Pet Peeve #26: Vastly Underestimating the Number of Groceries

I probably do this on half my trips to the grocery store:

I walk in with my grocery list on my iPhone, ready for a quick jaunt through the store. I grab a basket, thinking I only have a few items to buy.

20 minutes later, I’m stumbling through the store with a 40-pound basket in one hand, a ream of toilet paper in the other, and some Party Timez cat food dangling from my mouth (unopened).

Seriously, this happens way more often than it should. I think maybe it stems from an article I read that claimed that something like 30% of all grocery store cart handles are smeared with a discernible amount of human feces. I’m not into that. I think some of that comes from babies riding in the cart (which is a total pet please–remember how awesome riding in the cart was when you were a kid?), and babies can’t fit into handheld baskets.

But really, I just need to acknowledge that I’m going to buy more than I expect, and dislocating my shoulder while dragging a basket across the floor simply isn’t worth it. I should just suck it up and deal with the cart handle poop.

Either that or get another roommate who will grocery shop for me. I’ll work on that.

17 thoughts on “Pet Peeve #26: Vastly Underestimating the Number of Groceries”

  1. I’m all too familiar with this issue. I’ve spent all too many a grocery trip walking around with a vastly overloaded hand basket trying to look like I can still easily carry the thing with a couple gallons of milk/juice/fine spirits, some awkward pizza boxes, and a handful of other products. As a general rule now, I won’t get the hand-held basket unless I absolutely know I’m not getting gallons of anything or large pizzas.

    I won’t stop smearing human feces on cart handles though (or on Party Timez cat food, for that matter).

    • That’s a good rule. The problem with my brain is that I usually don’t think to get juice/milk until I’m in that section, and then I think, “Oh, I’ll get some just in case.”

      That’s hilarious that you’re the cause of all the feces on the cart handles. At least I know that it’s quality Virginia feces! Our tobacco industry of old thrived on that feces!

  2. Maybe you should cary pocket sanitizing wipes? If your iphone has a protective cover, you can easily put an individually sealed packet (or two) inside the protective case and use it when you go shopping next time to wipe down the handle? I’ve seen people come through my line at work hiding a lot of things in their iphone cases. (Specifically credit/debit cards.)

    As far as the basket vs. cart debate goes, just go with the cart, you know you’re going to be tempted to get more! 😀 So many people come in and they always say, “I got more than I intended to!” and they either: A. Never have a basket and hold up the line by doing a marathon race going back and forth for more groceries or B. They bring up their basket, fully loaded with 24 bottles of wine, party size meatballs, two bunches of organic and non organic bananas and colossal olives stuffed with jalapenos…then instead of a marathon its a weight lifting contest.

    You’re right, just go with the cart. 🙂 (Unless of course you’re training for a marathon or weight lifting contest!)

  3. Do you have those mini-sized carts at your grocery store? They’re perfect when you have too much for a basket and too little for a big cart. 🙂

    • I’ll walk all over the store front looking for those mini baskets. They are the best grocery store invention.

      I hate those grocery carts that are cars for the ‘toddler’ to drive. They are super long and a road hazard. of course which is a bigger hazard – an extra long grocery cart or unhappy kids riding in a traditional cart? To any parent out there – Do these car/carts make your shopping trip easier?

      • I’ve only used them once or twice, but they seem to work for most people that I see. Traditional carts have the seatbelts you can use so that your kid can’t climb out, but I’m sure that some parents don’t use them. Right now I’m experiencing the fight to get my daughter in ANY kind of cart because she’s a “big girl” now and wants to walk. However, walking creates a hazard because she’s not paying attention and will run in front of other patron’s carts, or sometimes even my cart! Trader Joe’s has cute, kid-sized carts they can push around to help them feel like Mom and Dad, but I’ve seen a lot of unsuspecting people get rammed with those while the child laughs manically.

  4. I did this the other day, but I was even more clueless. I thought I only needed 1 or 2 items to complete dinner, so I didn’t even bother to get the handheld basket! Flash forward to 5 minutes later, and I’m trekking back to the front of the store because my arms are overflowing with groceries. I felt stupid but also very upset that there weren’t stacks of baskets at the end of ANY of the aisles throughout the store. Poor store planning on both parts!

  5. Bionic shoulders, Jamey. They are life changing. Or fight a hobo for a personal shopping cart. Because they all have a shopping cart and no one else does.


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