Debra asked, You mentioned "transaction #1, transaction #2," etc. Do you do multiple transactions with one visit to the store? I live out of town so it's sort of a 'trip' when I go shopping. I would like to take care of business with one stop but feel silly.
I understand your hesitation regarding multiple transactions. While most cashiers I've run into are very helpful, some really don't like to see customers do multiple transactions, use lots of coupons, or get amazing deals. I don't know the atmosphere of your store, but I'll tell you what has worked for me.
When I first began shopping at Walgreens, I took it slowly. I rarely did more than one transaction and I tried to keep it quite simple. My "mode of attack" was flying under the radar. As I got to know the store and the cashiers, I began to discover which cashiers are excited when I get great deals and which ones seem insulted--and I tend to avoid those that are unhappy about it.
One of the biggest helps to me is checking out at the beauty counter. I have found that almost all of those ladies are very helpful and knowledgeable--and I'm happy to be able to help them meet their sales quotas.
If I have several transactions, I will usually wait to check out until there isn't a line (I like to go when the store isn't busy anyway). If other customers come to check out, I try to let them go ahead of me when I'm between transactions.
If I'm doing more than two transactions, I'll generally ask the clerk if she's okay with several transactions. On the soap sale this week, for instance, I went when the store was slow, got my items, and found the beauty adviser, letting her know I was ready to check out. I specifically asked her if she minded me doing several transactions (I think I had about seven different ones), and she said it was fine.
I try to go out of my way to be gracious and friendly to the cashiers that help me in this way. I know my orders are more complicated and I want them to know I appreciate their time and helpfulness.
Particularly when I'm doing several transactions, I try to keep my payment simple. This week I took in quite a few coins, so that the cashier would have to worry about change as little as possible.
I ended up getting into discussion about couponing and deal-hunting with the beauty adviser, and she let me know some things I can do to help them. They are more than helpful, and I'm grateful to be able to return the favor.
Something that I have heard of others doing (particularly those without amazing beauty advisers) is doing one or two transactions at each checkout area in the store (cosmetics, front, photo, pharmacy). This isn't what works best in my situation, but it might be for yours.