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Does your man have grocery shopping prowess?

We're seeing more men in supermarkets, but they complain that ads still portray them as helpless.

By Teresa Mears Jan 18, 2011 2:10PM

More men are literally bringing home the bacon, but they say that advertising still doesn't speak to them as grocery shoppers.

We're not sure why in 2011 men have still not attained equality in grocery shopping, but perhaps we'll see that in our lifetime.


A survey by Yahoo last year found that 51% of men considered themselves the primary grocery shopper in their homes, though another survey found that 85% of women said THEY were the primary shopper, so someone is exaggerating. Other research indicates that about 35% of grocery shoppers are men, which is still a big number.


According to Advertising Age, those men who are buying groceries, toiletries and paper products feel left out by today's advertising, which is still aimed at women.


"Men need to be something other than invisible or buffoons in advertising," John Badalament of and author of "The Modern Dad's Dilemma," told Ad Age.


Procter & Gamble, which makes diapers, soap, cleaning and personal care products, has identified the family man as an untapped market and started a website called Man of the House. In addition to articles on how to have better sex, the site offers advice on cooking, cleaning and raising kids.


According to an article for WebMD, while men are doing more grocery shopping, many are not making shopping decisions. Men get lost without a list, University of Southern California marketing professor David W. Stewart said:

More and more men are picking up items at the grocery store. But they are frequently following the instructions of the female in the household. Traditionally, the woman was the decision maker and shopper. Now the female is still the primary decision maker, but the shopping is more often shared by two individuals.

While a 2007 study found that men were dazed and confused by grocery shopping, more are braving the aisles. We remain confident it's something the average man can master. Perhaps the advertising world will help him feel more confident by cutting down on ads pushing the stereotype of men as helpless in the home.


If you want to improve your grocery shopping prowess, Jason at Frugal Dad has nine tips for reducing your grocery budget. We don't think his wife wrote the post.


Who shops for groceries in your household? If you're a man, do you know how to grocery shop well? Have you taught your sons about grocery shopping, a key element of personal finance? Do you think advertising keeps men from reaching parity in grocery shopping skill?


More from MSN Money:

Jan 18, 2011 2:19PM
I handle most of the shopping in the household - I love it  - I also run a grocery shopping website so you would think that I enjoy it. 

I like seeing what is new - the specials, the smells from the bakery, the flowers.

It is fun for me! I am not the norm though.
Apr 24, 2011 3:41PM
I learned a long time ago to be a good grocery shopper; my mother -- one of the greatest list-makers of all time -- taught me.  Being single for a lot of years after I left home didn't hurt, either. 

However, I was very unimpressed with the perspective of professor Stewart.  Shopping lists have been recommended for decades.  They help one control one's spending and they greatly speed the process of shopping.  As for the fact that women make the actual purchasing decision even if a man executes the activity, I don't know of many men who want to spend their limited political capital with their woman, arguing over what to put on the grocery list.  Save it for something substantive, guys!

Jan 19, 2011 2:34AM
Back in the 50's my dad was the shopper. Mom just picked up things and threw them in the cart, while Dad taught me how to pick the best fruit and how to judge the true cost of meats per serving. They both went through the Depression as youngsters, but Dad pinched pennies for the rest of his life while Mom gloried in the opportunity to buy whatever she needed. I take after both of them - I save money on the unimportant things so I can spend it on the things that are important to me, or the ones where it pays to buy quality the first time.
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