Before you even leave the house, make sure you have remembered to take your environmentally friendly ‘reusable’ bags and chiller bags with you. If you like to have some things like BBQ chickens in a plastic bag, then put one of those in there too and recycle it. This can also be done with those smaller fruit and vegie bags. Take them back out of the crisper drawer and put them in your bag and ‘re-fill’ them in the produce section instead of bringing home new ones. Better still, use re-usable and washable netted drawstring bags, which are readily available and affordable!
Whether you decide to go to a checkout with an attendant or a self-serve checkout, you will find this method far quicker and easier!
While shopping try and group your shopping in the trolley. Heavy items like big bags of dog biscuits, kitty litter, bottles and cans in one area. Frozen and perishable items in another. Chemicals in another, packets in another, fragile or items that can get crushed like bread and eggs in another. And while you think this is being ‘over-organised’ it is actually how the check-out operator has to sort through your items as they ‘pack’ them. What you’re doing is help to speed up this process.
Once at the checkout – put your reusable bags onto the conveyor belt first so that the cashier can readily find what they need and pack them appropriately. They usually look for the cold and perishable goods first so get that chiller bag up front first. Then grouping ‘like with like’ is simple.
Group your heavy items first, such as bottles and cans and big bags of dog biscuits, next the cold or perishable stuff, then the following groups: large food packets; juice tetra packs; non-perishable items; cleaning stuff; you are getting the idea. Obviously leave the fragile stuff like eggs, squishy bags of bread, fruit & vege till last. Ensuring the heavier items are packed first makes sure that they go back into the bottom of the trolley en-route to the car, allowing bags containing more fragile items to be placed on top of the heavier ones.
You are not only helping your checkout operator by pre-sorting, but you are also ensuring that things don’t get broken or bruised and you get out a whole lot quicker, unless of course you unfortunately get stuck with the nightmare “price check on aisle 7” scenario ~ but that’s a whole other post!