I spend a lot of time in grocery stores. It's not willingly, I'm just a young adult that's trying to make a living in this world. But, during my time in these stores, I'm being to notice a trend recently. This is a trend that people have taken to extremes. A trend that needs to be stopped. You may be asking, 'what is this so called trend, and why is it so bad?' Well, let me tell you. This trend is people not knowing how to properly shop in a grocery store. This trend is slowly destroying humanity as we know it and I've taken it upon myself to end it. The only thing I could think of to bring an end to this trend is to develop a step-by-step guide to help people discover the proper way to shop in grocery stores. With this guide, I'm hoping society finds a way to help end the trend, and to become better shoppers.
Step One: Go Over The Weekly Paper
By going over a store's weekly advertisement paper, you're able to get a basic understanding of the sales the store has that week. When going through the paper, you can begin to consider the items that you need and don't need, and which brand of the item to get based on the sales. Of course, stores almost always have other sales not listed in the paper, so keep an open mind to items you might add on later on.
Step Two: Create Your Shopping List
Shopping lists are great, they're a beautiful way to remind yourself what you need while shopping. Don't worry about spelling or anything, just focus on exactly what you need. Having a shopping list will decrease the amount of time in the store and ease the stress off of yourself for not remembering all of your needed items. No longer do you need to spend hours of times in stores! Of course, there's always going to be impulse buys, so don't get too mad at yourself for not following it. Also, to make your shopping trip even easier, make your list according to the way the aisles are stocked in the store.
Step Three: Go Through Coupons
Now that your shopping list is made, you can start to go through your coupons and see if you have any coupons for the items that you actually need. Going through your coupons after you've created your shopping lists stops you from buying items that aren't actually needed. Do you really need five cans of evaporated milk just because one is free? I don't think so. Therefore, only use coupons on items that you actually need. Also, don't forget to actually cut out your coupons while going through them. A cashier scans your coupon, that's all they have to do. Once they're cut, put the coupons nearby your payment method. Are you paying with a card? Wrap the coupon around your card. Are you paying with cash? Store them in the same place. A coupon is worthless if you forget it at home. So, be sure to remember them.
Step Four: Plan Your Trip, Do The Research
Before you begin to shop, you need to do some research and plan your trip. When does your store close, midnight, 11pm, or even 8pm? If you're not sure when, then you need to begin to research when it does. Either you can check out their website or even call them! After you found this out, you can begin to plan your shopping trip. You should base your arrival according to the size of your list. Is your list large? If so, I would leave at least three hours before the store closes. As your list gets smaller, you can leave closer to closing time. However, also keep in mind if you're okay with not getting all the items on your list. The more you want everything, the earlier you must leave. Now with all this in mind, you can begin to plan your trip.
Once all this is done, you can begin to shop...
Step Five: Shop Consciously
Grocery stores are mad houses, complete mad houses. Whether it be carts everywhere, little kids running around without parents, everything that's unimaginable and should not be condoned. With all this in mind, you must shop consciously. Watch where you park your cart, is it blocking an aisle? Push it to the side. Is your cart parked at the end of an aisle where no one can get in or out? Move it to the side. Keep your children within eye view, don't let them rush around. Also, while shopping keep an eye on the items you are grabbing for a sale, do they meet requirements? Are they the same size? Did you pick it up from the right spot? Does it belong there? All these are important to improve your shopping experience.
Step Six: Overview Your Order
Check your cart over, did you get everything on your list? Do you have your payment method (card and/or cash)? Do you have your coupons? If so, proceed to your check-out line. If not, go back and get everything missing. If your'e missing your payment method, alert a manger so they may hold your cart while you get your money. If you take too long, don't get upset when it is put back. Everyone has a job they must do.
Step Seven: Be Helpful
We're all in this together in the check-out line, if possible help your cashier as much as possible. Not only is it the human thing to do, it's also beneficial to not only them, but other customers. If you can, help bag up your order as it's scanned, be kind to them and the other customers. It makes the experience so much better. Also, don't hand them money once the money given is already put through the system. It adds too much pressure onto the cashier to attempt to figure out the change while wanting to move along the line. Help others, be kind, it's all simple human nature.
Step Eight: Leave Store, Check For Bags.
When leaving, ensure you have all your bags and belongings. Do you have your keys, phone, wallet, children? Did you get cash back, if yes, did you get it? Do you have the correct change? Cashiers are not perfect, it's okay to double count your change. If yes, then you're free to leave the store. When leaving, make sure you got all the bags out of your cart. Is there anything at the bottom that is left behind? Once you've left the store, you've finished your trip.
Congratulations, you've shopped correctly.
In conclusion, if you reached the end of this guide, I hope you think about it the next time you need to make a run to your local grocery store. Even if you just follow one step, we'll be putting a dent in the trend that's been running wild far too long in our stores. If you follow all the steps, that's even better. We can all help fight the trend together if we believe and come together as one. A proper shopper society.