People Outside the US Think All Americans Own These Home Items

Shannon Quinn - November 22, 2022
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Americans keep a variety of cold cereals in their homes. Credit: Shutterstock

Cereal

Speaking of milk, one of the most common reasons why Americans keep gallons of milk in their household is so that they can eat cereal for breakfast. While cereal is not a uniquely American thing, it’s something that is truly a staple in most households in the United States. Cereal was first invented in 1863 by an American named James Caleb Jackson. So it makes sense why it’s so popular here. According to a poll by OnePoll and Sabra, 56% of Americans claim to eat cold cereal for breakfast on a regular basis. Other polls have found that 96% of people buy at least one box of cereal every time they go grocery shopping. Yes, we are aware that it’s full of sugar, and not the healthiest thing to eat in the morning. But it’s definitely the easiest thing to eat, especially if you have kids. (via The Travel)

Some countries find it weird to keep blocks of cheese in your house. Credit: Shutterstock

Blocks of Cheese

A Reddit user called AntArctMaid commented, “Just a literal block of cheese just chilling in the fridge. I’m certain they woke up randomly at 3am and go ‘Omg cheese sounds good right now.’” They later clarified that they are Korean, and that while cheese is gaining popularity in Asian countries, it’s nowhere near the amount of cheese we consume in the United States. Buying large amounts of cheese is also popular in European countries (especially France). According to the USDA, cheese accounts for the largest share of per capita U.S. dairy product consumption. (via USDA)

American grocery stores always carry a variety of barbecue sauce options. Credit: Shutterstock

Barbecue Sauce

While it’s not a uniquely American thing, it really is a huge part of our tradition to barbecue on summer holidays like Memorial Day, July 4th and Labor Day. It’s such a staple that we keep jars of barbecue sauce in our fridges all year long. Even if we’re not making an actual barbecue, it still tastes delicious with chicken or even on burgers. A Redditor called ruckbeat commented, I have at least 5 varieties of BBQ sauce in my fridge at the moment, including 2 that are homemade”. Many Americans also commented that they had multiple varieties of barbecue sauce in their fridge, because it’s one of their favorite condiments. (via Smithsonian Magazine)

The majority of American homes own a microwave. Credit: Shutterstock

Microwaves

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, a whopping 90% of American households own a microwave. But it’s not a uniquely American thing. According to Statistica, 94% of homes in Greece have them, too. However, there is something uniquely American about the fact that people here use microwaves to heat up water instead of boiling it on the stove with a kettle. This is appalling to Europeans. Even though so many households own a microwave, a lot of people have moved on to toaster ovens or air fryers, because it makes food taste so much better. (via U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Americans love to own dogs and cats as household pets. Credit: Shutterstock

A Pet Dog or Cat

Yes, it’s incredibly common for Americans to own at least one dog. We have a phrase that says “a dog is a man’s best friend.” According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, there are 76,811,305 pet dogs and 58,385,725 pet cats in the United States. Of course, it’s still common for people around the world to own dogs and cats as well. But there are some countries where owning a dog is actually illegal. Many Islamic countries ban dogs. But there are also many Asian countries where poor people eat dogs and cats for meat. (via American Veterinary Medical Association)

Many Americans have a backup fridge or freezer in their garage. Credit: Seattle Times

An Extra Freezer or Fridge in the Garage or Basement

Here is yet another trend that is popular among middle-class Americans, but it’s definitely not something you see in every single household. A lot of Americans like to have a spare fridge or freezer in their garage so that they can store extra food. It also comes in handy if you have a party, or are hosting a holiday like Thanksgiving or Christmas. According to the New York Times, 35 million American homes have two or more fridges. This is not at all common in the rest of the world. In Europe, their fridges are already smaller than the average American sizes, and they only keep one in their homes. It just means that they go grocery shopping more often than we do. (via New York Times)

American fridge doors typically have a variety of sauces. Credit: Shutterstock

Lots of Sauces

Condiments obviously exist around the world, but most households don’t hold onto huge collections like Americans do. One Redditor by the name of C_Byum commented, “Multiple different types of weird sauces”. This is true. Americans love to have a variety of sauces in their fridge. In fact, someone quickly commented, “So many sauces. An entire refrigerator door with sauces.” Yes. I can confirm that the door of my fridge is, in fact, filled mostly with a variety of sauces and salad dressings. We also tend to hold onto sauce packets from restaurants, which usually live in one of the crisper drawers. There are people out there who love hot sauce so much, they might own multiple different brands varying in different ranges of hotness. And when there is a new trend going around like Pink Sauce on TikTok, tons of people decide to jump on that bandwagon. (via Men’s Health)

American grocery stores sell a variety of pickles. Credit: Shutterstock

Pickles 

Pickles can be found all over the world, especially a variety of pickled vegetables. However, here in the US, when we say “pickles”, we’re talking about pickled cucumbers. It’s true that they are very commonly eaten by Americans. We have them on our sandwiches, burgers, and on the side of a meal. A lot of people like to eat pickles by themselves as a snack- especially spears of dill pickles. And when you go to the grocery store, you’ll see that there is a huge section devoted to pickles and relishes of varying sweetness and heat levels. When I was dating an Indian guy, I was shocked to find out that he had never tasted a pickle before in his life. (via Zippia)

Red solo cups are an iconic American party staple. Credit: Shutterstock

Solo Cups

Years ago, solo cups got brought up in conversation with a British coworker of mine. He literally thought they were a myth of American television and movies, and he was shocked to know that they actually exist. Yes, Americans use red solo cups at parties. In fact, they come in all different colors. As odd as it sounds, the idea behind these cups is to conceal what you’re drinking- especially at college parties with kids who are under 21. For all anyone knows, maybe you have Coca Cola in that cup. This is such a uniquely American stereotype though. (via Smithsonian

Credit: Mad Scientist YouTube channel

Popcorn Setting on the Microwave

Earlier on this list, we already established that countries around the world use microwaves. But apparently, it’s a uniquely American thing to have a “popcorn” button. And the funny thing is- almost no one uses it, because it tends to burn your popcorn. Of course, there are still some people out there who like to make stovetop popcorn. Or, they might even have a fun novelty popcorn making machine. After all, it’s a very American thing to own a lot of useless kitchen gadgets that we might use once, and then never again. (via All Recipes)

A lot of Americans reuse plastic grocery bags as garbage can liners. Credit: Shutterstock

Plastic Bags

There are countries around the world that have banned plastic bags due to the fact that they’re terrible for the environment. But for some reason, the United States is slow to adopt this rule. Here, it goes state-by-state. When I visited England, people were very accustomed to bringing their own bags to the grocery store. And they usually have beautiful, high-quality bags that they bring with them. I live in New Jersey, and we recently had our plastic bag ban begin in May of 2022. It has been months since the ban, and people are still struggling with the change. A lot of people (myself included) will just juggle items in their hands while walking out to their cars. I’ve noticed a few stores that still give out plastic bags, because the law is not strictly enforced. (via Statistica

Individually wrapped potatoes. Credit: Bored Panda

Unnecessarily Individually Wrapped Items

Following our paragraph on plastic bags, another huge issue we have in the United States is items that are individually wrapped when they don’t need to be. Of course, this is not a uniquely American thing. Someone else commented, “I think Japan wins the prize for that one”. But here in the US, there are so many examples of unnecessary packaging. One of the biggest that comes to mind is Amazon packages. It’s incredibly wasteful, but hopefully people recycle their cardboard boxes when they can. (via Bored Panda)

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