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Coffee Break with Liz and Kate » Headline, »

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There’s something about ingenuity that makes my heart happy. Something about taking the simplest idea and, with one small tweak, turning it into something better than it was before that restores my faith in mankind.

My latest find came at the new Save-A-Lot grocery here in town. I’d run in to get “a few things” and grabbed one of those little red baskets. You know the ones. The basket you pick up to avoid the hassle of a shopping cart when you aren’t purchasing a week’s worth of groceries.

The funny thing about those baskets, though, is their size is also their downfall. Throw in a 2-liter and the basket not only tries to capsize, it gets jolly heavy as those plastic handles dig into your arm. Try putting in a frozen pizza and the handles become unusable. It would appear the best use of these baskets is when you’re getting a loaf of bread and sandwich meat.

Until now.

Imagine that basket on wheels. With a nice long handle. It doesn’t get better than this, people.

At first, I’ll admit to being a little timid about pulling my little basket through the store, given the little-red-wagon feel. But by the time I got to the dairy section, I stopped a couple of employees to express my delight.

“This is the best thing since sliced bread,” I said to them. Judging by their response, I wasn’t the first to remark on new baskets.

“People really seem to love them,” one of the employees said. “And they sure beat lugging the basket around on your arm.”


As I proceeded to question them for all the details, I found out that the baskets are not only new to this store, they’re apparently new to the world of shopping – this store just happened to be lucky enough to serve as a guinea pig, or test market. So doing what any self-respecting person would do in such a situation, I did my own testing.

Since I was able to maneuver the basket with great ease, I loaded up on more than what I’d originally come for. I wanted to see how it would perform under stress :-) A couple cans of chicken broth, two pound of chicken, some navy beans, cornmeal, honey buns, broccoli, cauliflower and who knows what else. Regardless of the weight, the basket performed like a dream. I could push it in front of me or pull it behind me. I could back up, move forward and turn the corners on a dime. For that matter, I could easily turn around in the middle of the aisle in one smooth motion.

After zipping around the store for 20 minutes, showing off my basket-on-wheels driving skills, I simply folded down the handle and lifted the basket up to the checkout counter. Voila.

During the check-out process, I discussed the myriad uses for the basket with the checkout lady. Its implementations could be countless. From wheeling around cleaning supplies to hauling garden plants throughout the yard to housing and transporting toys (or for that matter, small animals) these baskets could be the greatest invention since the wheel! Forget sliced bread!

How could these baskets not be a hit?!? Keep an eye out  – the basket on wheels could be coming to a store near you!



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