Reusable shopping baskets
More and more, consumers are choosing reusable shopping baskets over paper and plastic bags. It’s an eco-friendly decision with a few other benefits to boot.
Simply put, reusable shopping baskets make it easier to pack and haul groceries. They’re structured and durable, not to mention they’re now a cost-effective investment. Over the past couple of years, some retailers have begun charging customers for single-use paper and plastic bags.
Ready to make the switch to reusable shopping baskets? Use tips from this buying guide to get started.
What do I need to know about reusable shopping baskets?
Reusable shopping baskets vs. reusable shopping bags
Reusable shopping baskets typically have a rigid structure featuring more than one hard side. Reusable shopping bags, on the other hand, are soft on all sides.
Because shopping baskets are structured, they’re more effective at preventing contents from getting crushed. Unfortunately, because reusable bags are somewhat amorphous, it’s easy to end up with damaged or jostled groceries.
Another difference between reusable baskets and bags is pricing. It’s relatively easy to snag half a dozen reusable shopping bags for less than $10. Many reusable shopping baskets, on the other hand, may cost $10 each.
Reusable shopping baskets have capacities comparable to traditional grocery baskets. In addition to a gallon of milk, you can fit a combination of cans, produce or baby products.
With that said, there’s no standard capacity for reusable baskets. Some consumers opt for smaller ones, stating they’re easier to carry. Others prefer jumbo tote baskets so they can haul groceries indoors or up a flight of stairs in fewer trips.
Reusable shopping baskets start at $7 for a single pop-up basket, though you can find sets with three baskets or more for less than $20. Sturdier or specialty baskets cost between $15-$35 apiece.
Types of reusable shopping baskets
If you’re not sure which type of reusable shopping basket you should buy, here’s a rundown of popular types:
Market baskets are modeled after grocery store baskets. They have a box-like design with one or two handles. They’re popular for small hauls, including those from farmer’s markets. However, because market baskets are well-made with intricate or structured designs, they tend to be expensive.
If you’re looking for a durable yet lightweight market basket, ADK Market Basket is a solid choice. It folds flat for storage and holds up to 30 pounds of groceries.
Another popular option is RSVP International Collapsible Market Basket, which has an aluminum frame. The handle is covered with soft foam rubber that is comfortable to hold in your hand or on your elbow.
Collapsible shopping baskets are considered a convenient option because they fold for easy storage.
Box totes are the most affordable type of collapsible baskets. Creative Green Life Heavy Duty Bags and Earthwise Collapsible Shopping Box Bags are sold in sets of three for less than $30. They’re ideal if you’re on a budget and want to invest in several reusable baskets.
Plastic collapsible baskets tend to be more expensive, though they often have longer lifespans than cloth baskets. They’re also easier to clean. CleverMadePlastic Grocery Baskets are made from dense polypropylene and hold up to 22 pounds.
Some consumers appreciate the easy portability of utility carts, also called personal shopping carts. They support greater weight capacities and may eliminate the need to use store shopping carts.
Winkeep Jumbo Shopping Cart is a traditional utility cart with an additional rear basket to hold smaller items. It holds up to 330 pounds and is easy to fold and open.
VersaCart Transit Utility Cart is a lightweight alternative to heavier, all-metal shopping carts. Instead, it has a folding steel frame with a polyblend canvas bag. It supports up to 120 pounds.
Insulated box totes
In addition to regular reusable shopping baskets, many consumers invest in insulated box totes, which effectively regulate the temperature of hot and cold foods.
Earthwise Reusable Insulated Nylon Tote, for example, has thermal insulation. It has a leak-proof PEVA lining and a water-resistant denier shell. The tote also has extra-long poly web straps for over-the-shoulder carrying.
Given their unique designs, trolley bags deserve an honorable mention. These two-in-one bags are hung on shopping carts in the store and are easily transferred into your vehicle when you leave.
Lotus Trolley Bags are one of the bestselling sets in this category. They’re designed to be compatible even with extra-wide shopping carts, plus the set comes with an insulated bag. Each bag holds up to 50 pounds worth of groceries.
Some traditionalists prefer the aesthetic of woven baskets. Besides having excellent curb appeal, many of these baskets are sustainably made and last through years of use.
The throwback design of the Vintiquewise Rectangular Basket remains a favorite among consumers. In addition to a waterproof coating, the basket has a pair of folding handles and a durable gingham lining.
Sian Babish is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.
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