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Jun 22, 2011 07:41 PM

Could use some help choosing a Wheeled (Folding?) Grocery Cart. [moved from Not About Food]

I'd like to get in the habit of walking to the grocery store whenever weather allows. It's a little over a mile each way so I'll need a wheeled cart to carry things home. Anything I should look for in a cart? Sounds like a silly question but I'm thinking that some are easier to push or pull than others, some might not have long enough handles, etc. (I'm tallish.) No budget for a Cadillac of carts, though.

What do you like or dislike about yours?

If you can point me to or away from certain models/features, I'll be grateful.


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  1. lose the question mark - folding is a necessity as it makes storing it (and schlepping it when empty) much easier.

    you'll also want one that comes with a removable water-resistant and/or washable liner.

    as for the handle issue, that's really a matter of personal preference. the cart i had - which i hated for many reasons and eventually tossed - had a single solid handle that ran across the top, and this seems to be the most common design. but if/when i buy another one, it will be a model that has 2 separate handles (one on either side) so that i can hang small bags over them if i need to.

    does that help?

    4 Replies
    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

      The bar-across is the most common design of grannycart that I've seen too. (They're everywhere!) But the way most people here deal with it is to a) buy those shopping bag hook things that go on the bar; or b) get a large carabiner or two that will do the trick (and is a simpler solution and less plastic than those hook things). As for the liner, why does one need that? Are you talking about the fabric carts like those silly ones at Whole Foods? I think the coated (?) metal ones are more durable and if you're using your own reuseable bags, then no need for a liner. Or am I missing something about this liner business?

      I have seen the adjustable height ones but I've never looked to purchase one so can't say where to go for that.

      1. re: LNG212

        the cart i had looked a lot like this one:

        that open grid design was a nightmare - if i ever wanted to put smaller or unbagged items in it they fell through (i used it for more than just grocery shopping), and since the bottom isn't solid, good luck setting canvas shopping bags in there without having the occasional item sag through, causing the bag to catch on the wheel. i ended up laying cardboard in it to solve that problem, but i would have preferred a complete lining because things sometimes poked through the sides as well.

        i have no idea what fabric carts you're talking about at WF (and i used to work there!), but i was thinking about something like this:

        or just getting a liner like this one for the grid-style cart:

        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

          The first link to the open type grannycart is what is most common here. I've never had one myself so haven't experienced what you have. That does sound like it makes the cart more trouble than it's worth. (I'm more of a backpack plus 2 shoulder bags type mostly because I find the carts too much trouble.)

          That fabric one (your second link) looks awesome. I've never seen one like that. It looks super sturdy too for sidewalks and general toughness in the city. The WF ones are a joke. First they are teeny tiny (they'd hold less than one bag of groceries). And they are so flimsy. I see them on display and I just laugh. And of course they are expensive to boot.

          Really good advice about the stuff slipping through the "cracks".

          1. re: LNG212

            yeah, i only held on to that cart for as long as i did for nostalgic reasons - Dad bought it for me at Zabar's when i moved into my first NYC apartment [MANY years ago] and it just felt so wrong to get rid of it!

            isn't that second one terrific? i don't *really* need it now that i'm back in LA and have to drive to the store to do my shopping, but i still want it :)

    2. If you can find an adjustable handle, that would be great. I'm always hunching over when pushing. And it's worse for DH who's about half a foot taller than me.

      1. Thanks for the good information, all. Ok, so I want folding, with 2 handles or retrofitted with bag hooks, and adjustable handles, or at least ones long enough for me.

        Re the liner, I was actually thinking it'd be nice to have an insulated one, or maybe just a very large insulated bag that would act as a liner and help keep foods cool on the way home.

        Thanks so much for your help, I'm excited about getting going!

        1. +1 on adjustable length handles--mine is just too short (and I'm not a giant, just 5'8"). Plus, check out the wheels--found that larger than usual wheels take better to curbs/steps. Didn't find the need for the liners, just take my reusable bags and they work just fine. The cart holds more than I expected and was a good buy. Bought it from Vermont Country Store.