European Living – The Shopping Cart

For me, chained together shopping carts took some getting use to.

I don’t know about you, but Wally-World didn’t make us put a coin in a slot to be able to use a buggy. Maybe they do in your area of America, but buggies were free where I came from.

Well, there really isn’t a charge for the cart unless you don’t return it to it’s rightful place. There, you can chain it back up and out pops your coin.

In Europe, our smallest paper money is a five. So we have coins in all varieties including a 50 cent piece, a 1 Euro and we even have a coin for 2 Euros.

Most buggies will accept a 50 cent coin. (= 72 American cents) But some only accept the 1 Euro coins (= $1.43) So if you choose to not return your buggy to it’s proper place, you’re throwing away that money. And the lucky guy after you will gain it!

(Just a few of the many coins we use. Even men carry change purses. )

However, most families here shop frequently, so they only have a few items in their buggy. They remove their sacks (which we pay 3 cents a piece for in most stores) and can leave their buggies in the receptacle on their way to their car. Eliminating the need to walk three isles over to return their cart.

Some business give out these nifty little things. Plastic money…….

Somehow, I had a hard time making sure I always had coins in my wallet for buggies. But with these little boogers that’s no longer a problem.

So what about you? Do they chain up the carts where you live?

  • thedomesticfringe

    They do in many places in and around NYC. Keeps the carts from being stolen.

  • Becka

    Well sure they don’t,
    (sounds like Ms Ann)lol

    I’m sorry you have to go through that.
    They need to pass out doc visit,passes with ours the way the swin flu is going around !!!!

  • Tracy

    When we lived in Jackson…about 12years ago…we lived down the street from a Save-A-Lot. There, the buggies were chained together. It took 50 cents to get the buggy out, but you got it back once you returned it safe and sound where it belonged.
    I always hated it, so I tried not to go there unless it was a quick trip….not to mention, I NEVER had 2 quarters!

  • Julia

    The Aldi’s that I used to shop at in Plattsburgh, NY needed a quarter to use their carts. But I don’t have to do that anywhere around where I live now.

  • liz

    They do that at Aldi stores here. I don’t like having to make sure I have change for a buggy either. Sometimes I don’t, then I’m really in a pickle. They also charge for bags there too. I hope Wal-Mart doesn’t catch on and start doing the same. =)

  • Starla

    That sounds like Aldis here in America. You use a quarter to get your cart you do get it back when you return it. And you also have to pay for your bags. My dad usually gets empty boxes through out the store and uses them. They don’t charge for the boxes.

  • Jen

    They don’t chain the carts up but they do charge for bags. And because jobs are a bit scarce here, there’s guys waiting outside the store, ready to take your cart for a tip.

  • Pilar

    My problem is that I never have change in my purse (or cash for that matter :)) and always forget until I get to the storu. Luckly my husband always keeps a coupek of .50 coins in the car. 🙂 Smart

    We still get the bags for free but now they are saying that are going to start charging .05 cents per bag to help people to remember to recicle by middle november, you know, enviroment….. 😉

  • Janice: AKA Nanny

    They do at Aldi, a German owned Grocery here in the US. There costs are much cheaper on some items, same on some and more on others. I have found my favorites there and it saves me several dollars. For example milk, it costs 2.88 at Wally World and 3.50 or more in other groceries. At Aldi, it is 1.49. I don’t mind using the coin to save. It does take some getting used to.

  • Dani Joy

    You know it! and I never have a fifty for them. I usually have to humbly tell customer service or something. I think I have even stooped to looking all over the ground or for a loose cart. And we have lived here 9 years! It was good when I had a little “booger” as you called it. Mine was a magnet key chain with a coin the size of a fifty. It was great. But the magnet broke and I lost the coin. Figures.

    You really had a dress like that green one? Cool. Had to ditch it when I got here though… too American. jeje. (so I was told)

    Are you hoping to get your photos from the STates? Maybe your mom or MIL could send them in one of your packages. Or on your first furlough. I so look forward to going to your house for a good stay and sip coffee looking at photo albums. Sounds too good to be true though.

    Well, I think I have totally written a post of my own. jejeje.
    Love ya girl!!!
    Now I am off to shred it! (the fat that is)

  • Dani Joy

    Great post by the way! What a great idea! Love how it explains the way it is so well. People just don´t know and they haven´t heard it from me. 😉

  • Anonymous

    Several of our stores here, like Save-A-Lot and Aldi’s, tend to use the same system at some of their locations. While I’ve never tried plastic money, I scoured the car on a few occasions in search of a quarter for the cart.


  • Mom

    Well by now everyone has told you about Aldi’s. Aldi’s is now in the store where Western Super Mkt was in Trussville. I have never been in there but some of the ladies at work go there. After I got home from your house I was in Walmart and was telling the check out girl about the buggy thing over there and I told her it wont be long before they start that here and make us by the bags too! I say they charge enough for the stuff we by.. they dont need to charge us for the bags!
    Love you

  • Tori

    Nope, Croatia doesn’t trust us with their carts either.
    Actually I think it’s a great idea. If I had a store in the states I’d do the same.
    Oh wait, do all 4 wheels on your carts turn also? Drives me crazy.

    you know what bothers me? It bothers me that I don’t notice all those neat things anymore. I need to look at Croatia with a fresh eye, but how? After 10 years it all becomes normal.

    Anyhow, loved this post.

  • perrinministries

    It’s like that in Germany… but the funny thing here is that all four wheels swivel. Our kids love it, but we think it’s a pain… esp. when you fill your cart like Americans typically do.

  • Nina in Portugal

    Yes ladies, all 4 wheels swivel on our buggies too.

    When I shop, I always fill the cart, and add a kid or two….and those buggy’s can sure get heavy.

    Every time I turn a corner I have to swing wide…apologizing to everyone in my way. Grunting the whole time tying to bring that cart back into submission!!

    Now that you’ve got a great mental picture….

    Who knew grocery shopping in Portugal would be such a workout!!

  • Dani Joy

    I totally can see you doing the shopping cart dance!! 😉 I use to do this dance until I got “saved” and started shopping at a smaller store. Now I heave all my groceries either in a small cart or in my arms.

    Grocery shopping is a huge workout. Mentally and physically!!!

    I felt the same as Tori. I feel badly that I don´t notice these abnormalties anymore. or that I don´t think of them as novel. Now when I got to the States it all feels so weird there.

  • The Herd

    Oh, do I hate the four swingin’ wheels…except, I have figured out that a few places have the Wally World kiddy car on the front…and that is not the crazy spinning wheels!

    We also have the lock up system some places—it keeps them from paying a buggy boy–and anything that saves a Russian money–they will do!!

  • Stonefox

    They lock them up here too, and I can’t tell you how often I get stuck carrying a few items- and having to finish shopping another time- because I forgot a coin! ARGH!

  • Jungle Mom

    Here in Paraguay they do not do that. Buggies are very small tho. The strangest thing for me was to learn that I cant take my buggie up to the cash register. I have to empty it out before reaching the register and leave it on the inside. No wonder they are small when you end up carrying it all.

  • Personalized Sketches and Sentiments

    None of the stores do that here in the Savannah area… but actually, this isn’t a bad idea! It is sad to see random shopping carts far from their stores…some take the carts to a bus stop and then just abandon them… or they are in some of the drain or run off ditches…

    It would get some getting used to…but after awhile, it would help keep carts from “straying”. :o)

    Blessings & Aloha!

  • God’s Been Good

    haha…I was going to say that a store called Aldi’s here does that, but I see that some others have beat me to it! haha

  • The Hat Chick

    There would be a riot in Little Town, Big State if they chained up carts OR charged for bags.

  • Ana

    That’s a great trick! I always end up putting real coins in there, and forgetting how to take them out. If only the £ coins were of similiar shape to the Euros!

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