Friday, October 10, 2014

5 Suggestions to make supermarkets less sucky by Lynn of The Nomad Mom Diary

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5 Suggestions to make supermarkets less sucky
by Lynn of The Nomad Mom Diary

I really love taking my kids to the grocery store with me, much the same way I love to have a root canal. Hands down, there is one part of the shopping experience that stands head and shoulders above the rest as the most miserable: checkout.
Just today, I spent more time waiting in the checkout line than I did in the entire rest of the store, and let me tell you, my kid appreciated it about as much as I did. While we stood there and cooled our heels for 20 minutes, I came up with a five solid ideas for the supermarket suggestion box.

#1: 12 Items or less vs. 2 or more kids
I’m all in favor of providing a quick exit pass for the people with a few items, but how about an equivalent for people shopping with more than one kid in tow? I’m envisioning something with a wheel-locking system so my kids can’t shove our cart into the back of the person in front of us, and ideally with a barrier system that would keep them from escaping out either end. Sure, I could watch them the entire time….but you might also want me to unload the cart, bag my groceries and pay too.

#2: Impulse buys
After numerous trials I’ve firmly established that my kids will beg for anything that is hanging in the impulse buy section. How about we move the AA batteries and pine tree air fresheners to the back of the store and stock the checkout area with some fruit and veggie snack packs? I’d happily pay an extra $5 to watch my kid eat a bag of apple slices for a change.

#3: Magazines
Unless I come down with a severe case of fake irritable bowel syndrome, the checkout stand is my only chance to read magazines. You and I both know that I am not going to buy them. So let’s just be honest and opt for a library-style set-up with one of those huge magazine sticks to keep me from stealing. The stick could be dual-purpose, helping me hold my place while using it to whack my kids back into line. And no, I don’t want anything self-helpy or thought-provoking. Save Time, Newsweek and Shape for another aisle. Stock me up with a copy of Us Weekly, In Touch and the Enquirer and I’ll be your most loyal customer EVER.

#4: The checker
Pay attention here, this part is the most crucial. The mommy & me checkout stand should be staffed AT ALL TIMES with your absolute top performer (put in a potty, hot plate and mini-fridge, anything so that they don’t have an excuse to leave). I want the cashier that knows every barcode by heart, can accurately estimate the weight of the head of lettuce I forgot to weigh and scan an overflowing cart of groceries in under a minute.

#5: Coupons
Last, but not least, are the paper coupons. Why on earth do I always leave the store trailed by 2 feet of register tape? It is 2014. If my cell phone can tell me what the fox says, why can’t those darned mini loyalty cards clogging up my keyring keep track of my weekly rebate? Either give me the $0.50 back or don’t, but for goodness sake, don’t make me keep track of another little bit of paper. My kids do that enough for me anyway.

What idea would you add to my list?

Lynn Morrison is a smart-ass American raising two prim princesses with her obnoxiously skinny Italian husband in Oxford, England. After a long day of struggling to remember to say “chap” instead of “y’all” or “dude,” Lynn likes nothing better than to curl up with a glass of wine and write thought-provoking essays on why sweatpants are the new black or why it is impossible to suck it in for eight hours. If you’ve ever hidden pizza boxes at the bottom of the trash or worn maternity pants when not pregnant, chances are you’ll like The Nomad Mom Diary.

You can also find her over on BLUNTmoms, on Facebook and on Twitter.

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