Stranger saves mum's day by paying for groceries at checkout - and tells her to pay it forward

A mystery woman paid for another shopper’s groceries at St Martins New World. Photo: Supplied
A mystery woman paid for another shopper’s groceries at St Martins New World. Photo: Supplied
A mystery woman who paid for a stranger’s groceries at a Christchurch New World wanted her to have a merry Christmas and pay the favour forward.

When a woman who wanted to be known as ‘Mrs Owen’ went to St Martins New World for a small shop with her two-year-old daughter her card unexpectedly declined.

Thinking it hadn’t swiped properly, Mrs Owen tried again but after another decline she ran to the cash machine at the front of the supermarket, but couldn’t manage to get cash out.

Feeling flustered and a bit embarrassed, she went to ask the checkout operator if she could bag up her items and come back to get them later.

That’s when a complete stranger reached across and swiped her card through the Eftpos machine, paying for the shopping.

The woman said: “Please don’t worry about it, I’m going to get this one for you. Merry Christmas.”

Mrs Owen said she was initially in shock and disbelief a stranger would be so kind as to pay for her groceries.

“I said, ‘Well, no, you can’t possibly do that, that’s too much’, but she was adamant and had already swiped her card,” Mrs Owen said.

The shop was a total of $68, which Mrs Owen said was a lot for a stranger to pay.

“My daughter was clutching onto these banana muffins,” she said.

“She was going to go mental if I tried to take them off her.”

The woman told her to pay it forward, but Mrs Owen was determined to get her details so she could pay her back.

After some convincing, the stranger wrote down her name and number on the back of the receipt, but when Mrs Owen got home and texted the number she got a reply that said ‘sorry you’ve got the wrong number’.

She posted her story to a community Facebook group page to reach out and thank the woman, but came to the conclusion the generous stranger wanted to remain anonymous.

Mrs Owen said she will definitely pay it forward next time she sees someone in need or in a similar position, and couldn’t thank the woman enough.

“She saw I was with my little girl and I was flustered and stressed and she just swooped in and was a hero.”

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