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Self-Checkouts Better For Your Wallet and Waistline

Next time you're waiting in line at the supermarket, do yourself a favor and mosey over to the self-checkout instead. According to Consumer Reports, ringing up groceries yourself could save you calories — as well as cash.

Last month, the magazine reported that the unit price of Coke at the register was more than twice as expensive as Coke sold in the beverage aisle, illustrating the fact that items sold near the checkout tend to be more costly than their grocery aisle counterparts. Since self-checkouts mean more distractions, fewer snack options, and a shorter wait time, bagging your own food could also be better for your health. A 2007 study revealed impulse buys dropped more than 32 percent among women and 16 percent among men when shoppers rang up their own purchases. The same survey also suggested that women could lose up to 4.1 pounds — and men 3.1 pounds — yearly by eliminating impulse buys at the checkout altogether.

I've gone to the self-checkout in the past to purchase an item or two, but I must admit that I avoid it otherwise, since my impatient self can't handle it when the automated system gets stuck on a bar code or a bagged item. Nevertheless, these stats have me reconsidering self-bagging. Do you think there's truth to the claim?


Join The Conversation
xxstardust xxstardust 8 years
I love the self-check outl. It's fast, they have plenty of them so there are no lines, and I've never had it not work! About it taking away from jobs - when the cashiers at Pathmark learn to be nice and courteous and how to actually PACK A BAG, I'll worry about their jobs. They're often inattentive - just the other day I was there and because my cashier was so busy chatting with the girl working the next register, she scanned things twice. And not just one thing - it happened twice in one check out! Seriously, if you want to have a job, you need to provide adequate service.
NiceDriveway NiceDriveway 8 years
I actually think I get MORE fattening food when I go through self-check! For instance, if I'm running into the store for a quick thing, and decide to buy a pint of ice cream, I'd rather go through self-check than have the clerk think, "really? you want to eat that by yourself?" maybe it's just me, haha.
Soniabonya Soniabonya 8 years
I'm on the fence about self checkout. Sometimes I love it. Sometimes I hate it. I love to use it when the chasier lines are long or simply to avoid the irriatably slow or chatty cathy cashiers. Quit googling at the damn screaming baby in front of me and hurry with the womans stuff so you can get to mine! I also use self checkout to avoid the lines where people literally have MOUNTAINS of stuff on the belt. When I just want to pay for the 5 items in my basket, self checkout it is. Self checkout is annoying because sometime the line builds there too and people are just completely unaware of it. I have been cut in front of so many times, I am not afraid to voice it. I want to kick the machine when it tells me to "please wait for assistance" and to "put items in bagging area" and my favorite "unknown item in bagging area!". It's like a freaking RED ALERT everytime it does that. And when you actually have to wait for assistance, the chasier is busy helping other people and their schizophrenic machines. I suppose I can be a very angry grocery shopper. LOL. Oh well.
Liss1 Liss1 8 years
I love Stop and Shops scanner that you bring around the store with you. It is easy and make's checking out so much easier. I also love that i know exactly how much money i'm spending so i know if i'm spending too much money.
livyourlife livyourlife 8 years
I love self check-out because I like to pay attention to how much each item rings up. I'm working this summer as a cashier at Target, and from my standpoint, more people than not impulse buy at the checkout lanes. They'll just be standing there waiting for me to bag their stuff, while perusing the gum or candy bar options, and then throw in their favorite chocolate and a Coke. The store must make a killing off those little impulse buys!
Baby-Girl Baby-Girl 8 years
I rarely use the self-checkout at the grocery store for the main reason that there is always some impatient jerk behind you in line huffing, puffing and sighing because you're taking too long bagging your stuff. I told one guy to shut and help me bag if he had a problem. The store clerk laughed and he felt stupid. I goto the clerks and bag my own items into my shopping bags. It's so much easier, especially if there's a problem with the price of something.
clew001 clew001 8 years
i think self checkouts waste more time. maybe it's user error, but for some reason, "ERROR" always pops up onto the screen and a checkout person has to come help fix the problem.
Quills Quills 8 years
Self checkouts are horrible. You lose the interaction with the cashier and it's just kicking another person's job to the curb.
chiefdishwasher chiefdishwasher 8 years
Self check just another way of putting an American out of a job. I refuse to go to them.
opentypeA opentypeA 8 years
I do agree with this article, actually. I try to use self-checkout whenever I can so I can make sure my cold stays together or separate things going to different places, etc. Usually I end up deciding I don't need one or two things as I see how much it's coming out to be. It makes you more aware of what you're buying when you're actually doing the scanning.
medenginer medenginer 8 years
I nearly always do the self checkout unless I'm with my other half he prefers a cashier. He does shopping as a leisure activity which nerves me sometimes. I like to shop at break-neck speed and like the quicker checkout.
tlsgirl tlsgirl 8 years
LOL PinkUnicorn! I'm so glad I'm not the only one.
PinkUnicorn PinkUnicorn 8 years
I use self-checkout when all the lines at regular registers are crazy, and I do like it...when it works. Most the time, however, the stupid thing doesn't work and I end up embarassing myself since I talk back to it (i.e. stupid machine: please place items in the bagging area, me: THEY ARE IN THE FREAKING BAGGING AREA, SHUT UP!!!! stupid machine: please wait for assistance, me: NOOOOOOO I DON'T NEED ANY FREAKING ASSISTANCE, JUST LET ME SCAN THE NEXT ITEM). Yup, I argue with machines. *sigh*
fuzzles fuzzles 8 years
Not a fan at all of self-check. In fact, I refuse to use the option. I enjoy the interaction between the checkout clerk at the end of grocery shopping. To me, self-check is just another way that we are distancing ourselves from dealing with others. And then there is the fact that a job for a real person has been eliminated. I just don't see the benefits of this.
Spectra Spectra 8 years
I'm torn about how I feel about the self-check. On one hand, I like how I can choose what kind of bags I want and how I put everything in them, but I hate how every little thing throws it off. If you scan something that you don't want to bag, like a box of sodas or a bag of cat food, it makes you get the manager's approval. And if you have a bunch of produce, it takes a while to enter in all the right codes. I don't usually buy stuff from the displays by the cash register, so I don't really get how using these would make you thinner, but I suppose if you always get a candy bar or a soda while you're waiting in line, then this would be a good option for you.
laurelm laurelm 8 years
I love self checkout!
TidalWave TidalWave 8 years
I love self-check out but hate this article. Are we really that stupid/add that if we're idle for merely minutes, we find ourselves buying something?! Come on! This is absurd. Self-check out on the other hand, is alright. I don't understand most of the reasons already mentioned above because I always bag my own groceries when I go to a regular cashier. I, too, hate how they bag and they use too many bags so I just immediately start bagging it myself. Trust me, they don't mind. The only thing I really don't like about the self-check out is that I am too fast for the machine. So when I'm in a hurry, then thing is useless.
tlsgirl tlsgirl 8 years
I love the self checkout. The check out people at my store always use 8 million bags, and the lines are super long, but there's never anyone at self checkout and it goes so much faster.
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
i never thought about it like that but i'm really a fan of self-check out . my grocery store doesn't offer that but i'm a fan of it when i go to CVS or places that do have it.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 8 years
those self checkout things, great idea in concept, In reality? they are the biggest pain in the arse and not worth it to even go through anymore. I dont know how many times they go off from some unseen error, or you have to hear it say "please place items in bagging area" or it wont take your card, or it wont take cash, or it needs to be put down for a nap. Unless they tweak the darn things, I am still going through the regular line.
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