Consumer Report – Singing the Shopping Blues, Going Shopping Can Be Humbug...

Consumer Report – Singing the Shopping Blues, Going Shopping Can Be Humbug Nowadays

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Photo of a Receipt

Kevin Kawamoto
Commentary, Special to The Hawai‘i Herald

Weekend mornings are my time to shop for groceries and household items. It used to be a relaxing activity. If you go early enough — and I’m talking about 6 a.m. or so — the roads are clear and there’s plenty of parking. Once in a while, you see people in the store who look like they’re just winding up their partying from the night before. Most of the people, though, are shopping, just like me. They don’t like driving in heavy traffic and are trying to avoid the crowds. Thank goodness, many stores these days are open 24 hours or they open for business at 6 a.m. for early risers. That’s definitely a convenience.

But that’s about where the convenience ends.

These days, it is becoming more humbug to go to the store or, at least, to some stores. Before leaving home, you have to remember to bring your membership card, your own reusable shopping bag and your coupons. The coupons could be from the store’s weekly ad in the newspaper, from the store kiosk (the machine that scans your membership card and then spits out a series of printed coupons like adding-machine paper) or from a multitude of other sources. Paying with a credit or debit card means that’s one more thing you have to manage at the checkout counter. You have to hand the cashier your reusable bag, whip out your membership card to be scanned, give the cashier all the coupons you plan to use, as well as start the process of swiping your debit or credit card, often with a line of people behind you who look impatient. Talk about multitasking!

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