Packing your groceries properly can save you time, effort and energy. Over the years, I have learned, through my own mistakes, how to properly pack groceries.
Here are my E.A.S.Y. tips.
ELIMINATE heavy lifting, cross contamination and food spoiling.
This begins with how you load your cart.
Place large, heavy items such as potatoes on the lower rack of your shopping cart. This provides more available space in your cart and prevents items from being crushed. Grocery clerks should already have skew #s for these items, therefore you will not need to place them on the converyor belt. You can simply lift and load into your car once paid for.
Bring a cooler bag or hot bag to keep foods at the appropriate temperature. Harmful germs in meat or seafood can multiply extremely rapidly at room temperature. Most grocery stores sell these bags in case you forget to bring your own.
Place your meats into their own plastic bag to prevent any potential cross contamination.
Do NOT mix cooked meat such as deli cuts with uncooked meats. Germs from raw meat can spread bacteria and cause serious illness. The same rule applies to poultry and seafood.
Don't over pack your bags. If the bag seems to heavy take some items out and place them in another shopping bag, keep your load light.
ASK yourself, How will I unpack these groceries at home?
Keep like items together when you are filling your cart. When similar items are kept together they can be unloaded, bagged and put away at home with ease and efficiency.
Follow the flow of the store. Billions of dollars have been spent planning the set up of grocery stores. Aisles are set-up in sections, this increases their sales and benefits the consumer keeping categories simple, why break a perfect plan?
When packing your bags "square" your bags. This builds a base, offers more room and distributes weight evenly.
Place cans in center, boxes beside.
Layer your items, heavy items on the bottom and light items on top.
Liquor store bags are perfect to keep bottles and jars from banging around and breaking.
Use separate bags for meats, dairy, produce, etc. Label bags to avoid confusion.
Place your personal care items and household cleaners into one bag. If you only have one or two of these items you can place them in a plastic bag and then put them into a bag with other items that are not fresh, like cans, boxes and bottles. The plastic bag around your personal care items and cleaners should prevent any possible seepage from these products.
YES! You did it!
Now that your shopping adventure is done, disinfect your reusable bags by washing them down, especially the seams. This will prevent bacteria, yeasts and mold from growing on your bags and cross-contaminating your food between each use.
Shopping, safety and santitizing...its E.A.S.Y!