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Will Grocery Stores Get Rid of the Self-Service Checkout Lanes? Plus Links

July 10, 2011 · 29 comments

in Life, Link Round Up

I read a funny thing this week.  The grocery chain Albertson’s is considering removing the self checkout lanes in their stores in an effort to provide the best shopping experience they can for their customers. I applaud Albertson’s for making this move.   So often, a company will invest in new techology and stick with it because of the amount of money spent or the plain refusal to admit a mistake. It is refreshing to see a company that is willing to rethink their operating model in order to provide better service.  I hope other stores (especially ones I frequent) follow suit so I don’t have to rant about how at night, the only lanes open where I shop are the self-checkout lanes, no matter how full my cart is.

Reading about self-checkout lanes reminded me of how grocery shopping has evolved since I was a kid.   I have fond memories of the entire family piling into the car to go to the grocery store on Thursday nights.  Back then, you could see the bucher cutting up meat through a giant panel of glass, and watch him send the package of meat down a belt to be placed on shelves.   (Not sure I miss seeing bloody meat.)  Every item in the store had a price sticker on it, and I don’t think there were any large price labels posted by anything except for sale items.  (Information like cost per ounce was not posted anywhere!)   Bar codes meant nothing at the checkout- the cashier had to speedily type in the price for each item, and the registers weren’t even electric at the time.   I would stare at how quickly those buttons could be pressed, and so accurately too!  I was so impressed with the skill of the cashiers that when I was eight years old, my goal was to be a cashier at Farmer Jack one day.

My dream was never to be realized though since technology removed the need for prices to be manually entered.  I am not saying we should ever go back to the days of the manual cash register.   Bar codes have sped up the checkout process immensely, and bar codes also aid in inventory control.   However, I do like that at least one supermarket chain is recognizing that entirely removing the human component might not be the right thing to do.

Now that I have shared my joy about the possible slow demise of the self checkout line, I would like to share some links from the past week you may enjoy!

101 Centavos has a great round up featuring garden photos from his fellow PF bloggers.  There are some great pictures in this post, along with some gardening information.

Barb Friedberg Personal Finance hosts a guest post from Invest It Wisely about how he tracks income, expenses, assets, and liabilities.   I think tracking all these items is so important so you can have realistic expectations for your future. If you don’t know how much you spend, you won’t be able to accurately forecast what you will be able to save for the future.

Broke Professionals has the most comprehensive compilation of posts about saving money that I have ever seen.   This is a great resource for saving money that should be bookmarked, especially since it is conveniently broken down by different saving categories such as dining out, fun, etc.

Budgeting In the Fun Stuff hosts a guest post from Ashley at Money Talks about how Ashley’s budgeting process has evolved over time, and seems to really have come full circle.

Financial Samurai has decided that Hawaii is indeed the best place on earth (especially for those entrepreneurs that can work from anywhere).  He also has big plans for February, 2018, although we will have to wait almost 7 years to find out what the plans are.  I have never been to Hawaii, but this post (and his guest post at Untemplater) sure make Hawaii sound like a wonderful place to be.

First Gen American wants to know if having a bigger house results in a bigger waistline.   I really enjoyed this post as it made me think, a lot.  The theory is, bigger house means more time spent on upkeep, which results in less time for leisure activities like bike riding and such.   I hadn’t really thought about it in those terms, but I do know where I lived growing up, there weren’t nearly the number of overweight kids as I see today. I grew up in a neighborhood of smaller bungalows that did not have air conditioning. Therefore, kids ran around and played outside instead of sitting in a stuffy house.   I now look around at my kids (and myself), and we stay inside if it is hot and humid out.   Overall, there are a lot of variables when it comes to weight, but I like First Gen’s thoughts on the subject.

Grumpy Rumblings of the Untenured share an ‘ode to coffee’.   Thought it needed to be shared since it is full of truths, and it aligns with my new love of coffee.

KrantCents shares the steps he has taken to reach where he is at today.  This is a fascinating post because KC has taken some risks, reaped a lot of rewards, and has enjoyed multiple careers through his life so far.

Little House In the Valley shares where she stands on her goals for 2011.   I think she is doing a great job, and I love that she is trying to ride her bike a certain number of miles for the year.   If I made a similar biking goal, it would have to be a low estimate given that I can never predict Michigan weather.

Money Reasons wonders if he isn’t being as cheap as he thinks he should be (or is).  I definitely have gone through phases where I am suddenly spending money on things I normally would not have because life was just so busy.

MoneyCone went and wrote the post I was hoping to write this year.   He went through and creatively reduced some of his fixed expenses by evaluating cell phone carriers, the need for a landline, and other areas of spending.   The good news is, he can still watch Star Trek, even without cable!

Retire By 40 is back at work and shared his June cash flow.   It is great when you emerge at the end of the month with an extra thousand dollars!!   (And RB40 wasn’t even back to work until July.)

Squirreler’s has a ‘gone wild’ post, and he is the squirrel!   As soon as I read the first sentence I thought ‘this squirrel is going to collect multiple starter cards!’  What do you think of his sandwich-punch-card plan?

Hope everyone had a fantastic weekend!


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