Author Topic: Reusable grocery bag help!  (Read 2772 times)

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Sedorna

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Re: Reusable grocery bag help!
« Reply #15 on: March 11, 2013, 12:25:04 PM »
A set of four. I've had them for about 6 years and I love them.  They fold up into the little attached pouch and hardly take up any room at all in your purse so you can always have them with you.  They're light, but very strong.  They're the same dimensions as grocery store plastic bags, but hold at least three times as much weight, so I can fit more stuff in fewer bags.
  ;D

That's another advantage of reusable bags. Not only can you fit more stuff into them, but they don't feel as heavy. I suppose, for me, it's because plastic bags tend to dig into my palms and, as a general rule, reusable bags don't.

Zizi-K

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Re: Reusable grocery bag help!
« Reply #16 on: March 11, 2013, 12:43:32 PM »
Regarding lining small wastebaskets: I just don't do it. I don't ever throw away anything that ewwy-gooey in there, or if I had to (like a feminine product) I just make sure to wrap it up in toilet paper. Once in a great while, the wastebaskets need to be washed, but I have found there's really no need to line them. When they get full, I take them down to the kitchen wastebasket (which is larger and for which I buy bags), and I just dump the garbage in there. Not only is it more environmentally-friendly (not throwing away a plastic bag for every small bunch of garbage), I also don't have to look at that crinkly plastic bunch up at the top of my otherwise clean-looking wastebasket.

jmarvellous

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Re: Reusable grocery bag help!
« Reply #17 on: March 11, 2013, 12:45:58 PM »
Our city banned plastic last week, but we've been going with primarily reusable for years. I stick the bags all in the trunk, stuffed in the oldest bag (the one I don't like to use as much) and the bagger pulls them out of it. Most times, we use 2-4 bags, but we own 7, which is useful because I sometimes forget to put them back in the trunk after using.

I also keep one of those foldable pouch bags stuffed in my purse for non-grocery shopping.
We have found them much more useful than plastic bags -- for picnics, beach trips, laundry, etc. They are so much easier to carry than disposable bags.

We buy rolls of thin, small bags from the dollar store -- one pack of 3/$1 rolls lasts months -- for cat litter needs. And like a PP we don't line small waste baskets; we just empty into the big trashcan regularly.

CakeBeret

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Re: Reusable grocery bag help!
« Reply #18 on: March 11, 2013, 12:59:38 PM »
I shop at a grocery store that doesn't offer free bags, although they are still legal in my state.

I have enough bags for about 3 trips to the store. So usually I put them all in the car (all folded up inside one big bag) and take the whole pack into the store. Use what I need, put the others back in the trunk, rinse and repeat next week. Unfortunately I am terrible at remembering to take the bags back to my car once I get them inside ::), so some weeks I have to use free cardboard boxes and/or buy a couple bags.
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EMuir

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Re: Reusable grocery bag help!
« Reply #19 on: March 11, 2013, 01:22:45 PM »
I put any meat in the bags that are easier to wash, then those ones go in the wash once I get home.  I usually don't wash the bags that transport dry goods unless there has been spillage or leaking.  I do always wash the meat bags though.  My problem is squishing the bags down into a smaller area, it seems that the "bag of bags" takes up a lot of space in my car!

Slartibartfast

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Re: Reusable grocery bag help!
« Reply #20 on: March 11, 2013, 01:26:43 PM »
I use reusable bags for EVERYTHING!  Mostly the kind that are fabric-like but feel like they're probably made of paper, and you can get them for a buck with store logos on them . . . although most of mine are Christmas-themed because I got them on clearance for a quarter apiece last January  :)  I do always ask that fresh meat get put in a plastic bag first (so it won't leak), but then we don't actually have a ban on that here.  I always feel wasteful if I forget my bags because I get home and end up with two dozen plastic bags I don't even need.

The reusable bags are also good as overnight bags, diaper bags, coupon bags (I keep my coupon binder in one particular bag, along with a spare diaper or two and a pair of scissors, so I know I have it if I need it), easily accessible carry-on bags for flying which squish under your seat, etc.  I like that if they fall apart or get nasty, I don't have to feel bad about throwing them out.

CakeBeret

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Re: Reusable grocery bag help!
« Reply #21 on: March 11, 2013, 02:15:46 PM »
Oh, and also--Marshall's has the prettiest reusable bags (and they are only 99 cents!), although you should use them for lighter items as the handles are not too strong.
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Luci

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Re: Reusable grocery bag help!
« Reply #22 on: March 11, 2013, 02:39:34 PM »
I'm wondering if we'll have to guard our reusable grocery bags while we shop. They might become the "new" thing to steal!

I pull out the baby seat (yuck, I know) and tuck my bag of bags inderneath it, along with my purse and jacket. I put one washable bag on the baby seat for small items - meds and makeup type stuff. Ready to go for that bag! It only gets to be awkward when I have to buy 2 cases of beer and 2 cases of pop. Otherwise, I can reorganize waiting at the check out.

Luci

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Re: Reusable grocery bag help!
« Reply #23 on: March 11, 2013, 02:43:01 PM »
I have these bags: http://www.reuseit.com/store/reuseit-workhorse-original-bluesign-fabric-p-2391.html?slave_id=2393

A set of four. I've had them for about 6 years and I love them.  They fold up into the little attached pouch and hardly take up any room at all in your purse so you can always have them with you.  They're light, but very strong.  They're the same dimensions as grocery store plastic bags, but hold at least three times as much weight, so I can fit more stuff in fewer bags.

[edit] I see these were already recommended above.  But really.  They deserve another recommendation.   ;D

Missed you! We don't seem to read the same posts anymore.

Well. Thanks for the site. They look easily carried and washable. I'm in for something to carry in my purse for light shopping and other emergencies.

Sebastienne

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Re: Reusable grocery bag help!
« Reply #24 on: March 11, 2013, 02:58:20 PM »
Thanks for the help, y'all! It does feel a little ridiculous to have to ask about this, but it's a drastic (forced) change in our normal habits. I'm sure we'll get used to it eventually, but at the moment, it just feels a little strange.

I just ordered some stuff from Reusit, which looks awesome. I do have a feeling that I'm going to be buying a lot more bags until it becomes second nature to return them to the car/bring them into the store, but I guess there's no harm in that? 

sevenday

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Re: Reusable grocery bag help!
« Reply #25 on: March 11, 2013, 02:59:02 PM »
Some years back I found something at Walmart that was marketed as a trunk organizer. It's basically nylon, foldable with semi-rigid sides and two handles, with two interior sort of dividers that can be velcroed to the sides to serve as dividers or left undone.  It fits three to four standard-size reusable bags easily, so I can carry three in at once.  And surprisingly strong.  I looked around and I couldn't find an exact replacement, but something like this:  http://www.amazon.com/Classic-Accessories-Veranda-Jumbo-Tote/dp/B005FTM8Y2/ref=sr_1_65?ie=UTF8&qid=1363027958&sr=8-65&keywords=bag+carrier  -- looks about the same and strong enough to handle a fair bit of groceries if you pack the bags in there carefully.   

What I do is once my bags have been emptied of groceries, I give them a shake and a brushoff to make sure they're not dirty or accumulated cat hair (three cats.. yeah) and put them inside the carrier, folded up, and put the carrier on the hope chest I have sitting under my coat rack.  Then when I'm ready to go to the grocery store, I just grab my coat, bag, keys, and the carrier - and out the door I go.  I take the entire thing with me (it's lightweight) - I can put things inside the carrier on top of the bags, then unload at the register, fill up the bags, put bags back in the carrier, and go. 

As for estimating how much you'll need - you can do a "dry run" at home.  Pack a bag full of whatever things you normally get and test for weight and bulkiness.   Add on a couple bags above that for things you don't buy regularly but might at some point.  An insulated bag isn't necessary for me, since I live pretty close to the store, but useful for those of you who are further out or have particularly temperature-sensitive items.  When my precious carrier finally gives up the ghost (five years and counting!) I'll probably invest in a wheeled cart.

And no, there's no harm (other than cost, and Walmart routinely sells their standard ones for fifty to 75 cents) in having extra bags.  They can be useful for other things than groceries!  Picnics and things like that.  To help you remember to use them, do what I do - keep them where your keys are, so you'll grab and go.  I also, for a time, had a post-it taped to the inside of my car window. "Do you have your bags?" So I'd remember to reach back and grab them.  Then once it became habit I took down the post-it.
« Last Edit: March 11, 2013, 03:01:15 PM by sevenday »

Waterlight

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Re: Reusable grocery bag help!
« Reply #26 on: March 11, 2013, 06:37:04 PM »
This may come off as a ridculous topic, but I'd love any hints and advice.

Our city recently banned plastic grocery bags. I understand and support the rationale behind the ban, but I also come from a household where we tend to reuse shopping bags, whether for small household trash cans, cat litter disposal, or bringing lunch to work. This means that we don't have many spare grocery bags, but also haven't really stocked up on reusable bags.

We've been out of town for a few weeks, so I just did my first major shopping trip post-bag-ban. I ended up buying 6 disposable bags for $150 worth of groceries, and I'm still working out how to juggle the no-bags-in-the-store situation.  So for those of you who have encountered this already:

* I'm assuming you keep a stack of reusable bags in the car. How do you know how many to take into the store with you? Do you just put them back in the car, or do you wash them intermittently?
My city banned plastic bags last July.  I have several reusable bags--two or three fold-up ones that can be easily tucked into a purse, one cloth one made by a friend of my stepmom's, and a couple of big tote-sized purses.  The nylon ones don't get all that dirty, but I throw the cloth one in with the rest of my laundry when it needs it.

* What do you do about the alternate uses of grocery bags, now that they're no longer free--particularly re: lining small trashcans?
I buy regular garbage bags since my apartment lease requires all garbage to be in tied plastic bags.  When I don't have a reusable bag with me, I'll buy a paper bag at the grocery store for 5 cents... and then use the paper bag for my recycling, since I can recycle the bag along with the rest of it!  I carry my lunches either in a purse big enough to carry a Lean Cuisine meal or--if my bag is smaller than that and I have leftovers--a small plastic container of soup, pasta salad, whatever I need to use up.

I'm hung up, too, on how annoying it's going to be to go into a store to buy one or two things, and then I remember a few more things to buy...and I don't have a bag with me (my normal purse won't fit a full shopping bag), and I have to pay another dollar just so I can bring my stuff out of the store with me.

Advice would be helpful!
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Julian

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Re: Reusable grocery bag help!
« Reply #27 on: March 11, 2013, 07:42:40 PM »
We don't have an outright ban where I live, although some parts of the state do.

I keep all the grocery type bags hanging on a hook in the kitchen, and on a planned grocery shop I take them, throw them in the car and go.

For more spontaneous trips, I have a couple of lightweight bags that fold up to next-to-nothing that live in my handbag.  One is a full size backpack of light nylon that folds up to about the size of a pack of cigs.  The other two are silk totes that a particular dress shop here uses instead of plastic bags - they're light, strong, pretty and fold up to nothing.

I still have a stash of plastic bags at home, but I won't use them for bin liners etc because to a one they have holes in them, very annoying.  For bin liners I buy a roll of biodegradable plastic bags - I prefer that to regular plastic, experience has shown that within about 3 months exposure to the outside elements they really do break down.  The old plastic bags get used for kitchen scraps, vege peelings etc - nothing that will leak. 

Minmom3

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Re: Reusable grocery bag help!
« Reply #28 on: March 11, 2013, 08:15:24 PM »
When I don't bring in enough bags from the car (quite frequently...) I have them bag up what they can, and just put the rest of the stuff back in the cart, telling them I will bag up the rest at the car, as I have lots more bags out there.  I think I have 12-18 bags.  Some are flimsy non-woven pieces of junk (only good for bread or chips or something equally feather weight) and some are woven nylon, or cotton canvas, and they can hold ANYTHING the store sells. 
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KenveeB

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Re: Reusable grocery bag help!
« Reply #29 on: March 11, 2013, 08:20:35 PM »
I bought a set of reuseable bags from FlyLady a few years ago, and they're great. There are two insulated bags and three regular ones. They hold all my weekly shopping without any problem. I just keep them all folded up in one bag and keep them in the back of my car. After I've bought groceries, I fold them all up again and hang them on the doorknob to the garage so I remember to put them back in the car the next time I leave. For miscellaneous shopping trips, I have a bag I bought at Target that folds up like a standard envelope. It lives in my purse, so I can pull it out randomly.

Once you get into the habit of using the bags, it's very easy. I only occasionally get plastic bags, usually at Target because they're a nice size to use for cleaning the cats' litterbox. :)