Are you guilty of grocery store sins? 7 rules of shopping etiquette

New Orleans (WGNO) - Napkins, pecans, cranberries... what's on your last-minute grocery store list? The day before Thanksgiving is sure to be a hectic one at the grocery stores, with everyone rushing to grab last minute items for their Thanksgiving feast.

"Makin' groceries" as it's called in these parts is a necessary chore year-round, but during the holidays it can be an especially challenging event. Twist Reporter Stephanie Oswald met up with Breaux Mart Manager Amethyst Clement to explore the River Ridge location and see just how folks are behaving as they fill their carts. Here are a few rules when it comes to grocery store etiquette:

1. Don't abandon your cart! Do return it to the corral or the store front.

It's one of the most common grocery store sins: leaving your empty buggy in the parking lot, where it could roll and hit another patron's car. Please be kind and at least return it to the cart corral, if you don't have the time or energy to bring it all the way back to the front of the store. Amethyst says they usually find at least one cart a day abandoned inside the store -- which can be especially troubling if it contains items that should be frozen or refrigerated.

2. Don't leave items in random places when you change your mind. Do give them to the cashier at checkout.

It's okay to change your mind when you see an item preferable to something in your cart! Or maybe you realized you grabbed one too many cans of tomato paste. But do you bring the no-longer-wanted can back to its original place, or simply set it down among the rolls of toilet paper in the aisle you are presently cruising?

Amethyst says there's a third option, for those who aren't inclined to return to the tomato paste shelf -- "We wish customers would return items directly to us, as a cashier, at the register -- instead of just placing items 'wherever' on the shelf!"

3. Don't put all your produce in the same bag. Do separate different types of the same fruit or vegetable.

Amethyst says it's surprising how many people put multiple-priced items in the same plastic bag, then get annoyed when the cashier reaches their hand in the bag to take items out for separate weighing. Even different brands of apples can be different prices, so it's not apples to apples folks!

This goes for all kinds of fruits and vegetables. When in doubt, separate.

4. Do feel free to nibble on something in your cart that doesn't have a weight-based price. Don't forget to tell the cashier that the chip bag is open!

Yes, you read that correctly, Amethyst says it's okay if you're starving and you need a handful of chips to get you through the shopping excursion. Or maybe your kids are cranky and giving them a handful of goldfish will make everyone's life easier. That's okay.

What's not okay is eating half a bag of grapes that are priced according to weight, before you get to the cashier.

What's even worse? "We do find items that have been taste-tested and stuck back on the shelf," says Amethyst. During our store visit, we found an empty can of Red Bull, sitting on a random shelf. YUCK!

5. It's okay to sneak a few extra items into your cart and still use the Express Lane, but don't overdo it.

Amethyst says some folks count, "1, 2, skip-a-few, 100" -- and that's not cool. If you're in  hurry, she says you can probably sneak 20 items into the 15 or less lane, but please don't go beyond that.

In case you're wondering, a 6-pack of beer counts as 1 item... a bag of produce counts as 1 item, even if it's a bag of 15 pears... but if you have 6 cans of soup, that counts as 6 items.

6. If you and another shopper arrive at the casher line at the same exact time, the person with the fewest items wins.

"It's simple," says Amethyst, "we can get that person through the line faster, so let them go first."

7. Do let someone know if you make a mess. Don't pretend it never happened.

You don't have to clean it up yourself -- but let an employee know if your child accidentally knocked over a giant jar of pickles, or you accidentally knocked a bottle of vegetable oil off the shelf and it's splattered across the aisle. (By the way, kitty litter is the solution to a messy vegetable oil spill, according to Amethyst!)

And in case you're worried and wondering, no, you don't have to pay for the damaged item. Safety is the primary concern, says Amethyst, so the key is to clean up any messes before they cause another shopper to slip and fall.

Follow these rules, and the grocery store employees everywhere will be thankful for you this holiday season!