Life in the college apartment has always been an interesting experience. You really learn to live on your own and this could be your first time away from family. Although the freedom is great, you now have many responsibilities like cooking, cleaning, and of course, even grocery shopping. You might not even have the best apartment location and on top of that, a far parking spot. In addition, you may also be living on the 3rd floor with NO elevator (like myself). Not necessarily the best conditions for grocery shopping.
Depending on the time of day, weather, community, mood, etc., it would be ideal to make it into the apartment with all groceries in as few trips as possible, and preferably in one. What you buy at the store is another determining factor and you can sometimes get carried away with it (when stressed, everything just seems to look so tasty). You walk into the store for one thing but when you come out? You might end up with way more than you have anticipated so that is going to be a lot of grocery bags to carry back to the apartment. I don’t know if it is a male thing but there seems to be a general tendency to take some pride in being able to carry all groceries home in ONE trip.
My Experience With Carrying Groceries
Of course, depending on what I buy and how much, the amount of items I carry will vary. On an easy day, I will have a bag of just snacks which is pretty light. I should be able to bring that into the apartment in one trip. However, if I happen to purchase pounds of meat for a burger cheat day, a sack of 10 lb potatoes, or have a case of water, then it’s a different story. To do so safely, it can take 2 or even up to 3 trips. BUT, as a guy and when that pride kicks in, I will REFUSE to do it in any more than one trip.
Some techniques I used to carry multiple grocery bags include:
- Sliding hand through the grocery bag loops to carry with my elbows, forearms, and wrists
- Using each finger to my advantage (lighter bags for the pinky, potentially 2 fingers for heavier bags)
- Holding larger objects with both hands (like a tray), stacking other items on top of it, and perhaps stabilizing it with my chin
- For heavier items (water bottle cases), I put it on my shoulder and stabilize with my head
- Keeping every item as close to body as possible to avoid strain and practicing good ergonomics (back straight, using more legs, etc)
Some Obstacles I Run Into
An issue that I run into often is not so much the lack in strength in being able to carry all the groceries. Rather, it is the design of the bag itself that limits me. When the bags are heavy enough, the straps of the bags tend to curl and tighten itself into a thin string. This puts a lot of pressure on the fingers and cuts off circulation. Additionally, since I have each of my fingers carry a bag, I must keep them flexed all the time until I reach my destination. If not careful and if I relax my finger, I can potentially dislocate my finger. Sometimes I wonder if the risk is worth the effort to make it in one trip. Eventually I came across this one tool…
A Tool That Can Help
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A tool that I recently discovered that can significantly help with the grocery carrying process is the Click & Carry bag carriers. You can clip your grocery bags together and then toss the carrier tool over your shoulder (just make sure you distribute the weight equally). The shoulder is one of my favorite areas to carry things. There is a strong support and it requires little effort.
What is great about this bag carrier tool is that it can hold up to 80 pounds and has a padded gel grip. That way, you won’t wake up with a bag strap bruise the next day. It also comes in a pair so that you can distribute the weight more equally on both shoulders and further reduce the likelihood of injury.
By using this tool, you can also free up your hands to do or carry other things as well (like opening your front door).
Alternative Use for Bag Carrier Tool
This tool can also be used by females. I could be wrong, but I imagine them to carry the most amount of items (at one time) when they go shopping at the mall especially during the holidays. This bag carrier tool would be ideal for them in that sense.
They can hook several bags of items on each end and place the device over their shoulders as well. If they happen to be shopping with their significant other (and if they are a true gentleman), they would help with carrying the items all while reducing their load with the tool.
As men, we may take pride in some of the most random things like carrying all groceries home in one trip. This can actually be healthy as it helps us appreciate the small things in life which is difficult to do these days with the demands of society. Perhaps it is not so healthy if the grocery carrying process ends up cutting off circulation in our hands and can potentially dislocate our fingers which will lead to possible injury.
Eventually though, as we learn to live on our own long enough, we just figured to be wiser by working smarter and not harder. This bag carrying tool is just one of those tools that will help lighten the load all while still allowing you to be able to enjoy that achievement of bringing all groceries in one trip. In fact, with this tool, you might even be able to carry MORE than you usually do! Best of luck with all your future efforts to continue carrying all groceries in one trip!
Did you enjoy this life hack on how to reduce the load in carrying groceries and make it in as little trips as possible? Please leave a comment below!