A woman asking what the price tag on a shirt says and an employe is helping her.

Finding Ways to Shop With Vision Loss

I have a love/hate relationship with shopping. I love looking at all of the beautiful displays. I love partaking in retail therapy with my friends, and I love being a cheerleader in the dressing room when my friends are trying on outfits for special occasions. I am the friend who throws in a “YESSSSSS girl” at least once during each shopping adventure. I am the friend who convinces you to “treat-yourself-not-cheat-yourself”. I often experience the same excitement when I go grocery shopping with my friends. So many meal ideas come to mind, and in my head, I become a Chef Christine.

Shopping with a visual impairment

However, this excitement fades and disappears when I am shopping by myself, especially when I am looking for something in particular.  The “hate” part of the relationship is a combination of struggling to see the item labels, read aisle signs, and depending on the contrast the payment machines are harder to read.

Reducing shopping anxiety

Knowing this about myself I have put a few strategies in place to reduce anxiety:

  • I try my best to frequent the same stores because I am familiar with the layout
  • I make friends with the staff at my regular stores so that when I come in and have to look for something they feel more approachable and are a friendly and familiar face
  • I take advantage of online shopping more often

Benefits of online shopping

Technology and the growing ability to online shop have overall had a positive impact in assisting me with shopping woes.

  • In addition to not having to search for items in the store, when I online grocery shop I am able to clip the coupons digitally, eliminating the need to search through the circular
  • Shopping online also keeps me on track with my budget. When shopping in the store, I have a tendency to go in for milk and eggs and come out with four additional bags of items that were not on my list
  • Also, while I try my best to make a mental note, or go as far as writing a list online shopping allows me the opportunity to check the cabinet as I am ordering to see if I have specific items before I purchase duplicates
  • My favorite part of online shopping is that the groceries get delivered to my home. As I previously shared, I rely on public transportation. Online shopping with home delivery means that I do not have to carry them on the bus and I get to schedule when they arrive

Shopping with others or shopping online

Online shopping, in general, has literally been a game-changer for me. It saves me time, money, and is convenient. In addition, it allows me to reduce anxiety when shopping independently. For me, shopping is fun when it’s with more than one, if not it’s a bore and feels like a chore, but with online shopping not anymore…at least that’s the way eye see it.

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