Bagging groceries, or how not to bruise my bananas

This rant has been building up for years.  People just don’t know how to bag groceries any more.  Just as a note, don’t put canned goods on top of my bananas!!

I get all Peggy Hill when it comes to bagging groceries.  I know I can do it better.  I did my time working as a cashier in a grocery store.  My sentence lasted about a month when I was in high school.  But while I was incarcerated, I learned a thing or two about how to bag groceries.

Canned goods go on the bottom.  Boxed food goes together, either on top of the cans or in a different bag.  Definitely keep the cold foods with other cold foods and bag raw meats separately.  Fresh fruits and veggies should also be bagged either separately or on top of the cans/boxed food, as well as bread and eggs.

I have noticed that baggers will usually keep the bread and eggs apart from my other food, but since I use my own bags for groceries, I have to specify that the meat goes in a plastic bag.  Really?  Do you really think that I want that raw chicken juice to drip in my reusable bags and all over my groceries?

And don’t get me started on how my fresh fruit and veggies are treated.  It’s really sad that baggers don’t seem to understand that fruit and veggies can get bruised.  I really don’t want boxes or cans on top of my bananas.

I even go so far as to sort my groceries on the conveyor belt in such a way to help the baggers get things together.  Cold with cold, cans, boxed food, produce and meats last.  Still, there are times when I have to repack my bags to rescue some poor vegetables from beneath a mountain of cans.

Is it really that difficult?

I used to shop at a commissary.  LOVED shopping there, not only for the prices, but because the baggers knew what they were doing.  Maybe it was because they worked for tips only.  If they didn’t bag something properly, they wouldn’t get paid.  I’m thinking grocery stores should implement a similar plan.  Maybe then my groceries would get bagged correctly for a change.


15 thoughts on “Bagging groceries, or how not to bruise my bananas

  1. I’m also pretty big on pre-sorting the groceries before they even get to the cashier/bagger. So far it seems to be the best solution but you are right, many cashiers don’t even think about packing the groceries a certain way.

    • They really don’t and the sad thing is, some of the worse baggers I’ve had have been older people – I would think they know better from personal experience. Although occasionally, it’s a young high-schooler who does the best job. Funny…

  2. I presort or shop at Aldi where I can bag things myself. I remember when I was little we had baggers who got a tip when they did a good job–they even had bagging challenges like Starbucks barristas do now–who can bag the fastest and best. They took pride in their work and knew they wouldn’t get a tip if they didn’t do a decent job. I ALWAYS attempt to bag things myself now because it drives me nuts when they smoosh my fruits.

    • There’s an Aldi here but it isn’t close. I’ve thought about bagging myself, but really? It isn’t my “job” and they should do it right. Yeah, I know that sounds all high and mighty but I really don’t like it when people don’t take pride in their work. Also, if I’m going to do their job for them, maybe they should offer a discount. That’s one of the reasons why I don’t do the self-checkout thing. Anyway, I remember mom tipping baggers, too, when I was little, but not the contests. Maybe they should bring that back.

      Thanks for visiting, Heather, and for joining in my rant 🙂

    • I went to the store yesterday and AGAIN there were things bagged on top of my fruit! UGH! At least this time the bread wasn’t smashed. That is, until my 3 year old wanted to help carry a bag in.

  3. FINALLY! Someone puts it in writing – think maybe you could send this to all major grocery stores!?!? I get so frustrated spending time picking out produce just to watch the cashier toss it down the counter, where the bagger throws it on the bottom of the bag – REALLY??!!? You think peaches, tomatoes, etc. deserve that sort of treatment???

    • Hi Adrenalynn, thanks for visiting! I know I should be grateful and when things are particularly hectic with two kids in the store with me, I am grateful that bagging groceries is one more thing I don’t have to worry about, but unfortunately, more often, I’m more worried about the produce surviving the trip home.

  4. I have a two-fold approach on this:

    – I always take reusable shopping bags (that have nice, pleated bottoms so they stand up on their own) The reusable bags ensure that my groceries don’t get jammed into dozens of those dinky, shapeless, flimsy plastic bags that offer no protection and practically sever your fingers if you try to carry more than 2 bags at a time. And they have nice handles and hold 3-4 times more than their weak single-use counterpart, so they’re also much easier & less hassle to carry into the house.

    – I presort onto the conveyor belt the boxy, stackable, easy to bag stuff first, then fruits, veggies, eggs, and bread. And I often end up helping them to bag up my stuff (since using the cloth bags is slower for them) so I’m down there to keep ’em from carelessly damaging stuff.

    • Thanks for visiting, Rob.

      See, here’s the rub – I do take my own reusable cloth bags and I do presort my groceries and they STILL get it wrong. And here’s a new pet peeve that just presented itself at the last grocery store trip. Another employee offered (and didn’t listen when I said, “no thank you, I got it”) to unload my cart for me. My stuff was so jumbled on the belt it was crazy! I know they’re just trying to help, but sometimes it’s more trouble than help. Oh, then he ran over my toes as he “helped” me get the cart through the aisle.

      I just don’t have good luck at the store.

  5. If only people would sort their groceries on the conveyor like that, usually they are in such disaray that we have to have six bags spread out and open to add one item at a time to keep the bags organized. I do care how I bag my customers groceries, cuz I do alot of shopping for my family and have had bad experiences myself. Now that everyone brings their cloth bags, I have to say, WASH THEM once and awhile. They STINK!!!!! I really don’t want to touch your FILTH!!!

    • Thanks for visiting! I can’t remember if I put it in the post, but I do try and sort on the conveyor belt, at least how I would bag them (cold with cold; produce, eggs and bread last; boxes with boxes; cans with cans). I think that’s one of the reasons why I don’t like someone helping to unload my shopping cart. I know it makes the line move faster, but it doesn’t help the bagger any.

      I know that there are good baggers at the store where I shop, but half the time, they seem to be in someone else’s line. Thanks for the tip about washing my reusable bags! It never even occurred to me and I carry food in them! Ewww! They’ll be washed soon – promise!

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