Self Checkout

Grocery self checkout machines are everywhere.  They are easy to use, but can be intimidating if you haven’t tried one before.  For your first time, visit the grocery store at a non-busy time, for instance on a weekend morning or late at night.  That way you can take your time at the self checkout, and you won’t feel pressured by a line behind you.

Step up to the self checkout machine and scan your grocery card first.  Swipe it, barcode facing down, across the self checkout scanner.


Then swipe each item, barcode down, across the self checkout scanner.  The price will ring up on the screen.  It is important to place each item in the bag  (or on the conveyor belt, depending on your system) after you scan it, since the self checkout system has security checks that make sure the weight of the item you put in the bag matches what you scanned.


If you have produce, place it directly on the scanner, which also acts as a scale.  There will be an option to enter the produce code (often on a little sticker on the item).  Touch the numbers on the screen to key in the code.


If you don’t know the produce code, there is often an option to look up the item.  Pictures of produce show up, and you touch the screen for the matching item (rutabagas are on the scanner in the picture).


When you are done scanning items at self checkout, there is usually a choice for “Finish and Pay”.  You can pay with cash or with a card, following instructions on the screen.  Don’t forget to take your receipt and any catalina coupons.


Using coupons:  You can use coupons at self checkout, though the procedure varies depending on the store.  Some stores allow you to scan the coupon bar codes across the scanner yourself.  Then you place the coupons into a slot on the self checkout machine.  Other stores require an attendant to scan the coupons, and there is an option to notify the attendant that you have coupons.

Bringing your own bag:  Some self checkout systems have an on-screen option if you bring your own grocery shopping bag.  Other systems will report an error when you put your bag in the bagging area, since that area is weight-sensitive and the self checkout wasn’t expecting anything there.  It’s not a big deal - the attendant will just have to clear the error before you can continue.