WHAT kind of shopper are you? You can learn a lot about individuals from the way they shop in supermarkets.

For instance, there are two main categories of shopper – those who arrive knowing exactly what they want – usually with a list in their hand – and those who come unprepared.

The best-prepared shoppers are usually the quickest. This is how they run their lives: well-organised, planning in advance, no surprises. These are not life’s most spontaneous people as they prefer to know what’s coming. However, they are often very reliable.

Then there are the unprepared. They rock up at the supermarket to see what takes their fancy. Whether they’re looking for something for their tea or to buy a gift or even food for the next few days, they like surprises.

They can be seen ambling around the different food sections with the kind of concentration that suggests they are looking for a connection with potential buys.

This is generally how they live their lives: without major planning, relishing the spontaneous, seeing what appeals to them. Life is one big surprise and they wait to be impressed.

From the two main categories of shopper come the sub-groups. The Rusher is usually armed with a hand-basket or trolley and already knows the layout of the store.

Their watch or phone is their friend as they constantly check the time to ensure they’re not wasting any. They tend to go for the brands they know, not bothering to employ valuable minutes reading the packets or tins about ones they don’t.

They probably only leave their trolley momentarily to get their goods, have a firm grip on the handle and a determined look in their eye. Other shoppers may feel like moving slightly to the side when they approach, for their own safety. Life for the Rusher is meant to be faced head-on.

The Dawdler is completely opposite. He or she will amble along the aisles, mostly unaware of other shoppers. He or she will stop to study something new or different, may read ingredients on packets and tins but will mostly look around, enjoying the atmosphere.

Their trolley is usually left in the middle of the aisle as they study the latest product advertised on TV or compare ingredients on soup tins.

Life is no rush for these laidback souls. They refuse to keep to schedules, please themselves about when they do most things and may resent deadlines set by areas like work or commitments.

However, they may take time with people and so have a reputation as “good listeners.”

Dawdlers may also come in pairs, especially if they are retired. If they fail to find all the items they need during this particular shopping trip, well, there’s always tomorrow and another supermarket visit. No point in getting stressed about it.

Don’t recognise yourself there? No problem. Shopping trips are still meant to be pleasurable if at all possible and we now treat retail visits as part of our leisure time. So enjoy!