Wednesday, October 26, 2011

What's in a shopping cart?

I love my local Stop and Shop for implementing the Scan It! system.  If you're not familiar with Stop and Shop or Scan It! (I'm not sure if other stores offer this convenience), here's the idea.  When you enter the store you can your shopper loyalty card and get a price scanner.  (You may also take shopping bags, or bring your own.)  As you go through the store shopping, you scan each item you are purchasing and immediately bag it.  Then, when you get to the checkout, you scan a bar code that's displayed there (you can go through the self checkout or to a cashier) and all the info from the price scanner appears in the check out. Then you proceed to pay as normal. 

I find this systems save me time because all my groceries are bagged by the time I check out and because I usually will go to the self checkout and the line is much shorter than waiting for a cashier.  I also think it's pretty cool that I don't have to keep a running tally in my head of how much I'm spending; the price scanner does that for me.  But really, the best part about this system, is that is saves me from embarassment!

Why should I be embarrassed at the grocery store?  Well, in case it hasn't been made clear in previous posts, I'm fairly neurotic.  With that comes a touch of paranoia and the sense that I'm always being judged.  By the time I was in college, and thus actually doing my own grocery shopping, the stores I frequented already had self checkouts.  I thought these were great because they saved time and I didn't have to go to a cashier who would judge my purchases.  But at my current store there's this super helpful guy who always bags my items when I use the self checkout.  I mean, that's pretty nice of him and I appreciate the gesture.  However, I'm fairly certain this guy thinks I'm a single woman with lots of cats and an eating disorder.  These are some typical orders that I think led him to that conclusion:

Crazy Cat Lady Order
- canned cat food, lots of it
- bag of dry cat food
- 1-2 tubs of cat litter (depending on if it was on sale)
- a few frozen dinners
- donut

Busy (or Lazy) Single Lady Order
- lots of frozen dinners and/or pizzas
- boxes of pasta
- jars of pasta sauce
- a donut or 2

The Clearly On Her Period Order
- tampons
- donuts
- lots of chocolate candy

Binge Eater's Order (the one I try to hide from the most)
- 2 frozen pizzas (usually because they're on sale)
- 2 or more donuts
- milk (to wash down the donuts, ironically it's usually skim milk)
- candy, chocolate 99% of the time
- potato chips or other snack

The Remorseful Order
- 5 Lean Cuisines or WW Smart Ones (because they're on sale 5/$10)
- fruit
- eggs
- possibly some chicken breasts and/or veggies

Contrary to how the above seems, I do buy and eat a lot of whole/natural foods.  But I do those in big batches, usually, and use Scan It to save time.  So Mr. JudgeyPants Nice Bagger doesn't see the those 'normal' orders.  Now I pretty much use Scan It even for small orders (as long as I get there before they shut it off at 9pm!), to avoid the completely irrational judging I created in mind.

I wonder what the recycle guys think when they pick up my cat food cans, cat litter tubs, and empty wine bottles?

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