Frugal Friday: shopping tip

When I’m checking out at the grocery store I try to watch the price as each item is scanned. We all know that occasionally an item will ring up for the wrong price and it’s well worth the time to speak up. The extra 30 seconds at checkout might save 50 cents. Do the math: that’s $60/hour for speaking up.

But sometimes it’s just not practical to watch every item. I might be busy loading 2 carts full of groceries onto the conveyor belt as the clerk begins, or I might be wrangling little ones – I rarely shop alone, but I often don’t have all my big helpers with me.
And because I’m not alone and I probably have a lot of highly perishable groceries, I really don’t want to find the mistake after I’ve taken the kids and groceries out to the van.

So here’s my tip: As I load the groceries onto the conveyor belt, I try to group the items most likely to ring up wrong: clearance and sale items. By setting those items together on the conveyor belt, I know exactly when to give the prices my undivided attention and I find that I am very likely to catch all the mistakes this way.

This efficient use of all my available brain cells saves me both time and money…and brain cells – and we need all we can get, right?

For more frugal tips, go see Crystal’s Frugal Friday.


  1. Martha A. says:

    You know if you complain to the manager often about cashiers being nasty about stuff like that, it really helps!
    My mom always did this growing up and some of us were always embarrassed by it, but mom would ask the grocer if he would give her a deal if she bought alot of something and it was amazing thatmost of the time they did. Those .50 add up!
    It is also a test of my honesty as I have found errors in my favor and gone back to correct it and it can be a good witness!

  2. Headmistress, zookeeper says:

    I have quit buying stuff from the clearance section of one store, because the prices marked are NEVER the prices at the register and the clerks are always nasty about it. It just was too annoying to deal with.

    On a happier note, I have nominated you for a blog award:

  3. Great idea. Our local Krogers refund up to $5 so it is definitely worth my time. We get something free every week, usually cereal for some reason.

  4. rcsnickers says:

    Wish our area gave free items for prices rang up wrong!

    But I was going to add to what you said. I do put our groceries categorized on the conveyor belt… if only they would BAG my groceries the same way! That bugs me sometimes!


  5. mj jones says:

    Where I shop if it rings up wrong the item is free so when I get done paying I step aside and go over my receipt. If something is wrong I go get a full refund. nIt has happened to me about 5-6 times and is always worth taking the 2 minuted to check.

  6. Meredith says:

    Just wanted to remind people to check the store policy on mis-priced items. At my Kroger and Walmart, if the scanned price is incorrect, you get the item FREE (up to $2 at Walmart). You would have to pay, check out, and get your refund at the service desk afterward, though.

    This helps if you are too distracted by the pretty decorating magazines to watch the scanner closely.

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