Bagging Groceries

Approaching the checkout lane with fervor, I clutch my reusable totes and prepare for the delight in bagging groceries. This weekly task never fails in its ability to cheer. Akin to folding laundry, the lines, angles, and shapes of the products make for an immensely satisfying experience.

Reusable grocery bags on a ledge

Speed Determination

First, I must size up the cashier’s speed. An especially fast clerk is a welcomed challenge and requires me to bring my A-game. Boxes, bags, vegetables, frozen items all must be aligned in an artful and optimal pattern while maintaining my speed so as not to overcrowd the counter. I’ve failed if the cashier offers help–especially if they must wait for me to pay while I haphazardly stuff the last items into the remaining sack.

Bag Arrangement

My strategy: have three bags ready at the onset. One for frozen (and I do suggest a large, insulated bag), and two for a mixture of lightweight and heavy items. This way, if too many items come down the conveyor that are unsuitable for a given bag, you don’t have to wait. Forgetting the totes at home is out of the question–paper bag assembly will cause an irrecoverable lag. And if double bagging is required, you might as well surrender right there.

Oft overlooked is the art of placing the items on the belt. Arranging frozen items together and balancing heavy with light can streamline the back-end. Organizing your cart in this manner while you shop–next-level.

Trunk Placement

The final piece in the process is trunk placement. Should you have a cat, consider placing the bags of litter as a buffer between the totes and the back of the trunk. This creates a barrier and prevents spillage.

I was rusty yesterday after a month-long hiatus due to Omicron. My bags were crooked, and my speed lagged. Help was offered, and the eggs and leeks went bagless. But next week is a new week.

What are your strategies for bagging groceries?

Need some reusable grocery totes? Here’s my new design:


Thanks for reading! If you liked this post on bagging groceries, you might enjoy this one on dinner dates in the grocery store parking lot.

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  1. It sounds like you have this down to a fine art! I don’t have a strategy beyond getting my bins and bags open and ready. Fridge stuff goes in a plastic bin, freezer stuff in an insulated bag, other items in the other bags with the heavy items on the bottom.

    1. This is a very organized strategy! I’m new to bagging groceries because the stores where I used to live would always pack the items for customers. Here we get the option to do it ourselves, and I just love it! Thanks for reading and commenting. 🙂

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