Grocery Shopping

When you have vision problems, grocery shopping can become a daunting task due to difficulties in navigating the aisles and in reading the food labels or price tags on grocery products. There are several ways you can take control of the food you buy and eat—by purchasing a scanning device that will read product labels, using a magnifier or video magnifier to read the labels, or by working in partnership with a sighted shopping assistant at the grocery store.

Before going to the store, it is a good idea to have your list in two formats: one in print for the shopping assistant and one on a digital recorder, in braille, or in large print for yourself.

At the store, find the customer service counter and ask for a shopping assistant. If you live in a busy retail area, you may want to call ahead to arrange for the assistant.

When shopping, have the assistant hand you the product to place in the cart, so you know the size and packaging for that item. It is important to pick out fresh produce yourself for quality purposes.

You may want to prepare labels ahead of time to put them on the items as you are shopping. If you don't have labels, rubber bands can be used to identify certain items.

Have the assistant read cooking and baking instructions into a recorder, so you are able to prepare the item independently when you get home. You can also ask the assistant for expiration dates, nutrition label information, or ingredients.

When you are ready to pay for your groceries, have a means for identifying your money. A simple way to identify money is to fold each denomination differently.

Also, tell the clerk the amount of money you are handing him so that he understands that you are expecting change. Then ask the clerk to count change back to you, identifying each bill so that you can fold the bills properly as you put them into your wallet. Using a wallet with pockets for each denomination will help you keep track of your funds as well.

Count how many bags you have in the cart and make sure all of your bags get into your vehicle.

Be sure to thank the assistant for helping you! They are providing a great service and like to be appreciated for their efforts!

This tip was brought to you by Blind Industries & Services of Maryland.

Read Shopping Tips for more information about grocery shopping.

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