Most people like to shop, its fun to pick out a new car, or shoes, even furniture, but when it comes to groceries the thrill is gone. It’s that one shopping trip that has to be done and the longer you put it off, the more stressful it seems it is. After spending an hour or more fighting traffic with your cart, standing in the long check- out line, you get home and find your bread is squished. Just great!
It doesn’t have to end so badly. With a few tips and a little common sense, you can make your next stop to the market a little easier. At least, with the check-out. Keep these things in mind when you shop and you’ll probably feel better when you get home.
First and foremost, for your own protection, keep all heavy items in your cart or underneath. General rules of thumb; if it’s not going to fit inside a bag then don’t bother lifting. Most grocery stores have hand held scanners that can reach those products or a book of codes for things they don’t expect you to lift. You have to lift it to put it in your cart to begin with, you have to lift it into your car, then you have to lift it into the house; why lift an extra time to place upon the conveyer belt? Items that you should consider leaving where you have them are water bottle packs, watermelons, pumpkins, 12 pack sodas, heavy detergents, beer, and things of that nature. Of course there are always exceptions. Sometimes you decide at the last minute, after your cart is full of food that you want that water. When you’re checking out, you might have to move it in order to get to the items below it.
When unloading your cart onto the belt, keep in mind how you want everything bagged. Chances are your cart is already separated and you probably don’t even realize it. Most people tend to stop by the dairy department, for example, and take everything they need and usually place them in the same part of the cart, going to another department, etc. So unloading at the belt shouldn’t be that confusing. Start with the heavy items that do need bags, like soda, water bottles, and cans. If they are first on the belt, they’ll be first to go back into your cart after being bagged. They’ll line the bottom and then your lighter stuff can go on to top of them and not be squished. Keep refrigerated things together, soaps and cleaners together, produce together, etc. Trust me; you’ll be happier with how your items are being bagged.
A tip about the belt itself; it’s a conveyer belt which in essence is like a treadmill. It continuously rolls so that your items can be brought right to the cashier. What happens if you stand still on a treadmill? You roll. So do your groceries. With that in mind, don’t pile your items on top of each other. Many people tend to just throw all their items up on the belt which causes an avalanche when it begins to move. Their reasoning is that they want their share of the unloading process to be over and are careless of how they do it. This only results in things falling off, or falling onto a bag of chips. Rushing to unload isn’t going to get you home any faster, if anything it’s going to slow you down. Be patient, as the cashier scans items the belt will move and allowing more things to be added.
And finally, something else you should never put on the belt, small flat items. Greeting cards, magnets, some magazines, gift cards, etc., are thin enough to get sucked right down the belt, never to be seen again. Hold them until everything else is scanned or hand them to the cashier right away. Better safe than sorry. This applies to money and coupons as well; you don’t want to lose those.
With a little thought to the process, the trip to the grocery store needn’t be so stressful. Keep heavy stuff inside the cart, unload heaviest to lightest, and keep like things together. Remember not to put anything valuable upon the belt. When you get home, you’re going to find your food in much better shape.