By Jim Donovan

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — We’ve all been there; you decide to make a quick stop at the grocery store to pick up a few things — but when you get to the checkout line — you’re stuck waiting.

But there could be some ways to speed things up.

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Personal finance expert Shani Curry St. Vil says a little strategy can go a long way in getting you through the line faster.

The first tip: if you have just a few items, it might be faster to get in a line behind a fellow shopper with a full cart, rather than an express line with several shoppers.

“Maybe there are three, four, five of you standing in a line and all of you have five, six, eight items,” said Curry St. Vil, “then she’s having to stop, then you’re getting you debit card, and then you’re moving through, then you’re checking your receipt, then you’re bagging you.”

The day of the week and the time of day you shop can be important also.

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“Research shows that if you go on a Wednesday, you are going to fare a little bit better,” she said.

And head to the grocery store at dinner-time.

“You’re just going to find there’s less traffic because all the people you would be competing with are home,” said Curry St. Vil. It’s a great time to shop.”

She says you can also speed up the process by lining up your groceries for the cashier.

“You can turn all the barcodes turned toward the scanner so when the cashier gets ready to check you out she’s not flipping over your gravy or flipping over your rice,” said Curry St. Vil, “and that can give her the opportunity to move just a little bit faster.”

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And if you do get stuck in a long line, it’s usually not quite as bad as it seems. Researchers say people overestimate how long they actually wait by 36 percent.