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How to Pick a Line at the Supermarket



We have all been there. You go to the supermarket after work to grab a couple items for dinner, get in the express line expecting to be in and out of the grocery store in a few minutes - then something or someone slows you down. Maybe it's the old lady counting pennies, or someone writing a check. That's why we have put together the list of tips below to help you get in and out of the grocery store as quick as possible.


There has been a lot of study on line selection, and those researchers suggest choosing a checkout line to the left of the store. That is because since most people are right handed, they tend to choose a line to the right of the store. We can agree with that as the lines we see at the store tend to be less populated on the left.


Sexest researchers suggest that women are faster cashiers than their male counterparts. So choose a female to ahem, checkout.


Most stores offer a self checkout line - but these are only faster if they are working properly. If you are buying anything on sale, or something that requires an ID (like alcohol) then your going to have to wait for a cashier to come over and finish your checkout. For this reason we only choose the self checkout lanes if we have a couple of items and know that we don't need to apply coupons or show ID.


Our empirical evidence shows that you should avoid lines with moms and the elderly. Moms are watching every item as it rings and will stop the cashier mid swipe if they think something was priced wrong. Old people just take a little longer to do things. That's ok, but not if you're in a hurry.


Scan the lines and take a look at what people have in their baskets. If it looks like the baskets are overflowing, choose a different line.


What we notice most often is that the biggest source of supermarket distress is slow cashiers. That's why we have an outside the box approach at the supermarket: we choose the line with the cashier who looks the smartest. We notice that a lot of times the shortest line is short for a reason - everyone bailed on it because the cashier is having problems. We rarely have our approach fail when we choose the smartest, most competent looking cashier at the checkout.


How do you get in and out of the grocery store fast? Comment below and tell us.