The shopping cart dilemma: Return it or Leave it


I have to keep talking about this right now, because apparently shopping cart issues is something we take very seriously in the East Valley. 

When taking over EVMB instagram, I shared my strong opinions about rogue shopping carts in parking lots, over instastories.  I have felt very passionate about this subject for many years.  It’s basically a pet peeve of mine. It shouldn’t bother me to see a rogue cart, but it does. Like ridiculously bothers me.

So why do rogue shopping carts bother me so much? 

I have been betrayed so many times, thinking that I’m going to get a great parking spot, and BAM, shopping cart! Shopping carts have a designated place for a reason, that reason is to keep parking spots open for cars. I know some may be confused by how close those two words are, cars…carts…see only one letter different, but a BIG difference. Carts are made to fit perfectly together in their special made cart home, a little oasis designated just for them. It’s the most exclusive club and your job is to lift the velvet rope and let them in. Easy right? 

Well, it must be hard by the amount carts I’ve seen pilling up right NEXT to cart areas.

Maybe i’m just a practical person, but I can’t understand why someone, after already making the effort to walk the cart to the cart area, wouldn’t put the cart all the way in.  What’s another 2 seconds, or 2 feet gonna do to your life? Think of the workers, think of people trying to park, think of anyone else besides yourself in that very moment when you’re making the decision to put the cart back. 

I understand there are some extenuating circumstances where shopping are difficult to put back…I get that. I do.


The Shopping Cart Dilemma


It seems the majority feel the same and always put their carts back, so why do we have so many strays!? I could talk talk about this for days. 

Can we all just please put shopping carts where they belong?  Lets make the world a better place, one happy shopping cart at a time. 

Do I get an AMEN or no you CRAY! 


  1. This whole thing cracks me up! 🙂 I’m a put-backer from waaaayy back, even when it’s 115 degrees, I’m hugely pregnant or there’s a crying kid in the car–put your cart back!! I think I adopted it as a youngin’ just as a matter of principal, to keep me honest–the whole “integrity is what you do when no one is watching” thing. I give people dirty looks when they’re obviously able-bodied, just lazy, and don’t put theirs back. COME ON.

  2. If I have my two-year-old with me and she is in the car alone, I leave the cart and I make no apologies about it. Until she came along, I always, always, ALWAYS returned the cart (and still do when I have another person with me); but, I refuse to leave my kiddo in the car alone even for 30 seconds. She’s way more important to me than what people think of me. The good news she is almost old enough to come with me to return the cart, so I will re-join the ranks of cart returners soon. 🙂

  3. My daughter is 14 months old and I *always* return the cart. We load up the car with her in the cart (you can usually squeeze a shopping cart between the two cars so they are not left out in the open behind the car), and then we bring the cart to the cart return together and then I carry her back to the car. I’ve been doing this with her since she was an infant in her car seat- even in the dead of winter (we live in a cold weather state). My thing is, I want to teach her to be responsible and respectful for her things- even ones she borrows. It’s not someone else’s job to put away the things she uses.

  4. bahhahaha I feel ya! I *always* take the cart back UNLESS there’s no stall to put the cart in the parking lot (looking at you Michaels!). I usually remote-start my car, put my kids in, lock the car and walk the few feet to put the cart in the stall. It’s not that hard – kids or no kids – and picking a parking spot closer to the shopping cart stall and instead of just proximity to the store, it’s also makes doing the right thing a little easiest =)

  5. I’m not leaving my 2,3 and 6 year old in the van to have someone call CPS and I’m not dragging their unfocused butts through a parking lot fraying in different directions for a third time just to return a cart. Safety first. If I’m not near the spot I def leave it “rogue”.

  6. I was always a cart returner, until one day at Whole Foods, my daughter unbuckled herself and I found her running through the parking lot, crying while looking for me. Now if I have the kids with me, and the cart stall isn’t right next to me, I leave it.

    On another note, Murphy’s Law always seems to mean that there are no carts to be found in the parking lot, when I have multiple littles and need a cart to put someone or something in (prior to entering store). :O

  7. Hi Erica, I totally agree with your points. Everytime when I finish shopping, I will put them back to the places where they belong to. Since I think we should’t create some inconvenience for others.


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