8 Tips to Make Shopping with Low Vision Less Challenging

Practical Tips To Make Shopping Experience Less Challenging
Figure out the price tag: shopping turned into a handicap for people with vision loss.

Most people dislike grocery shopping, but it is a necessity. We all need to eat. Grocery shopping is a routine task that we all must face. This task can be exceptionally challenging for those who deal with vision loss or blindness.

Some of the challenges include: finding transportation to and from the grocery, finding a sighted person to help you maneuver the aisles, read labels and price tags. Sometimes additional help is also needed to unpack and put those groceries away.

Although it is easier to pick up the phone and order a pizza, I have a few tips that can make your shopping experience less challenging.

  1. Make a list before you head to the market. If your vision allows, use a bold medium tip marker and bold lined paper for your list. You can also use Braille recorders or other digital recorders to accomplish this task. Many people now own a Smartphone which offers a built-in voice recorder and other applications that can make creating your shopping list easier.
  2. It is always a good idea to categorize the items on your list by department. This will be helpful to you as well as the others assisting you. It will save you time and frustration. Be sure to check sale ads when preparing your list. Many of the larger groceries such as Kroger, Market Basket, Walmart and others offer their sales advertisements online.
  3. Ask the customer service department for help. If you are shopping alone, you can ask the customer service department for help. Some stores may ask you to call ahead of time and some may have the staff available to assist you at anytime. Most often a member of the sales team will grab a cart and help you with your shopping.
  4. Handle your groceries. Although most sales people assisting you will tell you what each item is as they place it in the cart, it is also important to handle your groceries. This helps ensure that you purchase items that are suitable to your preferences and needs by allowing you to check the size and weight of the items. This is also a good time to use a hand held pocket or video magnifier to help you read labels and product information.
  5. Double check the items. When cashing out at the register it is useful to have the cashier tell you again what each item is as it is scanned. This confirms that you are purchasing the correct items and may keep you from forgetting an item on your list.
  6. Keep your money organized. If you separate your bills by denomination, you will be able to identify your money independently when paying the sales clerk. Using an adaptive wallet or adopting a bill folding system will make this task much easier. Always tell the cashier how much you are handing them and ask them to count your change back to you.
  7. Ask opinion of appearance stuffs. If you are shopping for clothing, furniture, decorative or other household items make arrangements to shop with someone whose judgment you are comfortable with. When shopping for clothing, have discussions with your friends and family regarding the latest fashion trends. Seek assistance from those who have similar tastes and know your personal preferences pertaining to color and style.
  8. Check the shoping service beforehand "Personal Shopper" services are now available at many of the larger department stores. These staff members will help you locate items, read labels and offer personalized assistance. There is not usually a charger for their services but you should check with the store beforehand. Other grocery shopping options include ordering your groceries over the phone or online. Ask your preferred grocery about these options. Some smaller stores may offer delivery but most of the larger stores do not.

With a little bit of planning your shopping excursions can become much more enjoyable. Now, write down your list and enjoy your shopping experience!

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