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Making the Most of Home: When to use the self checkout

Ann Haney • Updated May 7, 2017 at 8:00 AM

We all like to get in and out of the store as quickly as possible. After all, our to-do list does not stop with the grocery store, does it? Have you ever wondered if the self checkout is really worth the effort, or could it be that the self checkout can really be a blessing for the busy couponer? 

In this column, I would like to break down the rules on when to use the self checkout and when it’s best not to. 

Use the self checkout when:

• You have products that will fit on the bagging rack. It’s when you have more products than will fit it will throw off the weight, and you will undoubtedly deal with a lot of beeping, and the recording stating, “a cashier has been notified to help you.” In summary, a lengthy wait will be in your future.

• You have simple coupons. By simple coupons, I mean a dollar-off amount. Do not use the self checkout if you have “buy one get one free coupons” or “free-item coupons” or “competitor coupons.” These type will generally require the help of a cashier.

• You don’t have a lot of large products. For example, you don’t have a case of water or Cokes. These will not generally fit on the bagging station. However, if you decide to use the self checkout anyway, it will be necessary to tap on the “skip bagging” button on the screen so the weight is accurate on the scales.

• You are shopping a store where you hand the coupons to the cashier after scanning. Why you may be wondering? Many stores have a slot below the scanner where you can slip the coupons through after scanning, however, I have never had a good experience with this. The coupons tend to get stuck, thus causing the cashier to be called. I learned this the hard way. One day, I thought I would zip through the self checkout with my 30-plus coupons. Ha. It didn’t quite work that way. My first coupon got stuck, and the cashier kindly told me I would have to blow in the machine to get it to take my coupon. Needless to say I had to finish my transaction at this register and blow all 30-plus coupons into the machine. I finally let my children take over; they were much shorter. “Never again,” I thought to myself as I looked quite foolish checking out. 

The self checkout can really be a great blessing to the couponer in many ways though.

The couponer will:

• be able to take time, watching each scanned product to make sure it scans properly.

• be able to watch each coupon deduction for accuracy. 

• not have to worry about being rushed through for the next customer in line behind them.

• will clearly understand the screen as each product is entered.

• generally make it home with all of his or her groceries.

Unfortunately, the biggest disappointment of using the self checkout is you will not be able to share what a blessing couponing has been to you with the cashier and the bagger when they see your great savings. So with all that in mind, choose your line accordingly to accomplish the goal you have set for yourself – speedy checkout, savings sharing or learning the computer scanning system. Also, don’t forget to grab your Catalinas. The cashier won’t be there to hand them to you. 

I would encourage everyone to at least try the self checkout at some point to watch and learn how the computer reads each item and coupon when entered. This helps us understand our receipt and assures us a shopping experience on budget. The wise will seek to understand those things that affect their everyday life. 

“Also, it is not good for a person to be without knowledge…” Proverbs 19:2.

Ann Haney is a mother to six entrepreneurial-minded children, ordained minister, CEO of Aaron Publishing, founder of Ann Haney Ministries and Living In Abundance, nationwide motivational speaker, coupon specialist, empowerment coach and bestselling author of 20 published products, including her books, “Judgment Overruled,” “Exploding Into Successful Entrepreneurship,” “Single Steps In A Married World” and “Changing Your Life Through Couponing Financial Empowerment Series.” Ann Haney’s ministry vision is helping women know the root of their challenge and deliver them from the death grip it holds on their life by surfacing their inner beauty and confidence, helping young people discover their God-given purpose and pursue it with passion, helping men and women learn to use the resources available to them to overcome their circumstances, and helping those recovering from life’s choices and challenges receive second chances without condemnation. Contact Ann at ann@annhaney.com to schedule a speaking engagement, individual coaching or view her website for more information at annhaney.com.

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