The secret to the easiest grocery shopping experience is … laundry baskets?

Erica Chayes Wida
·3 min read

It's always a good time to brush up on ways to make grocery shopping easier — especially during a pandemic. Going to the store at the least crowded time, learning new budgeting tips amid rising prices and finding better ways to bag are all important when bringing food home is at the top of the to-do list every week.

In one of the internet's latest viral sensations, TikToker @1980sgamer shared the ultimate time-saving hack for avoiding the tedious bagging process altogether. In the TikTok video posted on Sunday, the user, who goes by Matt, makes clever use of an unexpected household item at the grocery store: a laundry basket.

@1980sgamer

This is the best grocery shopping hack yet! It just keeps getting better. ##aldishopping ##bagless ##laundrybasket ##plasticbags

♬ original sound - 1980s Gamer

"This is the best grocery shopping hack yet!" he captioned the video.

In the video, Matt instructs viewers to fill their carts as usual with items on their lists. Next, he says to load the groceries onto the conveyer belt to be checked out. Then, instead of having the cashier bag them into paper or plastic, he says to throw all the products back back into the cart without any bags or boxes. Finally, he says to push the cart to the car, where you have two or more empty laundry baskets waiting in the trunk, and fill them with the groceries. When you're home, all you have to do is carry the baskets in, and voila — no bags used and no extra time spent bagging.

Related: The time you decide to go shopping can affect your food choices and your wallet.

With more and more people looking for ways to eliminate single-use plastic bags, as well as states and counties banning them or charging extra for those who don't bring their own, this hack is especially helpful. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, use of single-use plastic bags have already been banned in California, Delaware, Maine, New York, Rhode Island and the District of Columbia. Many cities, from Boston to Seattle, as well as local municipalities across the country, have also banned or implemented fees for plastic bag use.

The hack only had one red flag: At the end, the TikToker placed all the produce on the bottom of the baskets where they'd be squashed by heavier items. But he divulged to TODAY Food this was a ploy to spark a little more conversation and make it go viral, which it did — amassing over 11 million views at the time of publication.

If you're going to give this a try, you might also want to consider evenly distributing the weight or use smaller baskets if it's hard to lift something heavy.

Related: It turns out social media users — and TODAY staffers — have pretty strong opinions about how food should be organized at checkout.

So, how did this life-hacker discover this surprising use for laundry baskets?

Matt told TODAY he had a helpful follower to thank, as this was not his first grocery-shopping hack video. In the one he posted Jan. 18, his sustainable solution was definitely lacking organization.

@1980sgamer

The only grocery hack you need to know. It saves time land I don’t have to buy bags. ##groceryhack ##aldi ##bagging ##timesavingtips

♬ original sound - 1980s Gamer

The groceries just went from cart to belt, back to cart and were then tossed directly into the trunk. This would have made unloading quite difficult once people got home. After all, no one wants to make more than one trip from the car — let alone a dozen, carrying armfuls of loose produce.

Thankfully, a fellow TikToker commented, "a true hack is putting 2 laundry baskets in the back to throw all that in to carry in the house. your [sic] welcome."