Last Chance! We’re Giving Away $50,000! Enter Now. See Official Rules



Contests and

Driver Safety

Piggy bank on the road - AARP Driver Safety

Take the new AARP Smart Driver Course!

Happy African American couple

AARP Books

Visit the Books Section

Enjoy titles on retirement, Social Security, and becoming debt-free.

Jobs You Might Like

most popular


Ask Sid

More Junk Food: Shopping Cart or Basket?

Cart-pushers less likely to buy from checkout racks

Q. I've read that people buy more junk food at the checkout line if they shop with a handheld basket rather than a cart. Can this be true?

A. That's what a team of European social scientists reports (PDF) in the Journal of Marketing Research, based on observations in a supermarket.

See also: Save money on groceries with online coupons.

Researchers tracked 136 randomly selected shoppers making their way through the aisles. Basket shoppers were nearly seven times more likely to add "vice products" such as chocolate bars from racks at the checkout line than people who pushed shopping carts.

The explanation (or so the team theorizes): "arm flexor contraction" that occurs when carrying a basket causes tension and strain on muscles, triggering a need for instant gratification.

But just so you know, the American Diabetes Association puts its faith in baskets. Their smaller capacity, it reasons, will help you avoid impulse purchases that undermine goals of a lean and healthy diet.

Also of interest: Test your smarts with comparison-shopping quiz. >>

Sid Kirchheimer writes about consumer and health issues.

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts


Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.


The Cheap Life

Jeff Yeager Cheap Life Ultimate Cheapskate AARP YouTube web series save money

Catch the latest episode of The Cheap Life starring Jeff Yeager, AARP's Ultimate Cheapskate. Watch

Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

Member Benefits HomeServe

Members can protect their homes with comprehensive repair plans from HomeServe.

AARP Credit card from Chase

Members can get cash back rewards on purchases with the AARP® Credit Card from Chase.

Woman holding smartphone in city, Google map tool

Members can find discounts on the go via the AARP® Member Advantages Offer Finder app.

Member Benefits

Join or renew today! AARP members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.

Rewards for Good

Your Points Balance:

Learn More

Earn points for completing free online activities designed to enrich your life.

Find more ways to earn points

Redeem your points to save on merchandise, travel, and more.

Find more ways to redeem points


Advance your skills. Transform your career.

Explore your learning possibilities.