Vancouver Pet Peeve

20 Jan

It costs a quarter to shop for groceries. I’m not a guy who likes to carry change in my pocket so every time I try to go shopping for groceries I forget the quarter I need to use a cart.
Which usually leads to me walking around the store carrying two baskets and kicking a third. When I finally do remember to bring a quarter, I’m keeping the cart. Because at 25 cents, them carts is priced to move.


P.S. For those of you compelled to tell me why stores do this, I know. You don’t have to post it in the comments section.

66 Responses to “Vancouver Pet Peeve”

  1. db January 20, 2012 at 11:51 am #

    and i supposed the dont take american quarters do they?

  2. Jeff January 20, 2012 at 11:55 am #

    You could even host a barbecue:

  3. Kanadka January 20, 2012 at 11:56 am #

    You definitely need a cart to hold your milk in a bag.

  4. niven January 20, 2012 at 11:59 am #

    wow, 25 cents canadian is like 12 cents american. that really is a good deal!!!

    • Erich January 21, 2012 at 5:27 pm #

      You might want to look at exchange rates, the US dollar has taken a huge dive in value and is now worth LESS than the Canadian dollar!

  5. Donna Siano January 20, 2012 at 11:59 am #

    So you are paying 25 cents to use their cart and when you return the cart you get your money back. We now have to pay 10 cents a paper bag if we forgot to bring our own.

    • Luca February 5, 2012 at 10:13 am #

      it’s like that at many places in LA. Mostly smaller ones.

      I got a couple of reusable bags and I actually put my groceries in them as I shop. That way I can weigh the bags to make sure they aren’t too heavy since I walk. The guys are TJs are awesome cause I am there pretty much every week. They will unpack one bag, ring it and repack it and then do the other so they don’t mess up the balance.

  6. Ranch January 20, 2012 at 12:02 pm #

    So if you are buying a small amount of groceries and use a hand basket you pay nothing extra. If you buy a large amount groceries you have to pay extra to use a cart. Seems backasswards to me. Ps love your new show.

  7. sharoneb January 20, 2012 at 12:03 pm #

    My solution to the problem is that I keep a quarter and a loonie in one of the hidden compartments in my car, or I tape it to the handle of one of my reusable cloth shopping bags. Those coins are always set aside for using the grocery carts, so I never have to carry around those tiny little baskets

  8. flight815down January 20, 2012 at 12:04 pm #

    LMAO! I’ve never heard of that before. Heck, yeah, take the cart home and reuse it.

    Hey, “Alcatraz” is da bomb! Loved it and was glued to the set and cannot wait to see what happens next.

  9. fredb January 20, 2012 at 12:07 pm #

    There are stores in St. Louis that do this. We usually leave a handful of change in the car.

  10. Jennifer D January 20, 2012 at 12:16 pm #

    I hear there’s a black market for shopping carts in Canada. Haven’t you ever seen Trailer Park Boys?

  11. Lex January 20, 2012 at 12:21 pm #

    Wait till you go to super store 😀 it costs a dollar!
    some people use tokens and leave them in their wallets.
    I find it simpler to leave 1.25$ in my cup holder.

  12. crankypants January 20, 2012 at 12:30 pm #

    lolz! ‘them carts is priced to move’ I forgot about this, actually. I think they started doing this where I used to live in NJ. But I never see it now.

  13. Sebastian January 20, 2012 at 12:45 pm #

    I gots myself one of them plastic chips in the size of a quarter, keep it in my wallet. Since I can’t pay for nottin with it, it stays there. And I always gots a quarter for them carts! Wahoo!

  14. ratmando January 20, 2012 at 12:52 pm #

    Picturing a seeing. eye. basket.

  15. Jenny January 20, 2012 at 12:57 pm #

    It’s like that here in Germany, too. They make metal or plastic coins for that so you don’t have to put actual money in the cart, but I keep losing those…

  16. Brandi January 20, 2012 at 1:22 pm #

    When we lived in Germany, my then 7 year old son would gather abandoned carts at any store we went to and collect the deutsche marks left in them. He made a decent income, for a 7 year old. (And all the carts were returned, so bonus for the stores!)

    As has been mentioned, get a plastic chip. It’s easier than kicking the baskets. 🙂

    • DonnaS January 26, 2012 at 12:25 am #

      They have those at Aldi’s as well. My youngest son also used to do that with the carts.

  17. Tyson Garst January 20, 2012 at 1:23 pm #

    I thought you would drag the third basket with your crotch loops 😉
    Next thing you know they will be putting a low-jack on carts ….

    • checkiev31 January 20, 2012 at 10:49 pm #

      I don’t know about lowjack, but they do make shopping carts with wheels that lock if you push them too far away from the store, usually before you reach the end of the parking lot.

  18. Tammie January 20, 2012 at 1:26 pm #

    I am glad that they don’t do that here!

  19. ixo January 20, 2012 at 1:27 pm #

    There are plastic chips that are attached to a keychain, google for “plastic cart chip keychain”.

  20. Debbie M. January 20, 2012 at 1:33 pm #

    Wow, I had completely forgotten about those. Back in the 90s a market in NY tried that idea and it didn’t last long if I remember correctly:)

  21. Cheryl January 20, 2012 at 1:37 pm #

    That is crazy! Don’t shop there…do they all do it? Just nuts! I would ride my bike with my bob trailer and go thru loading it with groceries….
    BTW, loved the show….like seeing and old friend again….take care.

    • Tara Buss January 21, 2012 at 1:45 pm #

      here in bc… all the grocery stores do this.. you put a quarter or a dollar in.. and when you put the cart back.. you get your change back.

  22. Jenn January 20, 2012 at 1:57 pm #

    Oh my, quarter carts exist in the U.S. too. The bums here make a living by trolling the parking lots, kindly offering to return your cart and keeping your quarter. They no longer ask for money. They just ask for carts!

    • Luca February 5, 2012 at 10:10 am #

      That doesn’t bother me one bit. If I had a car and was pushing my groceries out to it I’d happily let a homeless person have it to go get my dollar or whatever. Because he/she is doing something. Same with the guys that dig in the trash for cans. I can’t get mine to any place myself so when I hear the local guy outside I take the weeks bag to him.

      It’s the people that just sit on the street with a sign that bug me. Especially when they get rude if you walk by.

  23. Tiquismiquis January 20, 2012 at 2:11 pm #

    The practise to put a coin deposit for the carts, started , because, irresponsible,selfish, primitive people, took the carts home or left them around the parking lot ,and when a customer needed one, there was no one to be found, or they had crashed onto a car.

    Here in Calgary, we have to put a “looney” – One dollar coin- and the cart’s wheels lock if one tries to take the cart beyond the store’s parking lot..
    Paying for the bags is a sensible thing to do, we do not need more plastic ones, but people are too lazy to bring their own reusable ones,

    Forgetting to bring a coin for the cart, is like forgetting to bring money to pay the bus fare. No sympathy here!

  24. Sarah January 20, 2012 at 2:34 pm #

    I actually miss that about Vancouver – my folks didn’t drive, so we’d walk the cart home and then return it for the quarter later. In Montreal and Gatineau (where I am now), grocery stores have barriers so that you can’t talk your shopping carts much further than the store exit – some have high tech carts that will actually brake on you! It makes grocery shopping without a car much more difficult. Also when I lived in Vancouver and we moved house, my mum and I would get a shopping cart and every day after school we’d make treks with a cart full of kitchenware and random boxes of things between our old apartment and new house.

  25. electrictree January 20, 2012 at 2:52 pm #

    Some stores if you go to customer service and let them know you forgot change will just give you a quarter.

  26. Amber January 20, 2012 at 2:57 pm #

    Well, according to their sign, it should only cost a quarter of one cent to rent a cart. Next time you put in a quarter for a cart I would demand they provide you with 3/4 a penny as change.

    • Amber January 20, 2012 at 2:58 pm #

      ^24 cents and 3/4 a penny as change.

    • Jen January 20, 2012 at 3:04 pm #

      Ha – I have seen this exact sign 1000 times and never noticed that! One of my huge pet peeves…how can we expect kids to learn how to write stuff like this properly, when the signs all around them are WRONG??

  27. Jen January 20, 2012 at 3:03 pm #

    You can buy little fake coin things that come with a hook to attach them to your key ring. They usually cost $1 or $2, and the money goes to charity. I haven’t ever seen them at Save-On, but Safeway sometimes carries them, as does Superstore (for the evil $1 carts!). I’m one of those people who could never manage to keep change in my car for this, so I was forever having to beg random people in the parking lot or ask at customer service!

  28. leendadll January 20, 2012 at 3:27 pm #

    i had the same thought about price/cart. no point in going for that refund!

  29. Andrew January 20, 2012 at 4:18 pm #

    I can remember a local place having those. Ironically, they offered free quarter size tokens that attached to your keychain to use. Kinda made the whole system pointless.

    They didn’t last long.

    • dionnejl January 20, 2012 at 7:30 pm #

      The point of this system is, at least in Aldi’s case which is the only place I have personally encountered it, is to be able to keep their operation costs low… which in turn enables them to keep their product prices low. I personally am a fan of the idea. They’re not paying people to run around the parking lot and wrangle up carts that people are too lazy to bring back. By not having to hire extra people to do that extra task, they can pass along that savings to you. It’s not so much that they’re charging a quarter only to give you your quarter back. It’s a way of keeping the carts locked up and ensuring that if you want the luxury of USING their carts, you are agreeing to put them back. I think it’s a fantastic idea.

    • dionnejl January 20, 2012 at 7:33 pm #

      (Sorry, I realized I couldn’t edit my reply)

      In fact, having the non-currency token attached to your keychain is actually a BETTER way to go about it. Some people might not value their quarter so much and decide, “Oh fuck it, it’s just a quarter, I’m leaving my cart right here in the parking lot”. But you stick in that token that’s attached to your keys… it’s not so much an option anymore.

  30. Tori January 20, 2012 at 4:28 pm #

    Here in the US, the Aldi’s all have this system on their carts. We have a “cart quarter” in our ash tray for just such an occasion. However, sometimes you find someone who was too lazy to put their cart back, and then you can take it back and make 25 cents.

  31. Kristianna January 20, 2012 at 5:05 pm #

    That is a ridiculous attempt at creating a disincentive to steal carts or replace them to the corral. As you say, what cart-stealer would choose not to keep the cart for $0.25? Der.

    • Heidi January 20, 2012 at 9:18 pm #

      It might not deter a thief, but it does get people to put the carts back instead of leaving them rolling around the parking lot. Which I greatly appreciate since my car seems to be a loose cart magnet! 🙂

  32. Jackie Denney January 20, 2012 at 5:44 pm # for cracked my old ass up on that one..

  33. Jorge's Groupies January 20, 2012 at 7:56 pm #

    Jorge, first of all we really loved Alcatraz! You’re a hoot. We read somewhere that they want to try out those new shopping carts that have some kind of breaking mechanism that will stop the cart if it goes too far from the store. Anyway, many many years ago my friend and I used to hang out at the malls. The J. C. Penny’s decided to make money off of a very basic human need. They put lock boxes on the doors of the restroom and charged ten cents to use the facility. I put my ten cents in, finished my business, held the door for my friend, and a little old lady came in saying, “What now? Ten cents to go to the bathroom?” We held the door for her, too. She thanked us and said, “You know I’ll be damed if I’m gonna pay ten cents for a cup of coffee and ten cents to pee it out!” The store must have gotten several complaints because eventually the boxes were removed. I wonder if that’s unconstitutional? My friend and I were wondering what they did for the urinals? How the hell would you lock up a urinal
    anyway? Tell Beth and the pups “Hi.”

  34. Sarah January 21, 2012 at 3:27 am #

    Some stores in the UK do the same but here it is £1 which, according to google, is about 1 and a half Canadian dollars! But we do have quite a trolley (as we call them) stealing issue here, usually kids who then go and dump them in local ponds for a laugh.

    As well as paying more for our shopping receptacles we also have to wait longer for great new TV. No Alcatraz for us yet – boo!

  35. lostsailors January 21, 2012 at 4:13 am #

    Omg, being completely funemployed, I wouldn’t be able to afford a cart ever! I never have “real” cash on me. Though, come to think of it, I guess I am only just filling up baskets anyhow. Long live basket shopping! Haha.

  36. Julie January 21, 2012 at 5:46 am #

    We used to have those all over Ontario too.. In recent years they have seemed to disappear. Does this one give you the quarter back when your done? Ours did.

  37. MARTA(BcN) January 21, 2012 at 8:28 am #

    acuerdate de coger monedas cuando vayas a comprar jejej

  38. Jules January 21, 2012 at 11:02 am #

    Is it because you only carry hundred dollar bills in your wallet? Those probably don’t stuff well into the coin slot.

  39. Karen January 21, 2012 at 4:34 pm #

    Seriously???? What a way to make a few bucks.

  40. Melissa January 22, 2012 at 12:37 am #

    At Superstore and Extra Foods it’s $1!

  41. kathycookiedough January 22, 2012 at 6:43 am #

    You do realise it’s because of all the idiots who use the cart to walk their groceries all the way home, keep the cart then sell it for a nice profit? Every trip to the store.
    those things cost the stores ridiculous amounts of money- around $500 each . they are only making sure people bring it back to get their quarter back. On this other end of Canada (Nova Scotia), there are locks on the wheels so they can’t leave the parking lot.

  42. Julie January 22, 2012 at 4:03 pm #

    Here in the UK, we can get keyrings with a blob on the end, the size of a pound coin (our carts are more expensive). Like these: Do you not have anything simlar over there?

  43. Deb in Maine January 23, 2012 at 7:31 am #

    I never heard of this before. With my luck the cart would get stuck to the one in front of it and I still wouldn’t get a cart. 😀

  44. Anne McCandlish January 23, 2012 at 8:36 pm #

    I live in a tiny town in North Carolina and we have a grocery store that does the same thing! Aldi is the name of the store-I love it-great bargains for excellent foods!

  45. Jennifer January 24, 2012 at 9:31 am #

    The only store I’ve seen do this in the USA is the Aldi chain.

  46. James Hernandez January 28, 2012 at 11:08 am #


    Yah I know its annoying but the old Canadian grocery carts required a hockey puck instead.

  47. Becca January 29, 2012 at 6:49 pm #

    I think I actually love that idea! My worst pet peeve is people who don’t return their grocery carts, especially when the cart return is just a couple spaces away from their car but they’re still too lazy to put it away.

  48. Becca January 29, 2012 at 6:51 pm #

    Uh-oh, kathycookiedough didn’t read the P.S.!!!

  49. K. Bannerman January 30, 2012 at 4:35 pm #

    My husband and I shop at Superstore, which calls for $1 to borrow a cart, so we keep a loonie in the glovebox of the car. We have made a pact to not use it, and vigilantly police each other. (Want a coffee but don’t have any money? TOO BAD — don’t touch the grocery loonie! It is sacrosanct!) Whoever spends the loonie has to carry the baskets, so there’s a lot of incentive to ignore it, even when I need caffeine. 🙂

  50. gaila15 January 31, 2012 at 9:14 am #

    There’s only one store that sells 5 gallon water. They don’t allow the carts out of the store at all. The bag boy will bring the water out for me. Of course I have to give him a 1.00 tip so the .25 seems like a good deal to me. 😛 Seriously, the cart thing would annoy me too…just like the airport.

  51. Bonnie February 2, 2012 at 6:43 am #

    My 7 year old LOVES these types of stores! If we go to one, he will wander around in the parking lot for an hour afterwards, grabbing all the carts and returning them so he can get the quarter back. Doesn’t matter if it is raining or the middle of a snowstorm. Me, I never remember to bring the quarter either.

  52. Jennifer B February 5, 2012 at 9:02 am #

    Thanks for your post, Jorge. I went to my first store ever that had these just days after reading your post. I felt so smart knowing what to do! Your blog is not only entertaining, but educational!!

  53. Dedjezter February 7, 2012 at 9:03 am #

    I live in New York and every super market in a 20 mile radius has this… I thought it was the standard these days… I didn’t know there were still free carts anywhere.

  54. Redscylla February 9, 2012 at 10:10 am #

    Maaaan. I never want to hear about how Canadians are more trusting again. Even in Florida, the Land of the Stolen Shopping Buggy, they don’t ask you to leave a deposit to do your grocery shopping.

  55. yu February 24, 2012 at 1:50 pm #

    It costs a loonie for the shopping carts at Superstore

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: