How Do You Choose a Checkout Line at the Grocery Store?

How Do You Choose a Checkout Line at the Grocery Store?

Sarah Rae Smith
Oct 15, 2009

Yesterday we pointed you to a great article on how to choose the fastest line at the supermarket, math-style. But we're curious: do you have any tricks and tips of your own to choosing the fastest line?

We weren't surprised to learn that the express lane might not always be your fastest bet! We have always thought that more people=longer wait, as opposed to more items. Dan Meyer from dy/dan gets into the mathematics of it all and has this to say:

"When you add one person to the line, you're adding 48 extra seconds to the line length (that's 'tender time' added to "other time") without even considering the items in her cart. Meanwhile, an extra item only costs you an extra 2.8 seconds. Therefore, you'd rather add 17 more items to the line than one extra person!"

How do you choose? Do you look for a line without children? Base your choice on the looks of the cashier? Look for the best magazines to browse in line? Or pick the line with the most attractive company (hubba hubaa!)? Let us know in the comments below!

Related: Money-Saving Tip: Shop at Multiple Grocery Stores

(Image: Flickr Member Specialkrb licensed for use by Creative Commons)

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