The big Coop supermarket near our house has started this new program where you can basically scan your own groceries and save time at the check-out line. We first tested it out a few days ago when Zach and I went on a joint big grocery trip. I'd gone into another store in the mall to look for something else, and when I went to find Zach in the Coop he had a cart with a funky neon-green bag in it and this little hand-held scanner. He showed me how you scan each item as you put it in your cart, so then the check-out lady doesn't have to do it. Ok, cool, I thought, though really I wasn't sure I saw that big of an advantage to it and I was skeptical of how well the scanner itself would work.
Then we went to check out and I discovered the true genius of this new program. Zach handed the cashier the scanner, we paid, and then walked out... and the neon-green bag, which at the moment held all of our groceries (well, ok, and then some b/c the bag isn't that big) could go home with us. Meaning that, for the vast majority of our purchases, all we had to do was hoist the bag out of the cart and into the trunk of the car.
Meaning... no bagging.
Which is perhaps least-liked part of any shopping trip for me. I always feel clumsy and slow when bagging my own groceries, and if there's someone behind me well then I feel like I'm holding up the whole line. This way I don't even have to load them in and out of the cart, but even if I do have some extras that need to be bagged I can just keep old grocery bags (re-use!) in the car and not even bring them into the store, and transfer them into bags at a calm pace out at the car. Not to mention that there's only one big(ish) bag to haul inside when you get home, as opposed to a million little plastic bags.
This may not be the preferred way to do things for others, and maybe it's silly... but to me this is friggin' awesome.