1. Keep it organized
When you’re prepared for checkout, things go faster and smoother. Have coupons set aside and shopping list in hand. Also, check that prices ring up correctly and that all coupons get scanned.
2. Time of day
Going shopping at optimal times means less stress and, therefore, fewer mistakes and shorter lines. This may be early morning, late at night, or off days (usually the middle of the ad week). Try to avoid Saturday afternoons, Sundays (after churches get out), the day before holidays/events, or right after rush hour.
3. Multiple transaction courtesy
When doing several transactions and there are other customers, put one transaction on the conveyor belt at a time. When finished paying, get back in line to do the subsequent transactions.
4. “Pick Another Checkout Lane, Honey!”
If you know you’ll be a while, turn around and warn others in line. I usually say something along the lines of, “Just a heads up–I might take a long time, so another line might be faster.” Often, customers will thank you for the warning and switch over. Others may tell you they’re in no hurry but soon find out that you’re serious. And then they go in search of another line!
5. One line dilemma
When only one cashier has an open line and there’s no self checkout, the above isn’t really an option. Make the best of the situation by alerting those following you and, if you can, offer a few spare coupons for items they have in their cart. When you’ve finished, thank the cashier and customers for their patience.