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Who here has (and uses) the reusuable grocery store shopping bags?


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If you bought yours from the grocery store, what type of material are they?

How much more than typical plastic bag do they hold?

Do the clerks overflow with joy when you hand them your own bags or do they moan and groan?

 

Thanks!

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I didn't buy mine at a grocery store, but the ones I've seen are almost the exact same size as a brown paper sack.

 

I bought 12 canvas bags on Ebay & they are much bigger & have nice long handles too. I paid $35 or so w/ shipping. At Sams Club, they are happy to put the groceries in there - and at the regular store, I'm always the one bagging anyway, so no extra trouble there.

 

I usually get stopped on every trip by women asking where they can get some.

 

HTH

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Mine are canvas. They hold a lot more than grocery store plastic bags. I haven't noticed much reaction from the baggers. I store mine in the back of the car so I always have them. I use them everywhere from the grocery to Pottery Barn to Talbots.

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I shop Walmart and I use theirs. They are surprising durable. Granted they go in the cart, into the car, out of the car and onto the kitchen table. I don't carry them far.

 

They can hold a lot. I have 5 and have never used them all on one trip. Usually I have about 10 plastic bags.

 

I find the younger cashiers are more open to them. the older ones moan and pitch a fit. I did have one young unmotivated cashier one day. She didn't understand that you could put more into them. I gave up and had her hand me things and did it myself. It was frustrating. I now try to pick my cashier, even if the line is longer.

 

I truly believe that cashiers need training on how to pack those bags. It is different. I was a cashier for years and consider it a challenge to pack a good bag.

 

I even bought a foldable one from Target that I stick in my purse and carry with me. I use it all over town.

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I have the Kroger ones. They hold a good bit but they are not washable, I found that out the hard way!

 

Some cashiers are wonderful about the bags and some are not so wonderful. I would say most are wonderful, I have really only encountered two or three with bad attitudes and they would have had a bad attitude no matter what.

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I have a few of the ones from Target. One has a sturdy base, and the other zips up into a small pouch (and is smaller than the sturdier one). I don't know what material they are made of - "non-woven polypropylene" - is what the manufacturer's website says. It's a cloth-esque fabric. (I have also seen reusable bags at Target that are made with recycled plastic bags, which I thought looked cool.)

 

I have a variety of sizes of bags, some plastic, some cloth, some recycled materials. Some are really sturdy, some not at all.

 

The sturdy one from Target holds as much as 3 or 4 plastic bags, probably. It is great for milk, cans, etc. The smaller one holds probably the same as 2-3 bags, and is great for smaller, lighter things, and perfect for a quick trip in any store.

 

I usually bag my own groceries (which may annoy cashiers even more), because I am kinda picky. But most have been happy to use my bags.

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I use my own but they aren't from the grocery store. I have a couple of canvas bags and one that is some other material and today, just this very day, someone gave me a bag that folds and zips into a pouch.

 

No one ever groans or moans, eye rolls or anything. I've never noticed any attitude for it.

 

Mine hold way more than a plastic bag but there are two reasons for that:

1) it's significantly larger than a plastic bag . . . I'd say paper bag size.

2) I think the employees are trained to only put a tiny few like items together so you might end up with a plastic bag with a lemon and an apple, another with magic erasers and tape, another with . . . blah, blah . . . When I take my canvas bags, they just put every thing in what I give them till they're full.

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I purchased my set off e-bay. They are big, stay open with a fold down thing and came with a zippered cold sac. I love them. They hold about the same amount as a grocery paper bag. I use mine at Super Target, Walmart, HyVee, Aldi, Fareway & well everywhere. I still get service with a smile most of the time. Never had a bad bag experience.

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I even bought a foldable one from Target that I stick in my purse and carry with me. I use it all over town.

 

I love that one! I use it for quick local errands.

 

Most of mine are Trader Joe's canvas bags. They shrank them a couple of years ago, but mine are older and really roomy. They've held up well. The recycled fabric everyone's using now does tend to rip. I mostly use those for produce. The old standby string bags will also hold a remarkable amount.

 

I don't know if someone mentioned this already, but many stores now give you a five or ten cent bag credit for each bag you bring.

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I shop at Whole Foods, and when they did away with plastic bags, I bought their reusable bags. If you bring your own bag you get 5 cents back per bag. :) I notice all the grocery stores around here now sell their own version of the reusable bags, usually for $.99. The ones I have from WF are great. I can't believe the amount of things they hold. They take a little more time to set up than plastic bags, but once they get going they can cram more heavy items into one bag then they would ever be able to do with the traditional plastic or paper bags. I would love them if I was the clerk.

 

Oh, and they are fantastic for trips to the library. :001_smile:

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We use these. When we lived in the States, I invested in those really great tote boxes my store sold for about $2 a box. They were great. I would load those up with my groceries and use them over and over. They usually lasted about 6-8months and then I would buy a few more.

 

Here, we use baskets with handles on them for shopping.

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I've been using canvas bags for years now. It used to be the cashiers and baggers at my local suburban grocery store acted like I was kind of quirky for bringing them in -- I would have to remind them to actually USE them. In fact, one time a young bagger bagged my bags -- she stuffed all my canvas bags into a plastic bag then used plastic for the rest of my stuff!! Another young clerk at health food store actually said "ewww" at my canvas bags because they are old and a bit stained -- they've been well used! She suggested I wash them. I don't think she has a future in customer service!!

 

They hold a ton. I've bought a few more reusable bags from the suburban store that I most often go to, and the staff is more accustomed to using them now.

 

And I'm SOO glad to see that others wind up bagging their own groceries too! Or is that just another clue to our eccentric homeschooling personalities? hmmm

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I took them into Walmart the other day and the clerk started bagging my stuff before I had a chance to give her my bags. So she took my things out of the 2 plastic bags she had already used, put my stuff in my canvas bag and threw those two plastic bags IN THE GARBAGE! Totally defeating the purpose of my bringing the canvas bags into the store! Now I always tell them first thing.

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I have a mix and match collection of canvas bags. I got all of them for free sometime or another. I haven't had any problems with the clerks, and I get a 5 cent per bag discount at the grocery stores. We must have well trained clerks, because they know to pack them!

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I bought some from an online place that weren't big enough and had really long handles that got in the way. The only time I remembered to take them out of the car and use them was when I was buying a lot of paper products for a large party. Packing styrofoam cups and plastic forks into a canvas bag felt kind of weird!

 

Then I bought the Harris Teeter bags. They stand up, they are easy to use, and hold a ton. The Harris Teeter folks are happy to use them and are often bragging about how they've never seen one break. Now if I forget them, I'll walk back to the car to get them. They are easier to get into the house and stand up on the kitchen counter or floor while I'm unloading. Much nicer than plastic bags.

 

I do think many cashiers could use training in how to pack a bag.

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Mine are the same size as typical grocery paper bags with strong synthetic canvas handles. The bags themselves are some sort of coated synthetic -- thinner than canvas, but very strong and durable. I've used some of mine for a year without damage. I also have a handful of thermal bags with velcro tops. That way if I have to make a stop on my way home, I never have to worry about the ice cream melting. ;) (Okay, who really cares if my frozen berries melt, but the *ice*cream*! That would be tragic!)

 

The main store where I shop hands out little lottery tickets if you bring your own bags. They pull names each week and give a bag of free groceries to each of the names they pull. I've yet to win, lol, but my neighbor did. ;) If I'm at Kroger, I usually go through the self check-out line, so it's not an issue. The few times I've gone through regular lines in mainstream stores (grocery or Target), no one has seemed to *mind*, though a couple of people have seemed disconcerted ("What do I do noooow?"). ;)

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Ours are from Trader Joes, and they are made of a reinforced (recycled) plastic. Quite strong. And Trader Joes has been quite smart in making the bags very visually interesting, and in changing out the designs often...so if one really appeals, you get it on the spot, and you don't necessarily have the same bag everyone else has.

 

We are still imperfect in carrying them into every market we go to, but are habits are definitely changing for the positive.

 

Bill

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I own a bunch and use them. They are made of some indescribable material that seems strong. I fully load them and they hold a ton more than plastic bags (no breakage, either).

 

I've never had a clerk complain. I'm not sure why they would. They're easier to pack than those stupid plastic bags that nothing will stand up in (from Regena, who grew up in a grocery at a time when paper bags were used and fully loaded, and who knows how to load a bag, LOL).....

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I have a bunch from Wegmans grocery store. The handles are just long enough to put the bag on my shoulder but short enough to carry by the handle. The original ones I bought over a year ago have metal holes so they can hook them over the metal hooks on the plastic bag thingie at the check-out to fill them. But most cahiers didn't even seem to bother. I noticed the 2 newer ones I bought don't have that, though. They also have flat bottom so they stand up and fold just like paper bags. They hold ALOT and even after a year and a half + they don't really look worn. I think they hold more than 4 or 5 plastic bags. I can usually get the whole weeks groceries in 4-6 of them. Frequently the cashiers here over pack them though. One cashier put a gallon of milk, 4 1 liter bottles of seltzer, and the big jug of softsoap in one bag. I couldn't lift it from the cart to the car! I had to unpack it to get it in. LOL! I was also 9 months pg at the time and VERY annoyed. I now usually say, please DO NOT bag the milk. The older cashiers grumble at using them. I had one woman repeat over and over under her breath "I hate these bags". The cashier at the next register heard her and said "why? I love them!". My ds's job at the grocery store is to hold the bags and hand them to the cashier before anything gets rung up. Oh and they hold a heck of a lot of library books. I think I once had 40 childrens books plus several of mine in there. I couldn't lift it, but I didn't need to since I bring the stroller to the library for that purpose. LOL! They also make awesome park bags, beach bags, picnic bags, etc. Can you tell I love em? I have 7 from Wegmans and 2 more from the Acme grocery store. The Acme ones are smaller, more the size of a plastic bag so I don't use those much.

I'm also thinking of knitting some string bags to keep around so I never forget a bag.

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I have some from Whole Foods and the giant bags that I purchased at Costco. I usually just use the smaller Whole Foods bags. I take them everywhere I have never gotten a complaint. I also find that they tend to really fill them up. So instead of having a few items in each plastic bag, they all go into the fabric bag.

 

What I like is that the handles are long enough so that you can hang them on your shoulder.

 

Liz

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Several months ago (before all the grocery stores started selling their own reusable bags), I used to be anxious about using the reusable bags. I was afraid of the moans and groans. Then once even WALMART started selling their own, I figured I didn't care any more. So I have a few from Earth Fare (like a Whole Foods), a few from Kroger, Publix, and Food Lion. I didn't buy any from Walmart because I thought the black ones were ugly. LOL I take them in with me ALL the time. I usually have some in the trunk and some in the house (that haven't made it back to the car yet). Even for short trips to the grocery, I'll use them and I'll use them for my BIG Walmart 2 week shopping trip. I usually put them on the belt first or either hand them to the clerk to use. I haven't had anyone moan or groan or roll eyes or anything. If they do, then it just may be the LAST time they say something to me about using my bags. I figure I'm doing my little part to help the earth.

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and I love them. They are about the size of a paper bag and have a black plastic bottom reinforcement. The handles are sturdy. I find they hold a lot more than the plastic (about 2x) and are much easier to carry. Mine our blue.

 

I tend to bag my own stuff. I'm like to keep the cold stuff together and the boxed stuff together etc. Easier to unpack and put away stuff. Worth the extra time on the front end.

 

Funny how many of you have the little zip up Target bag. I keep that in my car for small purchases. So cute!

 

I've gotten greener over the years thanks to many people on this board (recycle, cloth napkins).

 

Now, anyone with some good composting advice for those of us in subdivisions?

 

K

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I use the canvas bags I picked up at Wal-mart (at least, I think they're canvas). I use them everywhere, and pack my own because I was tired of the spoiled-acting cashiers. I like them overall, though I have to wash them because of leaking milk, etc., but I do wish there was a bag discount from the stores. Putting aside the environmental benefits, the stores do save money not having to use paper bags. With prices so high, gee, it seems a small bag discount might be nice.... Sandy

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but we would go to the store and forget to take them! So I decided to put them in the trunk as soon as we empty them. That was two weeks ago and doggone it after the last major shopping trip we realized we'd left them in the trunk! So now I'm thinking I'll put them in plain sight inside the car for pete's sake -- then hopefully maybe I'll remember to take them in and use them.

 

Oh, as far as what they are made out of...I think they are like the Kroger bags mentioned. Some sort of fiber material that I don't recognize. We shop at Winco and Fred Meyer here in our area and we bought them there. (Fred Meyer is owned by Kroger so they have to be alike or similar.)

 

Blessings,

Lucinda

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We have a bunch from the supermarket. They are lightweight but have a rigid piece in the bottom so they stand up when you're packing them. They hold as much as a standard supermarket paper bag. We had one tear when the cat got into it, but otherwise, they've held up pretty well for bags that cost us 45 cents a pop on sale! :)

 

No one bats an eyelash here when we use them. In fact, our local Whole Foods no longer offers plastic bags, and I would guess that more than half their customers bring their own bags.

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I have the ones I bought from the grocery store I shop most often (Publix). I'm not sure what the material is, some kind of cotton/poly blend, I assume. They are very durable and hold much more than a typical plastic bag.

 

I have six now, and rarely use all of them to hold a full week's shopping for my family of four.

 

The baggers at our stores are happy to use them. I've never gotten even a whiff of unhappiness about it. They do sometimes have to be educated about how much the bags will hold, but they don't seem resentful about any of it.

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We have a couple from the local grocery store...they are of a light weight material, not really sure what. Mostly I use canvas bags I find at yard sales or in gift shops. I also have one that is my favorite and it is originally used for carrying firewood...but not open on the sides...it really distributes the weight well. As for the clerks, I use self-check out. The farmers market and co-op don't mind a bit of course. :)

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If you bought yours from the grocery store, what type of material are they?

How much more than typical plastic bag do they hold?

Do the clerks overflow with joy when you hand them your own bags or do they moan and groan?

 

I bought 10-12 Green Bags with the name of a market on them. Thin but durable. I also bought four canvas bags from another market, which are heavy and durable but don't fold out at the bottom like the Green Bags. I have an insulated bag for ice cream and such and a large Target plastic Retote (for messy stuff like meat because I can wash and disinfect it).

 

They hold about as much as a paper bag, except the canvas and insulated bags.

 

Clerks neither overflow nor moan, IME. I usually bag my own groceries, which bothers me not at all, or at least help by telling the bagger which stuff I want in which bag and grouping the items on the conveyor.

 

Another great thing I just picked up is a rolling crate with a handle. I haven't used it at the grocery store but it's great for the library or farmer's market or used book sale!

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I bought mine at the grocery store for 99cents each. I'm not sure what kind of material they are. I have three of those and one insulated bag I was given free from buying stuff at a chocolate store in downtown disney. Those four bags hold all my groceries. I went from at least a dozen of plastic bags down to four. The younger baggers love them and know how to pack them really well. The older baggers are terrible at loading them up and I now tell them I'll pack my own. The younger baggers have told me they prefer the reusable ones, so have the cashiers. Last time I let one of the older baggers pack them, I repacked them as I put them in the car and fit everything he had put in them and had 11 empty plastic bags that I left in the cart! I also love to take them to BJ's (like Sam's club). I just pack them up as I load the stuff into the car and they hold all that big stuff well. It's so much easier to unload the car now. I highly recommend getting them!

Melissa

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I don't think I have actually purchased any of mine. A couple are from the zoo society, given with membership renewal, one is from Ace hardware as an "earth day" promotion last spring, and most are from dh's software conferences. :)

 

It did take a while to get into the habit of using them, but now I'm used to it and keep one in my purse (thin cloth freebie from Bath & Body Works) for times I hadn't planned shopping. I keep the bigger ones in one bag for grocery shopping, and when I make my list I put it into the bag and the whole thing by the door, otherwise I'd probably still forget the bags.

 

At first I felt like a wierdo bringing them to the store, but now I've gotten used to it and see more & more people with reuseables. I've never really had any trouble from cashiers, and occasionally get a bag credit (5 cents at Meijer) but not regularly.

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I love my "green bags".

 

You can mark your bags, or hang a word/color code tag on the handles that say: frozen, refrigerated, boxed/canned, and cleaning. It makes sorting at home a breeze.

 

My biggest gripe is that when we do self check out, because of the sensitive scale to weigh the items, you cannot bag with your own bags until everything is tallied up. The scale is gauged for plastic, not cloth:(

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I love my "green bags".

 

You can mark your bags, or hang a word/color code tag on the handles that say: frozen, refrigerated, boxed/canned, and cleaning. It makes sorting at home a breeze.

 

My biggest gripe is that when we do self check out, because of the sensitive scale to weigh the items, you cannot bag with your own bags until everything is tallied up. The scale is gauged for plastic, not cloth:(

 

Our store has a nifty feature at the self check out lane. You set your bags on the scale and then go to the bulk food / produce screen where you would enter in the code for those types of items - and there you enter a secret code and that tells the scale you've got bags, and asks you the number of bags and you get credit for them. That sounds complicated, typing it all out, but it takes 10 seconds. Ask at your store whether they have that feature. I used to bag after everything was tilled up and that was a major bummer.

 

Great idea, btw, about coding the bags.

 

Oh, and to answer the question, I've been bringing my own bag/s for 20 plus years, and I've collected quite a few canvas ones from thrift stores and other places. I had an LLBean bag that disappeared and I sorely miss it. The one bummer about my canvas bags is that since I washed them, they don't stand up on their own anymore. Maybe that's what starch is for?

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It's some kind of strong, green fabric. I love, love, love my cloth bags. They definitely hold more and are more comfortable carrying them. I've worked out a system of storing them right by the door I exit to go to the car, that way I never forget them.

 

I wasn't sure how successful I'd be using them because sometimes I have good intentions but poor follow through. But I do use these and I never forget.

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I use them too...I bought mine at Safeway and Fredmeyer. I try to keep them in the car so that I can grab them when I go into the store. I asked one of the checkers if it was a hassle for her and she said that it does slow her down a little. But when you realize how many bags are ending up in landfills it is certainly worth it to be green in shopping.

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Here in England they really encourage you to bring your own grocery bags. They introduced some large heavy plasticy (I don't know what they're actually made of) a few years ago and tried to get everyone to use them. I never bothered until last year when they actually made their disposable plastic grocery bags even thinner than they used to be. I got so tired of them ripping that I bought the reusable kind. They come in different sizes here. The clerks are supposed to encourage everyone to use them and you actually get points on your account for every bag you use.

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Mine are a canvas too and so far no one has complained @ using them.

 

 

How on earth do you use these? How many do you have. I always look at them longingly and then think-- you dumby, there is no way you could get enough of those to put ALL your groceries in. SO, how, pray tell, dear Quiver, with three more children than me, do you do this? :D

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