- A basket leaves less room for junk foods.
- You can feel the weight of your purchases in a basket.
- A cart may encourage dawdling.
Although picking a shopping cart may be the obvious choice, unless you need to push a kid around the supermarket or physically can’t lift a basket, a basket is almost always the better shopping choice.
Why choose a basket? It’s better for your budget and health, plus you may sneak in a little extra exercise lifting that plastic carrier full of fresh produce. INSIDER asked nutrition and shopping experts why a basket stands out as the better shopping choice, to help guide you next time you buy groceries.
A basket can be more budget-friendly.
“Grabbing a basket instead of a cart can be a simple, yet effective way to stick to your grocery list, and just buy what you need,” said Emily Cooper, RDN of sinfulnutrition.com. When you fill up your basket with essentials, there’s limited room for extra food, which should keep your grocery budget in check and help prevent you from buying in excess and wasting food at home.
A basket limits impulse buys and temptations.
“It’s all too easy to grab a giant cart and fill it up with extra items or impulse buys,” Cooper says. Limited space means less room to make bad choices. “When you get a shopping cart, there’s often a psychological need to fill it,” said James Nuttall, marketing specialist for Cuuver.com.
“This need purely comes from the fact that you need to justify opting for such a large carrier for your shopping. As a result, you start filling it with things you wouldn’t have picked up otherwise and which you probably don’t actually need.”
Nuttall compared a cart to online shopping, in which your digital “cart” can’t ever truly reach its full capacity and “you are more tempted by deals and offers on things that you’d have otherwise passed by; whether they are on offer or not, you aren’t saving money if you’re buying something you have no use for or wouldn’t normally purchase.”
This means spending more money on items you don’t really want.
Baskets get heavy quickly.
“Carrying around a heavy basket will encourage you to get to the checkout line even faster,” Cooper adds. Don’t feel like carrying that liter of soda? A cart may ease your not-so-healthy choices but with a basket, you truly feel the weight of your decisions. Instead of wandering aimlessly up and down each aisle, a full basket will signal that it’s time to head for the register and get home.
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