Nothing is worse than going to the grocery store and then having to stand in line for a long time before you can pay and go home. Most grocery stores have a ton of checkout lines, but only a few are open at a time. Or maybe you shop on the weekend when all the lanes are open, but everyone else in town is at the store too. Here are some handy tips to help you choose the fastest checkout line so that you can get out of there in no time.
1. Age and Purchases Play a Role
Shopping experts say to give the shoppers already in line a once over before getting behind them. Elderly people are naturally a bit slower so you could be waiting longer behind them. Also, people who are buying a bunch of different items, rather than multiples of the same item, will take longer to ring up. A quick scan of the people and carts in front of you should help you decide if it's the checkout line for you.
2. Look for a Full Cart
It might sound like the last thing you want to do, but experts say that getting in line behind someone with a full cart can actually be faster. Each person has to get through the line, pay, load their purchases and then leave. If you get behind a bunch of people with only a few things, you have to wait through this process several times. On the other hand, if you wait behind one cart, even if it's full, you can slash some time on your wait.
3. Forget Lines with Obstructions
Studies find that lines that keep the cashier from seeing all of her customers drag much slower than straight lines. If the line goes around the corner or is impeded by a display, you probably want to find another one or you could be in for a long wait.
4. Find a Female Cashier
We women just get things done, right? Well, research shows that female cashiers tend to be faster and more efficient than their male counterparts. Our brains are wired differently so speed and organization are skills that women are pretty good at. If you can find a fellow girl checking out, you probably want to be in her lane.
5. Choose a Single Line with Lots of Cashiers
This type of line is called a serpentine line and it often goes a whole lot faster than a traditional checkout system. Everyone gets into one line and when a cashier opens up, the next person in line heads to that checkout. This helps speed everyone through, even if one customer is taking longer than everyone else.
6. Find an Express Lane
If you only have a few items, look for an express line. There is usually a limit to the number of items a person can buy in this line, which means most customers are going to have to get in a regular line, leaving you to sail through the express line and get home in no time at all.
7. Look for Lanes to the Left
Most people are right handed, so it feels natural to head to the checkout lanes on the right hand side of the store. If you head to the left, you might find lanes without any shoppers in them and you'll be on your way home while the others are still standing in line. Cool, huh?
What do you do while you wait in line at the grocery store? What other speedy tips can you add?