5-Minute English: Grocery Shopping

5-Minute English: Grocery Shopping

Hi there! Welcome back to this week’s episode. Today we’ll be talking about grocery shopping, in other words buying food from a grocery store, also known as a supermarket or just the store.

"I’m going to the store to buy milk."

Now we all shop for groceries every now and then. I can’t think of an outdoor activity that’s more common than this one and there is a lot of vocabulary needed to talk about an experience at the grocery store. 

So, today you’ll hear about a trip to the grocery store for you. Imagine yourself as the main character of this story; visualize the interior of the store and yourself walking down the aisles. Picture everything from the moment you grab your cart or basket at the entrance, to the moment you check out at the register and head home.

Are you ready? I bet you are. 

One last thing, you’ll hear about interesting labels, learn some fun facts about U.S. consumerism, but since this is a language lesson, you’ll also learn language needed to talk about items in a grocery store. Pay attention to phrasal verbs and topic specific vocabulary. If you would like a full lesson to master the challenging words and phrases in this lesson, be sure to sign up to Premium Content. You’ll find all of the information for that in the episode notes. 

Without further ado, let’s begin: 


It’s your first day in the United States and you’re excited. Apart from the jetlag, you feel great! In fact, you can’t wait to get out and explore. First things first though, you need groceries. So you google the closest grocery store, (aka supermarket) nearby and lots of options pop up. 

You see Costco, which is a national wholesale store. It’s where people go to buy electronics and home goods at  discount prices and food in bulk. Buying in bulk is a new concept for you. Who needs 50 pounds of rice, 10 pounds of sugar and 10 tubes of toothpaste, anyway? You just want the basics. So you head to a place called Trader Joe’s. 

The store is small and easy to navigate. When you arrive, you see the shopping baskets and shopping carts outside and opt for the cart, since your cupboards, fridge and freezer are empty. 

When you walk inside, you pull your shopping list out of your pocket and look around. The first thing you see is the fruit and vegetable section. Big crates are filled with bananas, both organic and not, as well as nectarines, peaches and shiny red and green apples. The names of the apples are unfamiliar to you, but you like that their labels describe their taste and texture: sweet, crispy, sour, tart and juicy. 

Sound goods! As long as they’re not bruised and mushy, right? 

Same goes for bananas! You grab a bunch of ripe ones before checking out some less familiar fruit.

Now, you consider yourself a conscious shopper; you like knowing if farming practices are sustainable, if produce is locally grown, if products are non-gmo. It takes a lot of work to be informed, and in the U.S., it’s a whole new ballgame. You decide to buy locally grown produce, everything that’s in season.


That’s it for the free version of this transcript. If you’re interested in getting the full transcript and full lesson that go along with this episode, be sure to click on one of the buttons below.