Angle grocery bags in the car to keep them from toppling

Kristin relies on basic physics to keep her groceries from spilling in the back of her car:

To keep flat-sided grocery bags (we use the Trader Joes’ flat-bottomed reusable bags) from toppling over in my minivan’s back well on the drive home, I put them in the car at a 45-degree angle to the axle of the car. It stabilizes them even in turns or quick brakes. Worked in our trunk, too, when we had one!

Basically, you don’t want the bag to sit with its flat sides to the front or side of the car. It actually helps if you deliberately put the bags at this angle, not just throw them in. In essence, you’re trying to avoid the domino effect.

Lots of other hacks for grocery bags, too, I’m sure. But this one was such a lightbulb moment!

So smart. Anyone have another grocery bag hack?

The many uses of the reusable grocery bag
Reusable shopping bags make “green” gift bags


  1. says

    It’s not clear what you mean by “45 degree angle to the axis of the car”. What I think you were trying to say was “AXLE”, not “AXIS”

  2. k says

    So is this what you mean? Put the grocery bag into the trunk, and once it’s in, twist it 45 degrees to the side? Whoa!

  3. says

    This one’s good if you buy soda or beer by the 12-pack or case while you’re buying groceries. Skip the bin, get a nonskid mat for the trunk, and make a corral for the bags using the boxes of soda and one side of the car. Ain’t nothin’ goes nowhere nohow, no way.

  4. Carly says

    I’ve started using a laundry basket in the back of the van. I can prop the stroller on the basket without crushing the groceries and I can get the groseries into the van with burying the stroller. If it’s light enough, I will even carry the entire basket into the house so I don’t have to walk in and out over and over to unload.