It has recently come to my attention

via observation and by stories contributed from friends, that there is a growing contingent of people who persist, insist (and should desist) in using the self-checkout line at the grocery store because they have no idea what they are doing.

Simple instructions for grocery store check out. Click To Tweet

Grocery store:

1. Do not go to the self-checkout line if you have a cart crammed full and are alone. It is rude to make the people wait behind you who have a half-full cart and a friend with them to scan and bag.

2. Do go to the self-checkout if you have a crammed full cart and have a friend with you. One bags, one scans. Husband and I have this process down to a science, and I have seen single parents with kids do it.

3. Do not use one hand to scan items while the other hand holds your keys, your purse, sunglasses or bankcard. Get real. Look at the line behind you.

4. Use two hands to scan items. One hand is constantly retrieving items from the cart, the other running them over the scanner and depositing them on the conveyor belt.

5. Be ready to pay. There is usually time to have your card/cash on hand while the person in front of you is checking out. Be ready. Don’t spend five minutes trying to find your wallet in the bag that is big enough for (me) to use for an overnight trip.

6. Produce. It’s a challenge for everyone, but know what it is you bought so that searching for it on the screen doesn’t take five minutes. It’s a categorical filing system: “Apples, Gala” will get you there, “Gala Apples” will not.

7.  When you’re ready to pay, using your bank card is most efficient. If you’re paying cash and the bill is $62.39, please don’t count out the .39. Be efficient and pop a dollar in. That change is what cool looking jars were made for saving it to.

8. While your receipt is printing, go to the bagging area and put the divider into the appropriate slots (did you know there is such a thing?), retrieve your receipt, and start bagging. This allows the person behind you to start their process without delay.

9. Note on self-scanners at hardware stores: You cannot self-scan possibly self-destructive items such as spray paint (apparently the machine thinks I may inhale it so it shirks the scanning responsibility onto a person. Little does it know how much damage I can actually do to myself with a large bag of potting soil.)


1. Do not go to the ATM with 10 checks to deposit (unless your bank lets you deposit them all at one time!) or 50 ones to input. Go inside the bank. The people in there are lonely and live for these events.

2. Do not do your online banking at the ATM. This means, don’t deposit ten checks, transfer funds three times, and retrieve cash. ATM transactions were meant to go fast.

3. You cannot deposit the coinage you saved in the jar into the ATM. Repeat: visit the people inside–don’t do the drive through either!

Because I know you don’t do these things, feel free to pass these instructions along to those you see struggle with self-checkouts and ATMs.


Read: Strong Women