Readers share their experiences grocery shopping under capacity limits

Has it taken slightly longer to get your grocery shopping executed currently? You’re not alone. Ever since Gov. Baker applied a 25 % capacity restrict for many companies in Massachusetts — a two-week mandate that went into effect on Dec. 26 and was recently extended until Jan. 24 — some buyers have witnessed longer strains forming exterior their native grocery store.

When we conducted a survey asking readers about their latest grocery shopping experiences, practically 130 readers responded: 43 % stated strains had been longer, 43 % stated they weren’t, and 14 % stated they “sometimes” skilled longer strains. Some individuals who hadn’t seen a change had been troubled by it.

“There appears to be no limit on the amount of people shopping,” wrote one reader. “Truly horrific.”

Whether navigating strains or conducting their shopping as regular, right here’s what readers needed to say about their latest grocery shopping experiences.

43% of buyers stated strains had been longer than regular.

Lines form outside Market Basket in Tewksbury
Lines kind exterior Market Basket in Tewksbury. —Matthew Quail

From Trader Joe’s and Market Basket to Stop & Shop and Hannaford, 43 % of survey individuals reported that the strains at their native grocery retailer had grown.

“It was surprising to me, because it’s winter time and the island is usually very quiet,” stated one shopper who skilled prolonged strains at a Stop & Shop in Nantucket.

Another shopper, who recognized as a senior citizen, shared that shopping at a Whole Foods in Cambridge had turn out to be tough and nerve-racking.

“Not all senior citizen[s] are early birds,” they wrote. “Also, it gets dark early. …Having decent food at home is as important as defending against COVID-19.”

Brian from Somerville stated he noticed strains at Trader Joe’s, Market Basket, and Wegmans.

“I have to buy for three visits in one visit,” he wrote. “I don’t have the time to be waiting in line for 45 minutes when my usual trip by itself would only be 45 minutes.”

Some individuals noticed a seasonal change in line size. In response to our Facebook post, Peter Mimmo stated he had witnessed lengthy strains, “but really only in the spring of 2020 and then during the week leading up to Thanksgiving.”

43% of buyers stated strains weren’t longer.

Line? What line? Over 40 % of survey respondents stated they hadn’t observed longer strains since Baker’s mandate went into impact.

“NONE of the big-box stores, nor local/state government are enforcing restrictions,” stated one reader. “It’s only small, local businesses that are being targeted. Every supermarket and big box retailer I’ve visited since last March has had people jammed in the store.”

Plenty of individuals famous that grocery shops are nonetheless crowded inside, with one remarking {that a} Market Basket in East Bridgewater “was so crowded in certain parts of the store that it felt like the capacity limits were not being enforced. There was no line to get in and there wasn’t much of a wait at the registers either.”

Others burdened that they haven’t seen lengthy strains as a result of they’ve been using residence supply or curbside pickup.

“I shop exclusively online for all groceries and other goods,” wrote Ro Palermo from Concord.

Readers shared how their grocery habits have modified, plus shopping suggestions.

Those who’ve skilled longer strains reported that they’ve made modifications in how they store for groceries, together with the place they store.

“I have sadly started shopping at more expensive stores like Stop & Shop or Hannaford [rather] than Market Basket,” one reader wrote. “I just can’t wait outside in the cold for groceries. I am buying less since it’s more expensive as well.”

“I live in Somerville and have avoided going to the Market Basket there and go to the Star Market on Beacon St. in Somerville instead,” one other wrote. “There’s a larger and newer Star Market in Porter Square nearby that gets most of the attention so few people really go to this smaller location. The stock and selection is much lower and the prices [at] Star Market are typically higher than Market Basket, but I am willing and able to pay the price for it to avoid lines and other people.”

“Things feel pretty aggressive in supermarkets,” a reader responded. “My visits are shorter, only at odd hours, and only for specific things. And many items I now choose to do without or order online. Not worth my [peace] of mind to be in a store for too long. It isn’t the virus — it’s the selfish, rude, challenging people.”

In order to take advantage of out of their shopping journeys, readers gave tips about how you can keep away from potential strains or crowds. Many suggested going early within the morning or an hour earlier than closing, shopping much less regularly, and going with an inventory to “get in and out quickly.”

Others suggested switching to curbside pickup or on-line shopping, utilizing providers like Amazon Fresh or Instacart.

And for some, shopping throughout the pandemic has turn out to be an unexpectedly thrilling journey.

“Just like in wartime Europe, I carry a bag at all times and buy what may be available in tiny local stores,” stated Judy from Somerville. “It’s exciting when I find an avocado or fresh fruit.”

Boston.com often interacts with readers by conducting casual polls and surveys. These outcomes must be learn as an unscientific gauge of readers’ opinion.

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