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Is there ever an okay excuse to abandon a shopping cart in the parking lot?


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Yes, there are valid reasons, but the other people judging you in the parking lot will never know them, unless you scream it across the parking lot aisle while they're glancing judgmentally at you. 

Or just do this: 

 

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51 minutes ago, MissLemon said:

My standard "new mom advice" is to always park near a cart return, even if it means one is in the furthest spot away from the store. No mental and physical gymnastics about how to get everything and everyone in the car AND put the cart away. 

Full disclosure: I have left a cart in the parking lot when I was in a bad mood. 

My biggest reason for wanting to park near the cart corral was so I could load the kids into the cart as soon as we got out of the car. They were so much easier to wrangle when contained by the cart. There was a point when I would have three kids in the cart and one or two holding onto the side. I'm not sure how I actually managed to fit any groceries in🤣 I think I would have the walking kids get out as their space got filled up.

I did always appreciate offers to be helped out to the car. That way I could push one cart full of kids and a store employee could push a second cart full of groceries.

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Maybe if you have 20 kids?  
 

When do we get the thread on how to find an affordable house for all 20 kids, and ... oh no, the details escape me now, what was the rest of that story?!?  It was 20 kids, wasn’t it?  Am I dreaming this up?  Anyone remember?

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I love putting the cart away, because it’s 45 seconds away from the kids I just wrangled through the store. I love that Covid has made me feel not guilty about leaving the kids in the car, because what kind of mother would I be if I exposed the kids to a horrible virus letting them out of the car?

I also love that Covid has given me a real reason to shop without the kids for the last seven months, so I’d probably walk to Timbuktu to return a cart and prolong my bimonthly vacations, I mean solo grocery trips.  Also, I had to take all four kids into the store a few weeks ago, and Oh My Lanta am I out of practice. Ten minutes in I was exhausted, only managed a quarter of the items on my list, and needed a hot date with Ben and Jerry at 10:00 am. I probably abandoned the cart, but I’m blocking the episode from my memory.

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11 hours ago, perky said:

Moonhawk has been the high point of this thread, but I did want to say from further upthread, that "buggy bay" is about the cutest term I've ever heard for a cart corral.  

I've never even heard the term "buggy bay" and find it hard to believe grown adults could say it without feeling abashed.  (I kid, I kid. 🙂  It is cute.)

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13 hours ago, MissLemon said:

My standard "new mom advice" is to always park near a cart return, even if it means one is in the furthest spot away from the store. No mental and physical gymnastics about how to get everything and everyone in the car AND put the cart away. 

Full disclosure: I have left a cart in the parking lot when I was in a bad mood. 

I always did this too, as much as I possibly could. I actually stopped shopping at a particular store because their parking lot layout and cart corrals were not organized in a way I liked. I don’t think I have ever completely abandoned a cart in the lot, but I have popped one onto a grass strip sometimes if I’m too very far from the corral. 

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I was around for this thread the first time!  I frequent two stores for groceries.  One does not allow carts out of the store so you have to hand carry everything, making the cart return issue moot.  The second has a great feature that I wish all stores had.  You can choose to wheel your cart out a special door that opens to an attended covered drive through area.  You leave your cart of groceries with the attendant, go get your car, drive into the area, and the attendant places your bags in your trunk and returns the cart for you.  I usually just haul my cart out and put the cart in a choral after unloading but I use the drive through during bad weather, when I had a small child, or whenever the snow depth/conditions makes pulling/pushing a cart to the car really difficult.  Sometimes they require patrons use the drive through as it is too difficult for staff to drag the carts back to the store through heavy snow.  

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I can’t remember ever abandoning a cart though I will admit to just making sure it is secure in the corral and not necessarily making sure it is perfectly nested neatly in with the others. Our stores are not that busy and there is only ever a couple carts in there. I would feel differently if it was a problem.  So I’m a bad person I am sure. My 17 yo grocery store cart boy sure thinks so. 

I would say diarrhea, vomiting, or creeper are good reasons. I don’t remember the kids being that big of a challenge even with a bunch of littles. I’m sure I just parked right next to it. Our stores aren’t that crowded.

I will say Publix was a challenge. They only just recently put the corrals in mid parking lot. Previously they had a return area at the front of the parking lot and that was it. I think they assumed their workers were taking most of the groceries out to the car and bringing the cart back. But- I don’t like the baggers pushing my groceries out. I’m perfectly capable and it feels silly and forces me to make small talk I might not be in the mood for. So, first I have to fight off the bagger insisting on walking my cart out, then I have to walk the cart all the way back to the store. What a pain. I know they were striving for good customer service but I’d really rather do it myself. LOL. 
 

My kid who works in the store totally gets it because they deal with damage from loose carts a lot. But I doubt most young people would realize what a big problem it really is.

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I have done it when I had 2 babies who couldn't walk.  They would scream in fear if I left them alone in the car to go return the cart.  I tried to park as close to the cart corral as possible, but sometimes you do what you need to do.

I deserve some kind of award for being able to grocery shop with 2 non-walking babies in the first place.

Not to mention the times with tots who could walk ... and touch ... who were also potty training ....

I always wonder why other moms say they miss those sweet days ....

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2 hours ago, skimomma said:

I was around for this thread the first time!  I frequent two stores for groceries.  One does not allow carts out of the store so you have to hand carry everything, making the cart return issue moot.  The second has a great feature that I wish all stores had.  You can choose to wheel your cart out a special door that opens to an attended covered drive through area.  You leave your cart of groceries with the attendant, go get your car, drive into the area, and the attendant places your bags in your trunk and returns the cart for you.  I usually just haul my cart out and put the cart in a choral after unloading but I use the drive through during bad weather, when I had a small child, or whenever the snow depth/conditions makes pulling/pushing a cart to the car really difficult.  Sometimes they require patrons use the drive through as it is too difficult for staff to drag the carts back to the store through heavy snow.  

Does anyone else remember grocery stores with conveyor belts that took your groceries outside?  You got a card with a number, and they put your bags in a big bin with a matching number and put it on the belt.  Then you got your car and drove up to the loading area, gave the worker there the number card and they loaded your groceries.  I hadn’t thought of that in years.

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Of course. It gets the employees outside in the fresh air so they can breathe mask-free for a few minutes. 

Others:

Screaming or sick child.

Torrential rain.

Creepy people in the parking lot. 

Feeling like I need to throw up.

Dinner in the oven that needs to be rescued before it burns.

Late to work or school

I can think of plenty!

Edited by ScoutTN
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11 hours ago, Quill said:

I always did this too, as much as I possibly could. I actually stopped shopping at a particular store because their parking lot layout and cart corrals were not organized in a way I liked. I don’t think I have ever completely abandoned a cart in the lot, but I have popped one onto a grass strip sometimes if I’m too very far from the corral. 

Yes, the time(s) I've abandoned a cart, I do try to put it on the grass strip or somewhere it won't smash into another car.  I'm not totally callous, lol!

Now I just always part near a cart return.  

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I’m kind of obsessive about carts. I’ve been mistaken for an employee while neatening up cart corrals, since it only takes 3 extra seconds to do it right and make room for plenty more carts.  But, yeah, I’ve abandoned a cart or two in my day, and make up for it whenever I can, lol.

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13 minutes ago, historically accurate said:

I, who always put my cart back, may have abandoned my cart on that day! Wow!

Actually, I would try harder to return carts in wind like that because they can injure someone or something in those winds. If I saw an older person or someone who needed help though, I'd offer to take it for them.

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14 hours ago, vmsurbat1 said:

I've never even heard the term "buggy bay" and find it hard to believe grown adults could say it without feeling abashed.  (I kid, I kid. 🙂  It is cute.)

Perhaps in the context of "Rubber baby buggy bumpers"? 😄

DH used to avoid parking next to cart corrals for fear of paint dings. Now that the minivan is 15 years old, and thanks to COVID I'm shopping alone, I snuggle right up to the corrals for ease and in the hopes that the occasional ding will remove some other mark that has been left on there over the years!

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59 minutes ago, frogger said:

Actually, I would try harder to return carts in wind like that because they can injure someone or something in those winds. If I saw an older person or someone who needed help though, I'd offer to take it for them.

I’ll never forget: once, I was putting my groceries in my car at Costco, hurry, hurry...big rain drops just starting to pelt down, when this adorable boy, maybe 8-10ish, runs over, says, “I’m a boy scout, ma’am!” Takes my cart to the return just as the skies opened in pouring rain. 

What a wonderful kid. 

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1 hour ago, Quill said:

I’ll never forget: once, I was putting my groceries in my car at Costco, hurry, hurry...big rain drops just starting to pelt down, when this adorable boy, maybe 8-10ish, runs over, says, “I’m a boy scout, ma’am!” Takes my cart to the return just as the skies opened in pouring rain. 

What a wonderful kid. 

Awwwwwwww.  

What a sweetheart!!!

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