You Don’t Have Buy the Whole Bag of Grapes

Not too many years ago it was normal to see bunches and bunches of grapes piled up in the produce section.  Gradually over the last few years it has become more and more common to see bulk bagged grapes.  Typically most bags weigh in at around 2 pounds.

Guess what?  You don’t have to buy that whole bag of grapes.

Yep, it’s true.  There are a couple of caveats of which to be aware. If your store places a price sticker on each bag of grapes, then you would need to buy the entire bag, or if your store sells grapes by the bag, not by the pound. But in most cases, grapes are sold by the pound, so it doesn’t really matter how many grapes are in the bag as the weights are going to vary.

"White" table grapes
“White” table grapes (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was listening to a local radio station the other morning and the DJs were talking about buying grapes. The DJ telling the story was saying that he didn’t want to buy the whole bag because there were too many for one person to eat at one time. He explained that he was doing a cleanse and on this particular day he was allowed one cheat, so he wanted grapes. But he couldn’t eat the whole bag at once, and didn’t want the remainder sitting in the fridge taunting him for the duration of the cleanse.

I kind of laughed as he was talking, because I know you do not need to buy the entire bag. Now I suppose if he owned a dehydrator (this is my Amazon affiliate link for the dehydrator I use), he could have washed the grapes and turned them into raisins. But I digress.

The three DJs were going on and on about how you cannot buy less than a bag of grapes.  Seriously?  I wonder how many people simply don’t buy grapes because they don’t want or cannot use THAT many grapes?  I bet most people assume you have to buy a whole bag, whether they want that many or not.

Well, I’m here to set you straight.  All you have to do is grab a plastic bag which are always readily available in the produce section and pull a bunch of grapes from the pre-bagged grapes and place them into the plastic bag.  Then just leave the remainder of the pre-bagged grapes with the other bagged grapes.  You aren’t going to be “shorting” anyone, you might even do someone a favor who wants less grapes!

The same goes for other bulk bagged produce, such as green beans. 

Just remember, if the bag has a price tag on it specifically, or if it clearly states a specific weight on the package, then you do need to buy the full bag. Ask the produce manager or store manager if you have any doubts.

I can’t tell you for sure why they started bagging grapes, but here are a few reasons that come to mind:

If the store bags up a certain amount of grapes, people will be more likely to buy that predetermined amount.  For the most part, I think this will help the store.  I think most people will buy the bag whether they want 2 pounds of not.  On the other hand, imagine that some people might not even buy grapes, because they can’t use two pounds!

You take home what’s in the bag.  When grapes were not bagged years ago, people would pick up a cluster they liked and bag it for purchase.  Sometimes they might even give the cluster a little shake and some of the grapes would fall off.  As the grapes mature (and by the way, typically grapes grow sweeter as they ripen), they start to fall from their stems.  Years ago hundreds of single grapes, some a little wrinkly, some with a bad spot or maybe even a bit of mold, were left at the store.  The store undoubtedly lost money on many pounds of grapes before bagging.  Now those less than pristine grapes come home with us in the bulk bags.  Pretty clever way of saving money, if you think about it.

More sanitary.  With the grapes inside of bags, there is less chance for people to touch them, leaving germs behind.  By the way, once you get home you should STILL rinse off your grapes before eating.

Less chance that people will sample. Something else we did years ago was to sample the grapes. It was something my mother did, and most people I know would take a grape from a cluster to see how it tasted.  We practiced the honor system back in those days, and it was acceptable to eat a grape or two.  I would imagine nowadays with people not understanding the honor system, they were eating handfuls of grapes.  Tsk, tsk.   At any rate, people are less likely to open a closed bag and eat a grape.

If you are in doubt, ask the produce manager or the store manager if you can bag your own smaller amount of produce.  I’m sure they would be more than happy to help you.  In our stores, we can also ask for a sample of any kind of produce and they are more than happy to cut a plug from a watermelon, or slice an apple, or peel an orange, or allow you a few grapes to sample.

Did you know you don’t have to buy the whole bag of grapes?


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11 thoughts on “You Don’t Have Buy the Whole Bag of Grapes

  1. A customer once yelled at me for putting the grapes I wanted to buy in a separate bag like that. He thought I was stealing from the other customers who then wouldn’t get as much in their bags. I tried to explain the concept of fruit being sold by weight to him but he just wasn’t getting it. Hard to believe 🙂


    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    Wow! How silly and how uncomfortable that must have been. I guess he was the self-appointed grape security officer. 😉
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    Julia Reply:

    That is actually really funny! It was nice of you to attempt explaining things to him…I know I would not have been as nice, I tend to have very little patience for ridiculous things.
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  2. Good observation!

    They never used to stick grapes in bags — you used to be able to select as many as you wanted. I expect your theory that putting them in bags makes people buy more of them. It never occurred to me to break into the bag and take out only as many as I want. But after this, I sure will!
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    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    Yay! You go Funny!! 🙂
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  3. I normally shop at a store that sells produce by the bag, not by weight. I might look around at a few other stores to see if they have a different policy.


  4. Thank you for publishing this. Just last night at Wal-Mart I was attempting to do just that, transfer grapes into a plastic bag. Some lady made a huge scene yelling now inappropriate that is. She does not want someone else touching her food. One of the store employees came over and advised me it was unsanitary and I needed to buy the whole bag, that is why they have them in individual bags. He took like 6 bags of grapes to prove to the other customer that they will throw these unsanitary grapes away.
    I will be going back to speak with a manager. What about apples or peaches? People normally in produce touch of squeeze the item. Unfortunately, per this particular employee should all these be thrown away as they have been touched? Unbelievably.


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