1. No smiling allowed. Ever.
2. Feel free to take your time reading labels. But make sure you leave your cart in the middle of the aisle so no one else can pass through. And when they say disculpe, give them a really mean look.
3. Don't "look both ways" before you cross to another aisle. And if someone hits you, or vice versa, give them a death stare.
4. Be prepared to spend at least an hour inside. Why? It takes forever to find what you need (see note below about how things are organized) and then you have to wait in line. Forever.
5. If the supermarket has received a shipment of something that you like, for example cherry pie filling, buy a lot. And by a lot, I mean the whole pallet. Because it might be a whole year before they have it again.
6. Don't bother with a list, because they won't have half of the things on it. And then you'll have to rework your entire weekly menu (while you stand in the middle of an aisle and block other customers, of course) because they didn't have the ingredients that you needed to make the meals for 3 different nights.
How are things organized in the supermarket?
I still haven't completely figured this one out. And the logic changes depending on the store. But here's what I've found so far...
You know how things just logically go together in the supermarket? Like, canned tomatoes should go with the rest of the canned vegetables, right? Well, not here. Take the canned tomatoes, for example. Yesterday I searched up and down the canned veggie aisle. Nothing. In the end I found them next to the tomato sauces.
Baking goods are never all in the same place. Flour is in one aisle, usually with the rice. Sugar is in the same aisle as the coffee. And brown sugar? If they have it, it's usually in some random place. Last time it was with the pancake mix (which is in another aisle) because hey, they are both in boxes, right?
Peanut butter is usually with the nuts, and not with the other spreads/jams. Mayonaise and mustard? Not with the ketchup. Because why? The ketchup goes in what I call the "tomato aisle" with the canned tomatoes and tomato sauce.
Ah, and I should mention that some sauces, like Ragu, are kept in a completely different aisle labeled "import products." Even though most of the products in the grocery are imported.
Usually all of the dairy products are together. Except for in La Colonia where the milk and yogurt is in one aisle, while the butters and creams and some cheeses are across the store. Then other types of cheeses are with the sandwich meat. ?
And eggs? Sometimes they are by the chicken. Because why? Duh, eggs come from chickens. In other stores they are by the bread. Why? No clue. Maybe because they are a fragile item like the bread?