Grocery Store Car Carts Are Torture, And This Is Why

by Kira Gilbertson
Originally Published: 
Little girl sitting in a grocery store car cart while boy drives her around
Floresco Productions / Getty

Grocery shopping with kids is stressful by itself. Trying to remember everything, stay on budget, and not lose my mind while wrangling small children in public is no easy feat. Then enter the level of hell that is the grocery car-cart.

On the surface, one would assume that the car cart is a fun distraction for children who have to be present during a shopping outing. In reality, these carts were designed to be a special form of psychological torture for the unfortunate parents who are forced to utilize them.

RELATED: These Shopping Cart Covers Keep Baby Comfy & Clean At The Grocery Store

The unethical experiment is impossible to escape. These carts are front and center when entering the grocery store. No parent wants to start the trip off with a dramatic argument with an unreasonable miniature self, so the car cart becomes unavoidable.

Once the kids are strapped in, you say a little prayer that everything will be okay. You know God hears your prayer, and you know he is getting a kick out of this. Typically elderly folks see the children in this contraption and make comments about levels of “fun” and “cute.” You force a smile because you know the hell you are about to endure.

These carts are impossible to maneuver. I cannot explain the amount of times I have rammed displays or fellow patrons. The cart itself is extended a full 2 extra feet, but significantly decreases the storage for groceries. Who thought that was a good idea? Now the cart is difficult to use and doesn’t hold your groceries. Fantastic.

Case and point, I am pushing one of those ridiculous car carts that some sadistic grocery store mogel thinks are fun to supply and watch parents struggle. I have my 4-year-old and 1-year-old strapped in and I am just trying to get through the store. I am running into things, using all my strength to make turns, juggling the groceries spilling out of the top, and dealing with the whiny kiddos.

My 1-year old is particularly over it. She wiggles out of the strap and gets herself free, all without my knowledge. She sees that I have stepped 3-feet away and decides she must take action before I abandon her completely. This results in an infant swan dive out of the driver’s seat of the car-cart.

Now, let me preface this with saying she was 100% fine. But her dramatic display, plus her pick me up sob drew a LOT of attention. People rushed to her and were astounded by my jaded reaction of “Well, that’s one way to do it.” The kid was fine and now I had to carry her while trying to drive the cart from the inner workings of hell. The rest of the shopping trip was cut short, as you can only imagine.

Basically what I am getting at is these car carts are likely an experiment orchestrated to push parents to their limit and discover at what point providing a family with sustenance just isn’t worth it anymore.

This article was originally published on