Working as a cashier for a grocery store for two years taught me a lot about the store. Most people think of grocery shopping as a chore. With these tips, your next trip will be wildly successful and you'll know how to ball on a budget

1. We want you to have a happy grocery shopping experience

Gif courtesy of

We gain nothing if you're unhappy. Help us and we will help you. We are not your enemies.

2. Self-checkout is your friend

coffee, tea, cake
Allie Hicks

Most shoppers are afraid of self-checkout. Don't be. The attendant is there to help you. They are literally standing there waiting to be called on. If you don't feel comfortable using self-checkout they will literally do it for you! Just ask. It broke my heart to see a customer with three items wait in line at a register when he could have used self-checkout in under five minutes.

3. Respect the rules of Express

pizza, beer, coffee
Allie Hicks

Don't be that person who has 25 items. Don't be that person who abuses the Express lane. Don't be shady. Don't pretend you "didn't realize this was Express" or that you just realized you are over the limit. It slows down the process for everyone.

4. Avoid squishing your items

banana, vegetable, pasture
Allie Hicks

Put your crushables first or last on the belt. This will help keep all your items organized and prevent coming home with squished bananas.


5. Beware of the belts 

Allie Hicks

Belts are filthy. Meat leaks and customers put their trash on the belt. If your cashier has not cleaned the belt, kindly ask them to do a quick spritz.

6. Ask if you can get the generic brand at a lower price 

dairy product, tea
Caty Schnack

If your store is out of your favorite brand name item, ask the department manager if you can get the generic store brand at a lower price or for free. Store managers want to push the store brand. All you have to do is ask them. Tell them that "your favorite brand is out and that you're hesitant to buy a different brand." Even ask the cashier. My former store allowed us some authority to give discounts. But always go for the manager to sweeten the deal. Even try price matching products from competing stores. Some grocery stores will let you price match items.

7. Be on the lookout for sales

chocolate, candy, milk
Allie Hicks

Usually, at the end of the month and beginning of the month, new products arrive. Thus, the old products go on markdown. Typically, there is a markdown area in the store where you can find products for 50-75% off. If you really like a product, send the company an email. They may send you a manufacturer's coupon. Join the store’s point system. You will get a discount on store items. They will also send you coupons for stuff you actually buy. Do not refuse the point card. It's free and will save you money. 

8. It's okay if you forgot your card at home

tea, coffee
Faith Branch

Tell your cashier, they can use your phone number to activate the discount.

Shopping is fun. Saving is fun. Not making a cashier's life terrible is easy. Follow the rules and everyone wins.