This little trick is a complete life-changer.

As the person in our house who does the majority of the food shopping, I'm well aware of those little annoyances that make trips to the grocery store utterly annoying. While everyone else is moaning about having to remember their reusable bags, I'm fighting a battle against one of the most annoying supermarket policies in existence; the chained up shopping cart.

In certain areas of the Hudson Valley, there are laws in place requiring businesses to lock up their shopping carts. Presumably, this is to prevent the theft and eventual destruction of these carts that wind up being littered all over the county. Shoppers must remember to bring a quarter with them to pop into the cart, releasing it from the rest of the chain-gang. You only get your quarter back after returning it back to it's shopping cart prison.

There are several problems with this. First of all, in the age of credit cards and Apple Pay, it's rare when I have a quarter in my pocket. That means I have to specifically remember to hunt one down in my car before heading into the store. And when I do remember to bring a quarter, lots of times the first cart available is either dirty or has a broken wheel. That means I have to find another cart to put the first one into, release my quarter and try another one. That is, of course, if the lock even works.

I'm happy to say that I've finally found a better way. While browsing the web I stumbled across a cart key. This little piece of plastic has completely changed my life. Instead of explaining how this little tool works, you can see exactly what it does in this video I posted on my Instagram account:

Before ordering this amazing little tool I debated whether or not it was morally right for me to bypass the quarter rule and use such a device. First of all, this is not stealing. Since you get your quarter back after returning the cart you're not purchasing or renting anything. Using this cart key is not taking money away from anyone. Secondly, I always return my cart, whether there's a quarter needed or not. So I'm certainly not using this key to get around the main purpose of the lock, which is to make sure carts are returned where I got them.

Therefore, I think it's perfectly fine for me to use this handy little tool. Sometimes it's the little things that make a big difference in your day. Honestly, this tiny piece of plastic is one of the most useful things I own. And before you ask -- No, you can't borrow it.

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