Shopping, specifically carrier bags..

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Dude84

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Okay, I appreciate this is a fairly random and somewhat "You have far too much time on your hands" type question, but how do you pack your supermarket shopping (if you shop in such places, some people may not do so, granted)?

This question arose out of a discussion come argument between me and my flatmate recently; he used to work for Tesco (a British supermarket, see links below) and thus feels superior to me in this respect. I'm just going on experience.

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Personally, I group things into categories; Frozen foods, Chilled foods, Ambient foods, and amongst those, into groups, such as carbonated drinks, tinned items, etc, although I try to balance the weight across multiple bags (I don't drive, so this is important... walking leaning to one side is not good for your health!).

I also have some obsessions, i.e. keeping cleaning products entirely separate from food products (this may just appear to be common sense to some, but many people believe i'm just going OTT with it), having chilled packaged and deli counter meets double-wrapped (using those transparent wrappers they have for this purpose at the checkouts), etc.

This is not an environmental perspective, re: the use of plastic carrier bags (I generally use re-usable "Bag for life" type versions anyway), merely the actual packing process...

MarkFox

"Bag for life" concept: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bag_for_life
Tesco: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tesco
 
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Peachy

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Carrier bags cost money here (for those in the UK, shop at Aldi and you'll find that they charge you 3p for every bag), so I have to bring the appropriate amount of bags for my prespective shopping from home. That means I can't be too picky about how I package my stuff because I don't feel like lugging 10 bags to the store to sort products by category. I just stuff everything into a bag, making sure it doesn't get so heavy that the handles rip off. That (almost) happened two weeks ago when had bought three liters of beverages and a 1kg package of sugar and some other assorted stuff. That proved to be too heavy for the bag, so I had to carry it in my arms like a baby rather than just holding on to the handles.

Peachy
 
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I used to work as a checkout operator (for 4 weeks, gawd I hated that job!) and the company I worked for made us pack items into the bags a certain way.

Usually meats and deli items were kept separate, soft items like bread and eggs were always done last and put on the top, chemicals were kept away from foodstuffs, etc... just the general, obvious things that you really should be doing anyway.
 

Charlie

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Anything fragile is separate from anything heavy... and that's about it. I haven't really put much thought into it... Maybe trying to balance stuff right.

I think everyone ought to use those bags for life, or actual shopping bags, when shopping...
 

Kip

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I used to work as a checkout operator (for 4 weeks, gawd I hated that job!) and the company I worked for made us pack items into the bags a certain way.

Usually meats and deli items were kept separate, soft items like bread and eggs were always done last and put on the top, chemicals were kept away from foodstuffs, etc... just the general, obvious things that you really should be doing anyway.
I think our local grocery chain has the baggers pack the items in a certain way, but I'm not sure. I know that they do put the bread and eggs on top though. When I pack our groceries, I usually just make sure everything fits in a somewhat orderly manner. I don't really break everything down into catagories though.
 

Peachy

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*dreams* Baggers...our stores cannot afford such things. You have to do everything yourself here - they certainly won't hire someone to pack your stuff while you stand around there and watch when you can pack it yourself! Plus most people just wheel out the shopping cart to their car, dump the stuff into the trunk and leave.

Peachy
 

dogboy

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Gee Markfox,I wish I had you packing my bags here in Virginia. At our Krogers, they just throw things into the bags, though fragile things go on top. They will put soda bottles together, and sometimes frozen food together, if your lucky to get someone who either knows what they're doing, and cares.
 

Pojo

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Gee Markfox,I wish I had you packing my bags here in Virginia. At our Krogers, they just throw things into the bags, though fragile things go on top. They will put soda bottles together, and sometimes frozen food together, if your lucky to get someone who either knows what they're doing, and cares.

No clue what a Kroger's is...But up here, most people bag things roughly the same way
 
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Carrier bags cost money here (for those in the UK, shop at Aldi and you'll find that they charge you 3p for every bag), so I have to bring the appropriate amount of bags for my prespective shopping from home. That means I can't be too picky about how I package my stuff because I don't feel like lugging 10 bags to the store to sort products by category. I just stuff everything into a bag, making sure it doesn't get so heavy that the handles rip off. That (almost) happened two weeks ago when had bought three liters of beverages and a 1kg package of sugar and some other assorted stuff. That proved to be too heavy for the bag, so I had to carry it in my arms like a baby rather than just holding on to the handles.

Peachy

Is that whole paying for your bags at the store deal a common thing over in Europe(don't really pay attention to European grocery habits :p)? because we have an Ikea store(Swedish?(its European,I know that) furniture store) which has you pay for your bags at 5c per bag....
 

Peachy

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Is that whole paying for your bags at the store deal a common thing over in Europe(don't really pay attention to European grocery habits :p)? because we have an Ikea store(Swedish?(its European,I know that) furniture store) which has you pay for your bags at 5c per bag....
Not everywhere. They give them out for free (still) in the UK, but in Germany and the Netherlands you have to pay for them.

Bags cost money to produce, and our stores operate on a very thin profit margin (0.1% on average), so if they were to pay for your bag, they'd cut their profit in half.
It's always been that way, as far as I can remember. If our stores had ever given out bags for free, that practice would have been continued a long time ago when the ecological awareness became more and more common (i.e. abot 20 years ago).

Peachy
 

Charlie

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I think that soon all shops in the UK will make you pay for bags.
Marks and Spencer's recently(ish) had a month where they gave away free bags for life, and then after that (now) you have to pay for shopping bags there.
I think other shops will probably follow this soon...
 

Fire2box

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me and my dad shop at costco. They sell nearly everything by the case/bulk so the items are already in their own bags/cases. There is just no need for bags well shopping in Costco.

At shops where me and my dad do the bagging we just make sure nothing gets smashed and no bag is to heavy.
 

Kip

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My mom shops at Sam's Club(Similar to Costco). Just like Costco, everything is already is it's own bag or box, so there is no need for bags.
 

recovery

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Not everywhere. They give them out for free (still) in the UK, but in Germany and the Netherlands you have to pay for them.

Bags cost money to produce, and our stores operate on a very thin profit margin (0.1% on average), so if they were to pay for your bag, they'd cut their profit in half.
It's always been that way, as far as I can remember. If our stores had ever given out bags for free, that practice would have been continued a long time ago when the ecological awareness became more and more common (i.e. abot 20 years ago).

Peachy
I remember That those type of shops were to make the item as cheap as possible to the customer, by giving you the bare item. Correct me if I am wrong peachy, But when I lived in Germany for 8 years all the supermarkets there were just big cardboard boxes opened up on the side of the isle straight from the storage room. no one to unpack and put it on shelf, that costs money to hire some one to do that.

Not the best photo, but hopefully this will help me illustrate my point better.

Aldi - http://www.d-usa.info/uploads/aldi2.jpg - Just looks like the Netto we have at another town round here. Oh and those yellow price boards at the top always give me a sence of nostalgia!

Tesco - http://www.snackaday.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/01/tesco-trolley.jpg - Ignore the pastie, but I think thats old, they have slightly different colour schemes now...

But as for packing up the goods, I have spent numerous hours volunteering to bag back to raise funds for our local scout group.

At first, you think roughly how many bags you need depending on the number of items the customer is purchasing. And try to find the most effecient group of items to split, depending on the type of items bought. Not really that difficult, just your common sence. But I always split 'Smellies', health care and cleaning items seperate from anything else as well as hot meats from the deli counter.

But I group them as follows for really large purchases. E.G. a trolly load


  • Frozen
  • Fruit - Veg, May be seperate if needs to be split into two bags
  • Raw Meat (fridge)
  • Boxed food (e.g. Cereals) - (somtimes boxed fridge goes in here if its ideal to save bags)
  • Fridge, wet stuff (e.g Youghust, milk)
  • Bread
  • Cleaning stuff
  • Personal Care/Beauty
  • Office / Misc
  • Bottles/drinks (2l coke bottle Ect)
  • Cooked Meat
  • Hot Meat
I am sure to of missed something out. but you get the idea hopefully.

But When I do back backing I usually have to end up doing a simple lesson to the younger scouts that there is more to bag packing than just placing items in the bag. And work in the team! When I call for the vegtibles, You go for something else, If there isn't anything, Sit on your arse and wait. Only help if there is going to be more than one bag load of it.
 
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