Have you ever watched shopping cart styles? Sometimes you can’t help it. The cute baby, while adorable, limits where items can be put. At other times, two screaming toddlers following a harried mother through the market make the mere idea of organizing anything ludicrous. However, I’ve found that the ideas below can be useful when they can be applied.
“Don’t squish my pie shells!” I have heard a certain relative say that for decades. If you prefer to buy pie shells rather than make them, this is an important issue. The frozen shells can crack if they aren’t handled correctly. A lot of things can be squished if care isn’t taken. Setting a 24 pack of water on a loaf of bread gives new meaning to the term “flat bread.”
For this reason, I divide my cart into five or six sections, depending on what I’m there for. Cases of beverages go on the rack beneath the cart. The cart is divided between produce, heavy stuff, light stuff and meat. Really light stuff goes in the seat of the cart.
Cold food and hot weather: This is more part of unloading the cart over loading it. I put all of the stuff that needs to stay cold together. The fact that they are already cold will help keep them viable until I get home. If you happen to have one or more insulated shopping bags, these are ideal for keeping them cold for longer periods of time.
On chicken: It is unwise to let chicken touch anything else in the cart when possible. As I get mine triple wrapped by the butcher, I put all of the meat/poultry/seafood in one section of the cart, with the chicken closest to the outside. Raw chicken can cause food poisoning even if it just leaks a bit onto the food.
Loading the bags: Organizing the cart isn’t a lot of help if you don’t take the items out in an organized fashion. It’s not really that hard if it’s already divided up. Put the heaviest items on the belt first and finish with the lightest. That keeps the heavy food at the bottom of the cart and avoids flattened bread and broken pie crusts. You will also win points with the checker and courtesy clerk as they are trained to do that sorting.
The best part about having organized bags of groceries (after the “not squished” part) is that when you get home, putting them away is a lot easier. I can take all my frozen stuff in a bag to the freezer and the same with the produce. It may sound like too much work, but I’ve been doing this for a few years now and unless I had a cute grandbaby in the cart, I probably won’t go back to the old way.