I call it the evolution of grocery shopping in America, and it's just taken another high-tech step in Grand Junction.

If you are old enough, you can remember what it was like when the cashier at the grocery store had to punch in the price of each item on the register when you checked out. Some cashiers really had a knack for it and would punch the buttons with lightning quick speed, while others just plodded along, one slow item at a time.

Then, of course, came the scanners, which accelerated the check out process tremendously and cut down on the amount of time we spend standing in line to check out.

Then, came self check out, which has been a tremendous improvement at the grocery store. You stop at the store for just a handful of items and rather than waiting in line behind somebody with a cart full of groceries and a stack of coupons, you  just head to self check-out, scan your items, bag them, and then pay.

Now, we have scan and go. You pick up a scanner and some bags when you walk in the door at the grocery store. As you shop, you scan each item, and place it in one of the bags provided. At the end of your shopping, you simply head to self-checkout, scan the barcode at the register with the scanner, and like magic, all the items you have purchased come up on the screen, and you are ready to pay.

Zane Mathews

At this point, your groceries are already bagged, so all you have to do is pay and get out the door.

It's a pretty cool concept, although while I'm not sure it speeds up your shopping experience, it does help you spend less time at check out. Another cool thing about scan and go is that it keeps a running total of how much you are spending. This is a great help, especially if you're shopping on a budget.

I'm not sure how many grocery stores in Grand Junction are using this new technology, but I discovered it at the City Market in Clifton. I also don't know if scan and go is here to stay or if it's being used on a trial basis. Do you suppose the day is coming when grocery shopping becomes completely self-service?

I was a bit skeptical at first, but after using scan and go a few times, I like it. It's easy to use and not as intimidating as you might think. However, I'm not sure how much I would enjoy it if I was buying a cart full of groceries. But, it's the latest in the evolution of grocery shopping. What's next?