Just 25 Cents

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A short time into our dating relationship, I learned one of my now husband’s biggest pet peeves.  Stopping at a local Meijers for some late night snacks, he cursed something about the laziness of Americans.  Not understanding, I asked about which element of laziness he was referring.  He responded, look at all the carts parked a few feet from a cart corral.  A few more steps and bingo, the cart would be home!

Since that day, I diligently make sure my cart gets parked back in its garage.  Even when venturing out with little ones in tow, the cart is driven home.  Sometimes that means carrying kids and groceries or leaving kids unattended for a moment, but the job gets done.

The Kalamazoo River meanders its way through our charming little city.  What is not so charming is when the water level is low and from varying vantage points throughout the town you can play I SPY Shopping Cart.  If only the town supermarket would have a quarter or dime “cart for hire” hub.  Imagine the possibilities.

Creek Shopping Cart

Creek Shopping Cart (Photo credit: stinkenroboter)

A year and a half ago we switched our primary grocery shopping to Aldi.  For a quarter, a cart is unlocked and enjoyed for the shopping excursion.  Most of the time, the cart is bone dry!  The carts are housed in a covered space attached to the building.  No wet, cold cart.  At the end of the shopping blitz, simply return the cart to the shed and voila, out comes your quarter!  Amazing, isn’t it?!

English: Kid's shopping cart, picture taken at...

English: Kid’s shopping cart, picture taken at a Wegman’s store in the U. S. Deutsch: Kinder-Einkaufswagen, fotografiert an einem Wegman’s-Supermarkt in den USA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Imagine if all  big chain stores started this?  I am sure there would be a cost savings, less damage to parked cars, and not to mention the pride in doing your part.  That quarter a cart, or in most stores a high school and college age student cart person, reflects back to more money from your pocketbook.   Sometimes as we head in, a person will ask if we need a cart.  A quarter is exchanged and I am on my way.  Other trips, a hand is put up, “keep it” is mouthed and I head in beaming in mutual respect.  I prefer to pay it forward, whether I received the cart for free or dutifully dished out a quarter, I pass it on.  A quarter a day keeps the frustration at bay.

What a difference a quarter could make.

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One response »

  1. Yes, we have the pay cart here in Malaysia in Carrefour, and always did in Latvia too. No parking issues, no random flying carts… The other Malaysian stores don’t have it, but I still find myself looking for the cart area and returning it to the right place. I had forgotten that the US doesn’t have this in most places. Just like you, I have been trained well. 🙂

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