Is the express lane the fastest at the checkout?

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By Patrick Jones, Buzz60

We've all experienced the dreaded long lines at the grocery store. Most of us have also experienced the internal debate of choosing between a line with less people who have more stuff in their grocery cart and a line with more people who have less stuff in their grocery cart.

The New York Times recently reported that although it may seem to be the obvious choice, the express line at a grocery store isn't so express after all.

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The NYTimes suggests avoiding the express lane because people tend to waste time with extraneous activity such as exchanging pleasantries, choosing types of bags and realizing that they need to get their wallet out. These factors can be expected to eat up about 41 seconds of extra time per person.

The NYTimes recommends queuing up behind someone with a full cart (allow a high school math teacher to explain) and going to the lane furthest to the left.

Another good tip is to take a look at what the person in front of you is purchasing. For example, if someone is buying several bottles of the same soda it will be easier for the cashier to process.

All of this is very important to keep in mind as you rush to get home and dig into whatever snack you just treated yourself to!

RELATED: 5 tricks grocery stores use to make you spend more

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5 tricks grocery stores use to make you spend more
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5 tricks grocery stores use to make you spend more
1. Staples are placed in the back

Necessities such as milk and eggs are always packed in the rear, so consumers have to walk through the entirety of the store even if they just want to pick up a few things.

Photo: Reuters

2. Flowers and bakery items are in the front

These fragrant and visually appealing products are deliberately placed in the front of the store to activate shoppers' salivary glands and makes them hungry, which leads them to buy more during their trip. These are also high margin departments, so grocers place them in the front when a shopper's cart is empty and they're more likely to add to it.

Photo: Getty

3. Fresh produce is near the front

These bright and aesthetic items excite the eye, prompting consumers to spend more.

Photo: Getty

4. Shelving is based on adult shopping habits and children's habits

Expensive and leading brands are at eye-level, and kid-friendly products like sugary cereals are typically at kids' eye-level.

Photo: Getty

5. Foods are paired together

Shoppers are much more likely to buy a complementing item if it's right next to it, such as chips and salsa, or bread and spreads.

Photo: Getty

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