My friend and fellow blogger J recently posted about the perils of overweight grocery bags. As the primary grocery shopper for my family I have a fair amount of experience in this area, and I certainly sympathize with J's plight. Also, as we approach what is probably one of the heaviest (by shopper volume and grocery haul weight) food shopping weekends of the year, I will continue this blog's tradition of public service* by bloviating further on the subject.
The problem J faces may be nothing more than a difference in bagging philosophy between her and the Stop & Shop. Assuming for the moment that heavier items are sturdier, it makes a certain amount of sense to group them together to prevent damage to the lighter/more delicate items, and it is possible that store employees have been instructed to bag to divide, rather than bag to achieve uniform weight across bags. However, since I originally formulated that theory it has come to my attention that the employees of her local Stop & Shop, regardless of corporate bagging philosophy, are dummies. On the other hand, since I spent a fair amount of time pondering the issue and coming up with that, I am going to stick with it.
During the time that my former primary grocery store (to which I shall return this weekend for rutabagas and pumpkin pie components) let shoppers bag their own groceries at checkout, I would bag-to-divide to protect the lighter items, not just within the individual bags but also once they were loaded into the back of the car. Heavy bags on the bottom, light bags on the top. Further, the absolute heaviest bags went on the leftmost side of the car to keep them relatively in place during the sharp, tilted right turn required to leave the shopping center for the trip home. (I learned that trick after only one trip.)
Since the "heavy on bottom/light on top" approach is appropriate for the post-checkout cart loading as well, I have made a habit, even after the end of self-bagging, of placing as many heavy items on the conveyor belt first, followed by the rest of the groceries in descending order of weight and ascending order of fragility. Not surprisingly, adherence to this pattern relates inversely to Bryan's mood at checkout time. However, I have noticed that the checkout people do not always follow my organizational plan and may even be attempting to achieve even weight across bags. Just wait until I show up with the rutabagas - that will throw them off.
Well, what else do you expect me to do at checkout since the demise of the Weekly World News?
*no links available, inexplicably