Whether you are a coupon clipper or not, you probably spend a bit of time at the grocery store each week. Between the runaway carts and juggling coupons, kids & grocery bags, it can be quite an experience. However, if we all follow a few rules of etiquette, grocery shopping will be a little better for everyone involved. Today, I spent some time teaching my youngest daughter some common courtesy and etiquette while grocery shopping. Now, I’d like to share a few tips with you!
Down the Aisles
To quote an old favorite, “…in America we drive on the right side of the road.” The same should hold true with shopping carts. Stay to the right, whenever possible, and we can all avoid playing chicken throughout the store. You should also keep your cart with you. Don’t abandon it to wander down the aisle in search of something else. Chances are the second you walk away, someone else will need the product you are blocking. On that note, be sure you aren’t blocking paths or trapping people when you stop to check a price, coupon or select a product.
At the Checkout
As a heavy coupon user, one of the things I always do is let those in line behind me know that I am not as close to finished as I appear. I tell people that I still have a stack of coupons to go through, in case they’d like to find a faster checkout lane. As a courtesy, I also place the dividing bar behind my grocery order as soon as everything is on the belt. This gives the next person in line an opportunity to start unloading their cart.
One very important thing everyone should do at the checkout is be ready to pay. You know you will have to pay for the groceries in your cart so have your money, credit card or checkbook out and prepared for the final total. You should also have your coupons organized before you ever arrive at the checkout. You’ll be able to hand them to the cashier at the appropriate time without the risk of missing a coupon & wasing your money.
In the Parking Lot
I’m not going to touch most of this because I truly believe road rage was invented in a parking lot. However, I have a few quick tips for those pesky loose carts. I know I’ll catch a lot of flack for saying this, but please return your cart to the corral! I know, I know—I’ve heard all the reasons this is impossible for you, but hear me out! It is definitely a challenge for some people, especially those with small children or disabilities, to walk their carts to a corral.
One easy thing to combat this issue is to park right next to a corral. Even if I will have a long walk, I park my car right beside the cart return—this way, it is a simple matter to park the cart before I take off. If it is a true impossibility for you, please tell your cashier that you would like help with your groceries. Even if the store does not advertise car service, they are happy to help upon request. A service employee will help you load your groceries and return the cart to the store for you!
I challenge you to focus on just one idea you aren’t already doing the next time you are grocery shopping. It will be a much more pleasant experience for you, and everyone around you. Bonus points if you leave extra coupons behind with the right products—I love a Coupon Fairy! (Just don’t ditch your expired coupons on the shelf. Send those to someone who can use them.) If you have tips of your own or think of something I missed, feel free to share them!