Do you own a grocery cart? Can you recommend one?

No, I’m not talking about stealing one from the store! :slight_smile: I’m strongly considering buying a cart similar to this type. The thing is, I can’t drive, but until a few weeks ago I’ve lived in buildings that were either extraordinarily close to a bus stop or where the walk home was over terrain that was too rough to handle a cart.
My current place is about three-quarters of a mile from the bus stop I need to go to the grocery store. I’m able to carry a week’s worth groceries that far (and have been), but, especially with the heat we’ve been having lately, I keep thinking how a cart would be really, really nice. The walk is mostly sidewalks and concrete walk/bike paths, with only a couple (not very busy) streets to cross, so I think a cart would work out well.
So, Dopers, any advice? Are there are any brands I should look for or avoid? Do some have different features? All I’ve decided so far is that I want a folding one.
Thanks in advance!

My cousin lived in Belgium for six months a couple of years ago and she used something similar to that, except it was cloth and when folded up, looked like an attache case.

When I lived in NJ, I had a granny cart. I actually had two of them. They were so ubiquotous that you could by them for $10 at the dollar store. I used mine all the time.

But once I moved down to south Florida, I realized they aren’t very common in some areas. I still have the one I bought in NJ; if I needed a replacement, I’m not sure I would know where to go.

Oops…I take that back. Ace Hardware sells them, cuz when I lived in Atlanta that’s where I got mine.

There are two types: the kind with four wheels and the kind with two. I recommend the latter, since you end up tilting it back anyway when you pull/push it. Also, if it’s got four wheels it can roll away from you if you’re standing on an incline. And if you can, pick a cart that comes with a little hook on the front of it. This way, you can hang the cart on the front of the grocery store buggy. Sometimes I forgo the buggy and fill up the granny cart while I shop, but then people look at you funny. Like you’re stealing or something.

I use my granny cart for everything, from grocery shopping to hauling laundry. I wish my cart was a tad bigger, but I used to have a gigantic one that was kind of encumbering. Also, make sure you be careful when stowing away your cart. I had a cart (the one I got from Ace Hardware) that had been folded up for sometime, and when it was time to use it, I couldn’t get it unfolded. It had locked up on itself something awful and I never got it unjammed. I never had another cart that did that, though.

Happy shopping!

I have a cart. You can also find them in urban grocery stores (or at least some of them). Mine is the 2 wheel. the 4 wheel ones I’ve seen are larger. The main problem I find is that the openings on the sides and bottoms are pretty large. I’ve gone from the store 1 1/2 blocks away back to my apartment and lost stuff on the way. It might be possible to get some sort of netting or a cardboard insert to help. Bagging in paper would help also.


That’s my “car”–I use it for grocery-shopping and laundry. Those lightweight aluminum ones don’t last too long, though, esp. over rough terrain. Most hardware stores carry heavier ones (usually in red or blue metal, for some reason). Go with a heavier-weight model, four-wheel, folds up; they last longer and take more punishment.

Thanks to you all! A lot of helpful information. There’s an Ace Hardware near me, so I’ll probably look there over the weekend.

Heh. I’d actually wondered about using it while shopping, since I’ve never seen anyone do so. I imagined I’d feel odd in some vague way putting groceries in my own cart, but I’d also feel a little weird having the little cart and the store’s cart. I guess I’ll see what I end up doing!

As Eve mentioned, spend a little extra for a heavier-duty model; it will be well worth it if you have to haul it up and down the bus steps and you’ve bought a little more than you planned.

I’ve used both, just to get my groceries from the car to my apartment. I greatly prefer the four-wheel. They’re larger and sturdier (but a little heavier) than the two-wheel.

You can get a cart liner at Ace so you can use the cart to take your laundry to/from the laundry room.

I just have one question: What do you do with the cart while you’re in the store? Do you chain it up outside? Fold it up and put it under the regular shopping cart while you shop? Pay the wino loitering outside to watch it for you?

I always put the groceries directly into my cart. It’s the easiest way to be sure I don’t buy more than will fit. The only people who give me odd looks are children (‘That man has a funny cart.’). I’ve never gotten any trouble from staff.

I recommend four wheels. My last cart was a two wheeler and one of the wheels broke off on the way home. Three wheels is a lot easier to get home than one.

I put the little cart inside the big cart.

The two-wheel cart I have (and I recommend getting the four-wheel cart instead) has a hook on the back which allows it to be hung on the back of the store’s cart. I have been in some stores which have carts equipped with hooks from which personal carts can be hung.

Mine has a hook on it too. I prefer filling my groceries in the store’s carts because, as someone else mentioned, the granny cart tends to have big gaps in the bottom. It’s fine for carrying big stuff, but forget anything small and loose like cans.

I have one, but don’t use it too often. It’s not a good design, unfortunately and keeps sliding around when I get to the store.

Many years ago, though, I had a pretty good one. The big advantage was that it had a couple of hooks on it; you could hook it onto the store’s cart while you were shopping. Used that on all the time.

I’m stunned that people other than little old ladies actually admit to owning and using these things. Maybe it’s just a byproduct of living most of my lifein a rural area, but I can’t recall any non little old ladies using them. But then, in rural areas, a much higher percentage of people have cars, often out of neccesity, so it would make it a bad market for these types of things, I suppose. Are they quite common in more urban areas?