Rolling shopping basket at the grocery store

Photo: Rafael Elias/Moment Open/Getty Images

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Pick a Smaller Cart
Just as we pile on an extra-large portion of lasagna when we have a bigger plate and throw even more magazines, snacks and bottles of hand sanitizer into our purse when it's ginormous, we're likely to stack our shopping carts with up to 40 percent more items if they're the size of Mini Coopers. Hand-held baskets may not be the answer, though, since research shows people who use them are more likely to make unplanned purchases (especially of junk food), since the pain of lugging a heavy load can affect judgment. The solution is either to use a smaller cart or a basket that you pull—or at least to be aware that whatever you're using, it doesn't have to be filled to the brim for you to check out.