There are six types of grocery shoppers: which one are you?

There are six types of grocery shoppers: which one are you?
There are six types of grocery shoppers: which one are you? Photo: SHUTTERSTOCK

People have some very distinct behaviours and habits when it comes to buying groceries.

While it might seem like a banal topic, how you choose to attack your weekly shop can be an interesting reflection of your character.

We've identified six kinds of grocery shoppers you might just recognise. 

1. The Type A shopper

This category of shopper is extremely organised and only spends a certain amount of time on groceries and food each week. They have a set weekly or fortnightly dinner menu from which they do not deviate.

They have a shopping list which rarely changes and are unswayed by specials, impulse buys or the temptation to purchase more than they currently need.

Many people are in awe of the Type A shopper's ability to be so uncompromising - a fun-pack of three bottles of Spray and Wipe at half price means nothing to them.

This shopping type is also known to pack four Instagram-worthy lunches for each family member simultaneously to be stored in the fridge and fished out on the correct day. They probably work full-time, have a spotless house and use this method to maximise family and leisure time.  

Pretty much everyone wishes they could be this person, except perhaps the improviser. 

2. The bare minimum shopper

A compact kitchen necessitates a very considered shopping list. These grocery shoppers may not quite live meal-to-meal in terms of storage - there will be a few spare staples in stock and a small herb and spice collection - but there simply isn't enough space to amass food like the hoarders (see next category).

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Similarly, family budget constraints have a massive impact on their weekly food shop.

The bare minimum shopper might need to buy groceries ad hoc to see how far their dollar can take them - and their rewards card is always at the ready.

3. The hoarder

This shopping type is always expecting a nuclear winter. They may have a contingency plan in place, which manifests itself in extreme grocery buying at one end and possibly a covert bunker construction at the other.

They have enough food to feed a thousand people. There's a tonne of tinned tomatoes, passata, baked beans and lentils stacked high in the pantry. There's a month's supply of mince and chicken breast in the freezer. They love Costco and buy bulk specials where they see them. They might even study the supermarket specials catalogue every week.

Many will probably have big families, especially those with many sport-playing offspring, multiple teenage sons, and a menagerie of pets. Don't be surprised if there are slabs of bulk tins under beds and on top of wardrobes. This shopper is terrified the family will starve, but let's face it, they never will. 

4. The improviser

This is one laid-back human who has zero fear of starvation and few personal responsibilities. They are the exact opposite of the hoarder.

They will swing by the local takeaway at a moment's notice, grab a ready-made meal from the supermarket, or look up a last-minute recipe and buy only those ingredients. So decadent! 

They might also be an amateur chef who relishes the chance to dream up the next meal and buys the ingredients day-to-day. This person loves cooking and sees it as part of their leisure time.

They feel no stress about living meal-to-meal, because at the end of the day, a slab of cheese and a pack of crackers also makes a great dinner and for the chef-type, their interest in cooking means none of this is work.

5. The just-in-case shopper

Ever looked in your cupboard and wondered why you have five bags of rice or 10 packets of pasta? Well, you might just be a just-in-case shopper. 

These shoppers are struck by the compulsion to buy the same type of grocery item every time they step foot in a supermarket. They might constantly be running low on milk but they have enough balsamic vinegar to dress the salads of a small nation.

It's like the just-in-case shopper has a small shred of the hoarder's DNA alive within them, but only when it comes to very specific items.

6. The kid-free shopper

The kid-free shopper is in their own kind of heaven. Usually accustomed to wheeling a few banshees around in a trolley, who scream, demand, grab, destroy and whinge the entire time, the kid-free shopper is a footloose and fancy-free hedonist, dreamy-eyed about all the selections they can make in a single hour without being distracted or pestered.

They can be found luxuriating among the jars of gourmet pickles, inspecting French brie and considering fig-infused crackers, while not missing a single item off the regular shopping list. They're also the ones happily leafing through a magazine, perhaps having selected the very longest checkout queue to prolong the experience of shopping alone.

They arrive home triumphant and fulfilled, with the ghost of their 20-something self yelling, "WHO EVEN AM I NOW?"