Thursday, 28 March 2019

Am I Going Off My Trolley?

Do you realise that we have had the 'new' pound coins for exactly two years now? I posted about them in March 2017. Two metals used in one coin, and writing round the edge, in an ongoing effort by the Royal Mint to defeat the counterfeiters.
People continue to mutter about the 'cashless society' - and it is true that we are all using fewer and fewer coins as we go about our business.
Car parks now have card slots and phone apps at the pay machines, and even quite small businesses have card readers to enable you to 'pay with plastic'
One place where a £1 coin is still often needed is at the Supermarket to release a trolley. But as this is simply a deposit and not a payment, it is OK to use a £1 sized token instead. I keep one on my keyring. When I go to Cornerstones, this smiley yellow face is useful when I pop out for groceries.
But I have a dilemma -if I am returning my trolley, and another shopper comes to me, brandishing their £1 coin and says "Can I buy your trolley?" I have to say "No, sorry, it's got a token in it!" and leave them to walk over to the line and detach another trolley. Somehow I feel uncomfortable, not being able to help. I have plenty of these tokens- they are often given away as promotional items. For a while, when asked, I'd say "Oh please take the trolley, keep your £1, it has a token in it" and I would replenish my keyring with another token from the stash. But that didn't really work- people got confused and somehow wanted to pay me anyway...
But after my visit to the Screwfix Show last year, I have solved the problem. I was given this odd looking freebie. "I'ts a trolley token" said the Squires company rep.
I put it on my keyring. The next day I was out with my friend Angela and we popped into Lidl together. "Ooh, I can use my new token" I said. 
I pushed it into the slot, released the trolley - but left my keyring dangling.
Halfway round the store, Ang said "You've dropped something" and there on the ground was the keyring and token. It had dropped right out.
I have discovered that this gadget goes into the slot, and releases the trolley, and if I then wiggle it left and right, it pops out again! I get a trolley, then get my 'deposit' back immediately!
So now I just do my shopping, and load it back into the car - and if someone asks for my trolley as I'm returning it, I just say "Here you are" - otherwise I push it back to the line, but I don't link it to the rest, I just leave it there, almost in place, but quite liberated. I would never leave the trolley abandoned in the car park [a habit which irritates me enormously]
My family think I may be losing my marbles, but I feel a perverse pleasure being able to leave a 'free' trolley for somebody else.
Thank you Squires for such a clever gadget!


  1. No tokens or coins required for a shopping cart, over here! At least, not in So. California. At one time, though, one company tried it, requiring one to use a quarter coin (25 cents) as a deposit, but that didn't catch on. I think too many people complained about it!

  2. I need to use a quarter to release the trolly at my local store but if I shop downtown it's often a dollar coin (which we Canadians call a "loony" as opposed to our $2 coin which we call a "toonie" - this is the two metal one like your new pound coin. I've never heard of the tokens for the carts.

  3. I have several of the tokens to, they are quite a common freebie handed out at fetes etc. I like idea of the removeable one though x

  4. we have to pay for a cart at Aldi if we want to use one but the coin in returned when done. That isn't the norm at American based grocery stores those. I was quite shocked, while at the hospital with my husband, that the vending machines now take credit/debit cards. It was a lifesaver for sure but I wasn't aware that was the norm these days -- don't do vending machines too much!

  5. In France most trolleys accept 50c, 1 or 2€ pieces, which makes it much easier to find a coin to fit. I was just wondering the problems which could have followed if you’d lost your keys!

  6. So this appears to show that in the USA most trolleys don't require coins/tokens, and in France they have multiple options. In the UK I think tokens are mostly in places where they want to be sure you will return the trolley rather than leave it out on the street or in the canal! Gaynor, I was very glad I did not lose my keys!

  7. That idea from Screwfix is amazing. I am not sure how it would go down in the local Aldi, though. I have a token as I'm using less and less cash and often don't have change to give to bear to go to the shop for sweeties (he takes a note anyway)

  8. I keep a coin token in my purse for old local Swimming pool where you needed an old pound for the lockers!

  9. P.S. I don't go to any supermarkets where there are trollies! The Lidl opposite school only has baskets on wheels!


Always glad to hear from you - thanks for stopping by!
I am blocking anonymous comments now, due to excessive spam!