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Cultivate good karma for shopping

I am a firm believer in shopping karma. The other day, I was picking out toothpaste at Target, and what did I see on the shelf between the Colgate and Crest?

A gallon of orange juice.

I know sometimes you pick something up and then decide you don’t want it. And sometimes that thing ends up in a different place than where you originally found it. I get it.

And things can get crazy, especially when you’re shopping with kids.

But that stuff needs to be refrigerated! If you’re not going to buy it, you can at least take it with you to the checkout and tell the clerk, “I’ve decided against buying this.” It’s not cool to just leave it out under the fluorescents to spoil.

Even if you don’t care about wasting perfectly good OJ – consider the effect it’s going to have on your karma.

Do you know what probably happened to the person who left that juice in the toothpaste aisle the next time they went shopping?

First, they probably circled the lot looking for a spot and ended up parking way out in East Jahunga. They probably got a cart with a bum wheel (and maybe something sticky on the handlebar), couldn’t find the right pants in their size and ended up in a long checkout line with the cashier pausing to change the register paper just before it was their turn.

When they came out, they probably found their car dinged by a shopping cart and got home to realize they accidentally bought diet root beer instead of regular.

Seriously, karma is a beast.

But there are ways to build up good shopping vibes – the kind that will assure you always get your hands on a doorbuster, that you’ll always remember your coupon and that you’ll always be in the position to “give a penny” instead of “take a penny.”

Bank enough of it and people will be straight up handing you Kohl’s cash. It has happened to me!

Here’s how:

• Have your money and coupons ready to go at the register. Don’t wait until everything is tallied and bagged to go digging through your wallet. People are waiting.

• Don’t grumble about a slow line.

• If someone gives you back too much change – correct it. An extra dollar or two is not worth selling your soul – or getting a cashier in trouble – over.

• Put your cart back in the corral!

• Don’t hide things hoping to come back for them later. Most retailers will be happy to put them on hold for you.

• If you have a huge cart full of items and someone behind you only has a couple, let that person go first.

• Don’t drop garbage on the floor or leave it in the cart or on the shelf.

• When trying on clothes, put them back on the hanger the right way. And, dear lord, leave your underwear on when you’re trying on swimsuits.

• When a new register opens up, the first person in line should be the next person in line at the other, closest register. You don’t get to skip from the last place in line to the first.

• Always be nice – to the cashiers, the stockers, the other shoppers. Actually, just be nice to everyone, everywhere.

email: Like me on Facebook at or follow me on Twitter, @DiscountDivaSam.