Conquer the Pitfalls of the Checkout Line

Checkout line products are the stores’ last ditch effort to entice the consumer to spend a little extra on their way out. While most of these products are low in cost, they are not necessarily items that were on the initial purchasing list, or factored into your spending budget. Conquering the checkout line pitfalls is a way to keep your budget on track and do away with frivolous spending.


Tabloids, magazines and recipe guides are big ticket items in the checkout line. With eye catching headlines and intriguing photos, these magazines can be enticing to many consumers. However, it’s important to note that because of the advances in the Internet, it’s possible to get all this information for free online. Rather than paying for a frivolous magazine, keep it in your mind that the same information can be found online. Whether it’s a free recipe posting at or a simple Google search on a major tabloid headline, it’s relatively simple to get the same information and view scandalous photos via the Internet. Instead of purchasing frivolous magazines in the checkout line, simply remember the catchy headline and magazine source and Google it when you get home.


Candy is always the biggest temptress once you reach the checkout line. There will inevitably be a seemingly impossible deal to resist, like buy 1, get 1 free, or 50 percent off all candy. Although almost everyone has a sweet tooth that sometimes needs indulging, the checkout line has a huge markup on candy even with sales and promotional offers. A great way to avoid this pitfall is by purchasing a larger bag in the actual candy aisle. Larger bags with mini-sized portions of your favorite candy offer an abundance of pieces that quickly satisfy a sweet tooth for around the same price as full sized candy bar in the checkout line.

Candy in the checkout line can be a difficult procedure when there are kids involved. The best way to get around this pitfall is explaining to your kids before even entering the store. It’s surprising how much can be accomplished with a little foresight and extra guidance. This can actually prevent the tantrum that can come in the checkout line, especially if the child understands the consequences of their actions. Let your child know the rewards of not acting up in the checkout line and reinforce those rewards when you get home. This will improve their behavior for future checkout lines to come.

Bulk items

Many of the items offered in the checkout line can be purchased in bulk. Items like bottled water and batteries may seem necessary at the time of purchase but are hugely overpriced in relation to what they would cost if purchased at a big bulk store like Costco or Sam’s Club. A bottled water in the checkout line can be $1 – $3, while you are able to purchase a 35-bottle case of water at Costco for around $3. The same can be said about batteries, where wholesale stores offer large amounts of batteries for a fraction of the price if you were to buy them by individual packages via the checkout line. For those who frequently get thirsty in the checkout line, carry a case of bottled water in the car or bring a bottle of water with you to the store. This will deter you from frivolously spending money on bottled water at the checkout line.

When it comes to conquering checkout line pitfalls, there is more to it than simple self control and foresight. Sometimes the best deterrent is distraction. Try bringing your favorite electronic device with you in the checkout line, whether it’s your tablet, smartphone or eReader. Distract yourself from frivolous spending by catching up on a few pages of your current eBook or going over your to-do list for after you finish your store errand. These little tips will help to conquer checkout line pitfalls and keep you on your budget or diet.