Something New

I took my own bags to the grocery store today.  I have a ginormous IKEA bag made out of the blue tarp material. 

When I was in Maine, I was impressed that the majority of shoppers brought their own bags. “I could do this,” I thought. I don’t like waste anymore than the next person, and those flimsy plastic bags often don’t even make it home unbroken.

The key, I’ve learned, is keeping the bags in the car. 

I actually felt shy about giving the checker my bag; I needed to explain that this was something new for me.  “Cool!” was her response.  Perhaps the next time I can just smile and hand the checker my bag. 


10 thoughts on “Something New

  1. Oh, goodness, let me tell you about all the bags I have–Safeway, Trader Joe’s, Costco…but I haven’t had enough nerve to use a Trader Joe’s bag at Safeway or vice versa yet. I’m thinking they probably wouldn’t even look at me sideways….my friend Julie, who is presently in England w/ her daughter, brings really cool ones back w/ her when she goes there!

  2. As you say – the bag must be in the car! A few years ago a law was passed in our country: the customer must pay for his flimsy, does not make it home plastic bag (environmental reasons & money goes toward recycling); a max charge was placed on the price of the bag as the retailer (theoretically) was not supposd to make profit… the price of an average bag is about 35 cent (~ $3.50); a standard loaf of bread (not a healthy one – this is about R15) costs ~ R9.00 (9 rand). Carol, what do you pay for a loaf of bread? Current conversion rate is approx 1 rand // 10 dollars. Needless to say I feel foolish when I do not have my bag with me… I loose money! 

  3. I have one of those IKEA bags but haven’t used it for that purpose  – in fact it is filled with knitting yarn! However, I have for several years been using something called “cart helpers” from Reusable which fit nicely on to the grocery carts and can be folded down when not in use. Keeping them in the car is a given but I have been known to get half-way to the store without one even so. I have long felt that those flimsy plastic ones need to be outlawed or at least paid for by the consumer. That would sure cut down on their use!

  4. The key, I’ve learned, is keeping the bags in the car. So true!  I’ve had a bag for about 2months and I think its actually gone shopping with me all of two times!  I also felt quite shy about handing it over the first time.

  5. I am trying to imagine using a reusable bag with the amount of groceries I buy. I could use it for those daily milk runs. I do try to recycle the plastic bags as garbage bags.  Do you use it for big trips? The nice thing is that I usually go to Sam’s which does not  use bags at all

  6. HI! Here i am, in England as Mel said–apparently they’re even trying to outlaw the flimsy store bags here. Every grocery store has cool vinyl or burlap bags to purchase, and they’re great! The one thing i find at my local Safeway is that i need to tell them to not fill the really big ones with heavy stuff because then i can’t even lift them.  i’m bringing you one, Melimbo.

  7. We decided nearly a year ago to reuse bags, but only did a very few times — a large part of the trouble was simply not remembering to bring them, but then even if I did have them in the car I just felt too dopey to do it.But one store I shop at once a month or so starting giving a nickle refund for every bag you bring with you, and I noticed that several people were doing it so I finally swallowed my pride (isn’t that a stupid thing to be having pride issues over?  maybe I should call it vanity) and carried a couple of bags with me.

  8. I try to take my own bags, though I don’t always remember to put them back in the car.  At Winco if you bring back your paper bags or bring a reusable bag you get $0.06 off your purchase per bag!  I know, not a whole lot, but when your husband is a full-time student every penny counts!

  9. I keep about six bags in my car and have been using them for months now. The best part to me is that I don’t have a gazillion plastic bags to try to figure out how to use. When we visited CA last summer we stopped by the store.The lady asked if we wanted to buy bags. I said no, just stick in my purse. Thankfully it was big enough.

  10. @sonskyn – Oh my, I’m breathless.  A standard loaf of bread cost 9 rand, which would be 90 dollars?  Yikes!  I’ve been praying for Zimbabwe; I need to pray for RSA too!!I make my own bread and it’s been a long time since I’ve figured out how much a loaf costs, particularly the energy required to bake it.  It’s been so long since I’ve bought a loaf, but I’m guessing it costs 4 dollars. 

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