>Surprising Benefits to Reusable Grocery Bags

>HEB-0103I made a recent discovery that has kind of rocked my world, in a small way. Many of you have already figured this out, and I realize I am totally late to the game. I have discovered that I really do LOVE using reusable grocery bags! (Like the one  pictured here, along with some other products I received as a blog promotion by HEB and Con Agra Foods) Even though I am an environmental engineer and I believe in taking steps towards green living, I had shied away from using those cloth bags for a long time, especially when you had to buy them. Now it seems everyone is giving them out, especially at local neighborhood festivals. So after awhile I had collected about five good sized bags, and one day I decided to try using them on one of my big grocery store trips.

Low and behold, I LOVE these things. Because they are usually big, structured, with a flat bottom they hold MORE food per bag than any stupid plastic bag does. Plus they don’t roll around in the back of my minivan the way food in plastic bags often does. And the extra long handles make it so that I can sling one or two over my shoulder, thereby carrying twice as many groceries from the car into the house at once!
works for me wednesday at we are that family
This is all beside the fact that I’m not cluttering up my house or the landfills with those cheap plastic bags that aren’t good for much, or those paper bags that trees had to die for. It’s not only green, it’s convenient to use them. As an added bonus, when I use them at Target they take five cents off my total bill per bag that I use. It’s not much, but it’s a great way to  promote responsible, sustainable living.

So start collecting those free reusable bags and remember to bring them with you INTO the store. I find I have to leave them in the front of my car so that I will remember to take them. That’s what works for me.

Here’s a short video I made last spring when I was driving a Malibu for awhile and blogging for Chevy about it. This shows how well the reusable bags work in a trunk.

Grocery Shopping In the Chevy Malibu from Sarah Hubbell on Vimeo.


15 responses to this post.

  1. >I love using the bags from IKEA. They are plastic and water proof and huge – like the size of the paper bags but with handles and really sturdy. At only $2 each, we bought a dozen and use them for all sorts of stuff. They sit upright in the back and can replace half of dozen plastic bags. They also fit perfectly in the small trunk of my husband's Mini. (http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/80174256).I also keep these plastic bags that roll up into a small 2"x1" pouch in my purse. They come with a clip and replace 2 of those plastic bags. Great for quick shopping trips and always handy! Office Depot has them in the bins up front for only $2 I think and they are worth it! Also water resistant!


  2. >I still haven't used them. Hmm…maybe I should give it a shot.


  3. >By the way…following you now!


  4. >Dude! Awesome comment of the day!! I love this kind of advise πŸ™‚ I will definitely check out the little purse bags, that's a great idea. Also I love that the big square reusable bags do stand upright in the trunk and don't fall over.


  5. >It took me a LONG time to even just try them, but now I love them. Makes unpacking the car sooo much faster.


  6. >Great, thanks πŸ™‚


  7. >For several years I was bringing my own plastic bags from home when I went shopping (not just grocery shopping – I would bring them to the mall and everywhere else). About 2 or 3 years ago I got a set of RuMe totes, and they are fabulous. Good size (definitely replaces 2-3 regular bags), good length handles (comfortable to carry in your hand but big enough to wear over your shoulder), sturdy (I have been using them for pretty much all shopping for 3 years now, no tears, nothing coming apart, I've spilled in them and cleaned them up), convenient (they fold up small enough to carry a bunch in your purse), and they look good (I got the black and gray ones and get compliments on them all the time). I have at least one with me at all times, just in case. Last year I got a bunch and used them to wrap people's Christmas gifts :o)Next, we'll have to get you into reusable produce bags


  8. >Happy iFellowship Day my sweet friend!I have to be honest with you – I've never even thought about using these… until now! You've really done a great job inspiring us all – and giving us real time & personal benefits! I think I might just find some cute ones!!!Hope your day is filled with many smiles!pen


  9. >You are such an encourager, girl! Thank you πŸ™‚


  10. >Shop Rite takes a few cents off your bill, too, when you use reusable bags!


  11. >Shop Rite takes a few cents off your bill, too, when you use reusable bags!


  12. >That's awesome, I had no idea.


  13. >These bags are a wonderful thing, but they can also be little germ horrders. Its important that the bags are washable. I'm a new follower from Seeds of Faith Women Blog Hop. Angelahttp://csahm.webs.com/apps/blog/


  14. >I respectfully disagree…I mean, they are no worse that your purse or handbag. Where are these germs coming from, the food? The cart? And then how are they picked up by you, in theory? No…not even in theory, I'm a scientist, I need to see data. I'm just not a germaphobe. The bags pack up my food, bring it in, I unload the food into the pantry and into the fridge, and then they go back into the car. I just don't see how using plastic bags is better.


  15. >There was a media blitz recently reminding people that reusable bags do need to be washed once in a while. That doesn't make them "germ horrders," just means that you need to take care of them as you would any other thing you use (duh). Most cloth bags are washable; more plasticky bags can be wiped with a vinegar-dampened cloth. I clean mine every few months or when something spills in them. If you buy meat (I don't) in packages that could be leaking raw blood into your bag, then you might want to wash that bag right after use, but I don't see how anything else could be germy enough to cause trouble. After all, you are going to wash and/or cook your food before eating it, right?I love reusable bags! Another advantage is that they don't suddenly rip open and dump your groceries into the street just because of a box corner poking the bag.


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