Cart Wars: When Shopping Gets Ugly

If you are a veteran shopper, you know what I mean. There are certain days of the week, hours of the day and whole days in themselves that make getting the family groceries seem like a battle. Anytime on Friday, especially towards evening is a good example. So is Saturday morning.

Those times pale in comparison to the day before a holiday. If it’s Thanksgiving, Christmas or Easter, plan on it being a problem for several days prior to the Big Day. This makes preparation essential.

If necessity sends you to the market on any of these occasions, make sure you have a list and that you follow it. If you know the store well, try to order your list be aisle. That makes it easier to find what you’re looking for without a lot of backtracking. If you’re using coupons, set them up in that order as well.

Speaking of coupons, stuffed in your purse or stuck in a wallet (even if it has dividers) is not always the best plan. To be honest, a photo album works really well, especially if you set it up as mentioned above. The coupons may stick to the backing a bit, so place a piece of paper slightly larger than the coupon under it to prevent that from happening.

Don’t go to the store hungry. There are two reasons for that. One, naturally you’ll give in to temptation and deviate from the list. Also, it will make you more likely to react negatively to what’s going on around you. Getting frustrated or angry isn’t going to help much.

If you can, try to get to the market early. Before 10 a.m. is usually good, but before 9 might be better. The rush usually starts later in the day, particularly on Saturdays. People like to sleep in, and that is usually the only day you can.

Bring your sense of humor to the store with you. If you’re smiling, the people around you are likely to smile, and that will lighten the mood.

Before you leave home, plan on a bit of relaxation time before your next set of activities. Shopping is tiring, and you need a few minutes to relax and adjust your mood as needed. Knowing you have something to look forward to can make the entire event easier to handle.

Cart wars will probably always happen, particularly in well populated areas. However, you don’t have to be a victim. You can come out a winner, complete with everything you went in there to get.

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