Sunday, March 21, 2010

Have bag, will shop

So, a few days ago I did my bi-weekly shopping expedition. In everyday life this is not overly exciting but I was thinking about how much simpler my shopping life has been made by using re-usable shopping bags. Even though re-usable bags have become more available in stores, it still has not become a routine for many people. I actually see more of these bags being used to carry people's stuff in other situations and not their groceries. Although I am happy to see large companies offering shopping bags in their stores, I have not been overly impressed with the quality of these bags. So, I thought I would share what I use and how much space these bags save in the back of my car.

So here is the back of my vehicle after a usual grocery shopping day. I drive a Saturn Vue which is considered a mini SUV so the storage in the back probably is not much different that the average mid-size car. The brown bags are my reusable shopping bags. I purchased these from a couple of years ago. I absolutely love these bags! They are the same size as a standard brown paper bag and fold up the same. They have black straps for carrying your bags and are very sturdy. I have probably stuffed these bags with 10 pounds of groceries and have never had a problem with breakage. I actually have six of these bags but only needed four on this particular day. I have found on average that 4-6 bags will adequately carry all of my groceries. Now compare this to how many plastic bags it would take. These bags stack neatly in the back of your car, they look nice, and you are helping the environment.

Now some of you may be wondering just how much am I buying in the way of groceries. Well, we are feeding two adults and two boys so you can imagine how much food we pack away. Because of this, we like to buy in bulk on certain items. So the brown bags are the grocery items we buy at the regular store. The rest are things we buy at the warehouse store.

On the right behind the Sunkist boxes are more sodas, (mostly for my husband), but on the left are two large thermal bags. I love these bags because they will hold some of the bulkier frozen things that we buy at Sam's and they come in real handy in the summer time. As you can see, these bags are big and work very well at keeping things cold. When you are finished, they fold down to a compact size and secure with velcro. I found these bags at Sam's Club for about $8 each. They have been a wonderful addition to my re-usable bag arsenal.

By using re-usable bags, I am able to keep the back of my vehicle fairly organized on grocery shopping day and I am helping to keep those obnoxious plastic bags out of the environment. Many people may say, why bother with re-usable bags when you can recycle the plastic ones? Well, to be honest, I suck at remembering to take back those plastic bags. The re-usable bags don't roll all around in the back of my car letting everything spill out and they have come in handy for other uses as well. Yes, it takes some time to get used to remembering your bags, but in my opinion it is well worth the effort. I hope that by seeing how we utilize our bags it will inspire you to do the same.


  1. I love my re-usable bags. They get used for everything, not just groceries. I have been thinking about your suggestion that I blog about my journey in intentional community. I may just incorporate it into my witch blog.

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