It’s an activity that millions of Americans do every day – visiting the grocery store.  But what happens once inside?  The results of a new poll released today by, the web’s largest opinion-based community, reveal some interesting facts about shopping behaviors. One reason that prices may be rising is that consumers are “helping themselves” to items in the store as 25% of shoppers admit to having stolen from a grocery store and 36% state that they like to “sample” while in the store, with food, candy and gum being the items taken most often.

At some point we have all received some “extra change” back from a cashier by mistake, but it appears that many decide to “keep the change,” but as we get older, we are more likely to give it back.  While only 57% of those between 13 and 17 will return the change, 96% of respondents between 45 and 54 do the right thing and give the extra money back.

Self check-out lanes are continuing to increase in availability, but only 31% of those polled like to check themselves out, while 69% go the “regular” lanes with a cashier. When deciding where to do their regular grocery shopping 60% head to traditional grocery stores, 19% go to mass merchandisers, 6% visit warehouse stores, 4% go to the farmer’s market, 3% patronize “mom and pop” stores and only 1% do their shopping online.

Additional findings from the poll indicate:

-          When asked how often they grocery shop, 36% go once a week, 26% a few times a week, 24% go a few times a month, 6% said every day and 8% only go once per month

-          In terms of how to pay, 44% use debit, 25% pay with cash, 19% put the charges on their credit card, 5% use food stamps and 4% write a check

-          When asked “who does the shopping,” 81% of women said that they do, while 64% of men claim to do the shopping