some other things people call it? I think these kind of regional differences in dialect are interesting. I’m from Kentucky, so we have an interesting blend of southern and midwestern terminology.

  6. 156
    Peggy Underwood says:

    I have learned that if I. Understand what the person means, go with it. Tomato/tomata, etc i think I use both i.e.””I’m going to the grocery.” “Do we need anything from the grocery store?” Or simply say the name of the grocery store.

    1. Milk
    2. Bread
    3. Eggs
    4. Bananas
    5. Cheese

  7. 157
    Misty Schoephoerster says:

    I’m from Wisconsin, but I have lived in the great state of Texas for the past 6 years. In the north we called it the grocery store, but grocery does have a nice ring to it. But sometimes I will not let myself speak “improper” english, sometimes ๐Ÿ™‚
    Another one up for consideration would have to be the corner store…also know as the gas station. I prefer corner store and I always will!

    My Top 5:

    1. Taco Shells

    2. Tofu

    3. Ground Coffee

    4. Soy Milk

    5. Cereal

  8. 158
    Gretchen says:

    Hey, Lindsee – I’m not sure if this is a Southern California thing or a New England thing (my parents are from NH), but I always say, “I’m going to the market.” Or I’m going to Trader Joe’s.

    Top 5: avocado’s, fruit (all kinds), vanilla sugar free almond milk, fresh pico de gallo, light cheese.

    Blessed Friday to all,


  9. 159
    Elsie says:

    Here in downstate Illinois we say, ‘grocery store.’ I frequent the grocery store way too much because I can’t seem to get the hang of planning ahead!

    1. lunch meat
    2. milk
    3. bananas
    4. apples
    5. cottage cheese

  10. 160
    Pam says:

    I say “grocery store”

    1. Milk (Vitamin D for my linebacker and 1% for everyone else)
    2. Eggs
    3. Meat
    4. TP
    5. Potatoes

  11. 161
    Becky says:

    I am “going to HEB” even if I actually stop at Kroger because it’s on the right side of the street. Which by the way is “Kroger’s” to us even though we know there is no “s” on it.

    I always need milk, bread, coffee, and “cows” — skinny cow ice creams which are as staple as bread in my house.

    My husband calls it “purchasing the staples” because it strikes him funny to call groceries, staples.

  12. 162
    Sandra says:

    Milk, Juice, Frozen Waffles, deli ham, and potato rolls. These are emergency items, because my little guy’s diet revolves around these foods. The rest of us can cope with whatever food is in the house.

    Since we are on the topic, up north we call it going it to the Grocery Store too, but you will also hear, going to the market (as in supermarket) or running to The Store. My grandmother used to say she got xyz at the Grocer’s — or the Green Grocer’s, which always made me smile.

    These days when i “run to the store” it usually means MULTIPLE stores – Costco, Sam’s, Meijer’s, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, Dominics and our little independent Market with the amazing meat dept. Remember to support your local markets!

  13. 163
    Casey says:

    We usually call our store by name – “I’m going to Market Street” – my fav. 4 kiddos at home, so the cart always has way more than 5 favorites, but these are almost always there:

    1. Milk

    2. String Cheese

    3. Fresh berries

    4. Pepperidge Farms Honey Whole Wheat bread

    5. Deli shaved honey ham

  14. 164
    Selena says:

    I usually say grocery store, or just Walmart.

    1. grape tomatoes
    2. lettuce
    3. fruit, preferably fresh pineapple or grapes
    4. milk
    5. cereal – Cinnamon Burst Cheerios, to be exact.

  15. 165
    Michelle O'Banion says:

    1 protein bars Clif Mojo choc coconut
    2 green onions (addicted!)
    3 celery ( good stress reliever in a # of
    ways, grin)
    4 & 5 milk, bread for 3 always eating teenagers!

    Grocery store, I think I would have gaping non-closure if I left off ‘store’, haha! OCD ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. 166
    Chrissie says:

    Here, it’s just Walmart LOL!

    1. Yogurt (the mix in kind with M&Ms or Oreos)
    2. Pot Pies (the Banquet kind)
    3. Beefaroni
    4. Some form of snack cheese
    5. Raspberries!

  17. 167
    Valerie says:

    Definitely with you on “grocery store.” ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s like a friend of mine who says “I want an ice cream.” I say “I want an ice cream cone or I want some ice cream.” Ha!

    1. Bread
    2. Eggs
    3. Milk
    4. TP
    5. Fruit & veggies

  18. 168
    Terri Lovett says:

    the store

    1. Toilet Paper
    2. Sweet Tea
    3. Bread
    4. Mac and Cheese
    5. bananas

  19. 169
    Janelle says:

    “I’m going to the grocery.” Never say y’all even though I’ve lived in Texas for 18 years.
    Every week must haves:
    1. Apples
    2. Greek yogurt
    3. Kroger brand tortilla chips
    4. Kroger brand ice cream
    5. Hodgson Mill whole wheat pancake mix

  20. 170
    Linda says:

    Definitely grocery store. I hate to go-can’t say why, maybe because it’s weight training! Take the items off the shelf, into the buggy (or maybe you say cart,) up on the moving belt thingy, into the car, out of the car to the kitchen, & finally back on another shelf – this time at home. I cannot give you just 5 items. When I finally make myself go, it is more like 500!
    Since this fun blog is about wordage – let’s not let the word “supper” slip away. Nobody much says it anymore. Use it every chance you get. It is a word that evokes warm memories-for me anyway. I guess because someone else had to go to the grocery store back then!

  21. 171
    Sharlene says:

    I usually say grocery store, but honestly either sounds correct to me. I am a from the south, raised by parents from th north…so that may explain it.

    1) Greek Yogurt
    2) Ground Turkey
    3) Sour Cream
    4) Shredded Cheese
    5) Apples

  22. 172
    Missie Ables says:

    Well… i have 8 children, 6 of which are boys…so my list looks a bit different:
    1. Milk, milk, milk
    2. Cheese, cheese, cheese
    3. Butter, butter, butter
    4. Eggs, eggs, eggs
    5. Flour, sugar,pasta and MEAT

    Also… while we love our HEB…Costco is our new fav! So…its no longer going to the grocery *store*…it’s now going to Costco ; )

  23. 173
    RachelPG says:

    I grew up in southeastern KY and we always said “the grocery” if we didn’t use the name of the store. Of course, if you say the name of the store it’s always preceded with “the,” like “the Kroger.” When I was little, we used to shop at a family-owned, non-chain store, and I always called it by the first name of the man that owned it, like we were going to his house.

    My top 5:

    1. bananas
    2. apples
    3. bread
    4. cheese
    5. milk

  24. 174
    Debi says:

    Grocery Store. And I agree with comment #9 Loanna – we push “buggies” not carts. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • 174.1
      Peggy Underwood says:

      I love the term buggy. I am going to start calling it that. Let’s see how the Indiana folks take to it

  25. 175
    Pam M says:

    I say “I’m going to get groceries”, or I’m going to _______ (store name).
    1. Yogurt
    2. String cheese
    3. Fresh fruit and veggies
    4. salad fixins
    5. Blue bell ice cream sandwiches

  26. 176
    Chrissy says:

    I call it store…
    1. Bananas are a vehicle for
    2. Nutella
    3. Multigrain sunchips are a vehicle for
    4. Avocados
    5. Lipstick or gloss

    And yes…I always buy lipstick or gloss while at any store that carries it. I am an addict for moist and beautiful lips.

  27. 177
    Sarah says:

    Definitly grocery store! I homeschool so my kiddos are always going to the grocery store with me. They know what they are assigned to get, which really cuts down on the time in the store. We make almost everything from scratch.

    2)cream (for homemade ice cream, fat soluable vitamins for the kid, in all of us)

  28. 178
    Karen Todd says:

    Here in the south, it’s the grocery store,
    1. Diet Coke with lime
    2. Butter, Always no butter substitute
    3. bread
    4. Meat of some kind for supper
    5. tomatoes

  29. 179
    Sandy says:

    I usually “go grab groceries!”

  30. 180
    Niki says:

    Hilarious! I once worked with a lady to referenced Walmart as “the Walmarts.” She would declare, “I’m going to the Walmarts. Do you need anything?” (To clarify, she was referring to just one Walmart.) So while I agree that it isn’t going to ‘the grocery,’ I myself am guilty of going to ‘the Walmarts.’ I believe this same woman calls the world wide web “the Internets.” lol!

    P.S. I’m going to need another “Lindsee’s Favorite Things” post. I went out and bought the mascara you suggested and SO LOVE IT!! But I can’t remember the name of the pens you love and so I’ve been buying various brands and been disappointed b/c they don’t make my handwriting look pretty. ๐Ÿ™

    • 180.1
      Lindsee says:

      Niki, I might have to think about doing another favorite things. The pens, however, are the BIC Velocity pens. ๐Ÿ™‚ Enjoy!

  31. 181
    Penny says:


    I love Pico de Gallo

  32. 182
    Susie Lee says:

    Here are my thoughts.
    You go to the grocery store. (A place)
    You talk to the grocer. (A person)
    You pick up some groceries at the store. (Things)

    Maybe she’s getting it confused because when you go to get your medication, you go to the pharmacy. (a place) I dunno….. But I’m sure glad we are getting this all cleared up. LOL

    My list today, as most days, would be…
    1. Meat (beef, pork or poultry)
    2. Cheese (Hoffman’s super sharp, feta, parm. Or mozzarella.)
    3. Butter (e real deal)
    4. Bread (whole grain AND gluten free)
    5. Fruit/veggies

    With these 5 items, I can successfully rule my empire (the kitchen) through the week.

  33. 183
    Brenda Bowman says:

    Ok I, a native Texan, either say store (grocery being implied) or I call out the specific…I’m going to H.E.B or Whole Foods, etc. “going to the store” is for groceries…”going shopping” is for malls and other clothing arenas.
    Most frequent 5:
    1) Avacados for sure!!!!!
    2) Tomatoes
    3) Something crunchy: chips or crackers
    4) Half N Half
    5) Diet Cranberry juice (which I often mix in my “coke”-which stands for any one of a number of carbonated beverages – i.e. Coca-cola, Dr. Pepper, fizzy water…)

    • 183.1
      Jo Lynn Chazarreta says:

      I am with ya on that one. I am also a native Texas and I go to the store (grocery implied) or going shopping (malls, other sort of stores implied). Love this post, too funny

  34. 184
    Colleen says:

    I vote, “The grocery”. I love it. Never heard of it before your post, but I am changing my vocab as of now.

    So… when I run to the grocery, my top five are usually:
    5.Some sort of fruit/veggie

    Pretty boring stuff, but these are the things we are constantly running out of.

  35. 185
    Marsha R. says:

    Having been married to a military man for the past 43 years, I usually say “going to the commissary”. But sometimes it has to be “going to Wal-Mart” for those things the commissary just doesn’t carry.
    Top 5: (in this season of life)
    sandwich makings
    p-nut butter
    fresh fruit
    fresh veggies

  36. 186
    Stacey says:

    Any red blooded Southern gal KNOWS it’s Grocery Store, LOL!

    Yogert (Greek Fage)

  37. 187
    Lynn says:

    I say ” I’m going to the grocery, or Kroger, or Marsh. ” I have an elderly mother in law at says “grocery store, Kroger’s, or Marsh’s” must be a generational thing, at least here in OHIO!!
    Top 5…
    1. Fruit
    2. Bread
    3. Yogurt
    4. Chips
    5. Saltines

  38. 188
    Michelle says:

    I find myself more often than not saying “grocery”. Sometimes I say “market”. Not really sure where that comes from!

    1. Fruit – all kinds (sometimes I list them all. I get a sense of accomplishment by crossing something off of my list. Big Grin)

    2. Fresh veggies (see 1. Bigger Grin)

    3. Eggs

    4. Bread (100% Whole Wheat)

    5. Rotisserie Chicken

  39. 189

    Out here in the boonies of Kentucky we go to town to the grocery store. My top 5 items: bottled water (you don’t want to drink the water around here); Chester Cheeto puffed popcorn with butter; Dijorno frozen supreme pizza; cat litter; I have a hang-up on mechanical pencils, pens, paper and all that stuff, and so I can’t go past that section without stopping to drool and buy. I’m writing out of 4 different journals right now……..

  40. 190
    Jan says:

    I usually run to “the store.” (Kroger, Target, or Central Market if I have the time!)
    My top five are:
    diet coke
    fruit and vegies
    gluten free bread

  41. 191
    Allison M. says:

    “I’m going to the grocery” seems grammatically incorrect as compared to “I’m going to the grocery store”. In the 2nd sentence, the “adjective” (or first part of the compound noun) is ‘grocery’ and the core noun is ‘store’, explaining the type of store. Grocery Store implies the store that sells groceries.
    A grocery is a TYPE of store (in the same way a toy store is a type of store), and it describes the item (in the singular) that you’re purchasing there. The car dealership, the toy store, the candy shop, etc.

    Prior to the late 18th to early 19th century, when the US was still a brand new nation, everything was sold by individual vendors in large open market areas, and in some nations, I think that still happens to an extent. So to say you’re going to the grocery was appropriate, as it was more an area than an individual store. But as most Americans grew up with the notion of all that under a single roof, we took on the usage of grocery store, signifying that particular building.

    You can say “I’m going to the grocer’s” or “I’m going to the butcher’s/baker’s” because the apostrophe denotes that you are going to the premises of that person although in this case you are using their profession as opposed to their individual names.

    To sum up, I used to live in Texas and miss shopping at the HEB. We all referred to the grocery store/ grocery/market/etc. as the HEB, just like now we shop at the Safeway. So I guess, the bottom line is: you can call it whatever you want and most people will get the idea, right?

    Oh and next time you’re at the HEB, can you pick me up a maple long john at the bakery? They are the best and I miss them so much!

  42. 192
    Monica says:

    Lindsee – favorite part of this post – when you called it ‘the google’ – I laughed out loud! When I do that my kids just cringe and think I’m OLD! ๐Ÿ™‚ I do it to tease them. I had to read that portion out loud to my son! He just said, ‘OH mom’!
    At the grocery story my top five are:

  43. 193
    djFaul says:

    Apples & peanut butter are good picks! Bananas would have to be there somewhere too, for my daughter. We get all these items at ‘The Store’ – no grocery involved, LOL!!

  44. 194
    Jill says:

    27 years ago, when my husband and I first got married we lived in San Antonio TX and LOVED HEB sour cream chocolate donuts. I crave them still from time to time but cant talk my hubby into a road trip to Texas from our now home in Missouri. I also have to tell you that one of our son’s first words was doseydo (grocery store) He wanted to go to the grocery store!

  45. 195
    Sarah Wright says:

    It’s “Grocery Store” for me. Although I am one of those weirdo’s who says “soda pop” while everyone else i know says “pop”. I think I got that from my Great Grandmother who grew up in the mid-west. Although, I am not even sure if that is midwestern…

    1. Lactose free milk
    2. Fruit and Veggies
    3. Chicken Breast (bone in skin on! YUMMY)
    4. Ground Turkey
    5. Canned Cat food. We have an old Cat. Seriously, he is ancient. Last calculation he’s at least 20. He has no teeth. His name is Spot, because he is white with a Spot. Very original. Lives out side and loves it. Only survives by canned cat food. So I am constantly feeding the cat. Which means I also feed the neighbor dog who comes to steal his food. Poor kitty…

  46. 196
    brook says:

    I say grocery or store but rarely grocery store. I’m in Indiana.

  47. 197
    Lauren Womack says:

    The grocery!

  48. 198
    Dora says:

    “I’m fixin to go to HEB.” Ain’t no grocery/store at our house. My mother-in-law also says ‘the pot’ instead of toilet, and ‘icebox’ instead of refrigerator. I love it when she says that.

    5 staples:
    1. Milk
    2. Bread
    3. Greek yogurt
    4. Bottled water
    5. Fruit

  49. 199
    Amanda Lebow says:

    Well, I’m actually neither grocery nor grocery store…. and it’s because here in beautiful Brevard, NC, we have this fabulous little place called Food Matters Market. And since that’s where I do the bulk of my shopping, I say that I’m going to “the market.” Not grocery, not grocery store,,, THE MARKET!

    We have a great farmer’s market right now,too, so I get the veggies there. But this is my top five that I must get at the market each week.
    1. COFFEE…. can I get an Amen?
    2. Gluten Free Rolled Oats
    3. blueberries & strawberries
    4. Unsweetened Almond Breeze Vanilla Milk
    5. Unsweetened organic WestSoy soy milk

  50. 200
    Sue says:

    While living in Louisiana I had a friend that would say she was going “to make grocerys”. I never could figure that one out. Being from the Midwest originally, I used to be teased when I would say “I’m going to the store..want to go with?” Top 5: milk, cereal, yogurt, coffee creamer, fruit.

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