Home > call me the emotional 'bag'gage lady

call me the emotional 'bag'gage lady

May 15th, 2008 at 06:23 am

Felt a tad nauseated today and thought better of sharing that physically at work. So I stayed home and caught up on my newspaper reading.

Here's a nice little rant in the Seattle Times about hating the soon-to-be .20 tax on plastic bags from the grocery store.

Local stores, in response, have been selling more permanent bags costing anywhere from .98 cents to $4. We collected ours from various places and managed not to spend a cent on them.

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Frankly, changing your habits to incorporate bringing along a permanent bag and using it hasn't been that taxing on us. Here is my strategy:

1.) Fold a small cloth bag, put it in the bottom of your purse (man equivalent = backpack or messenger bag). Set your shopping on the conveyor, remember to set the bag on top of the stuff.

This is the bag you use for the little incidentals you pick up through the day. Frankly, 90% of my errands I would collect one plastic bag, so I've slowed the accumulation a lot just by doing this and remembering to pull the bag out.

The columnist above doesn't want to carry a cloth bag (too girly, apparently). Might I suggest that he take along a plastic bag (if YOU provide the bag, then no .20 fee), wad it up, then stick it in his pants? Gotta admit that would be the ultimate in win-win frugality: he has the plastic bag, and correct placement of the wadded bag in his pants should make him look more manly. Of course, no bagger's going to want to touch that bag...but you can't have everything.

2.) For serious grocery shopping, we have the bag of bags. I fold up 7-8 cloth bags (we got them all from free), and stick them in a small tote that we keep in the backseat of the car. Remembering to bring them into the grocery store is the hard part.

I have noticed two great things about bringing my own bags. First of all, most grocery stores will give you a .03 - .05 rebate for your bags. The cashiers who will give you that rebate for EACH bag are especially treasured. So far I figure I've made a $1-2 on the deal. Secondly, the baggers are starting to improve their bagging skills. Before, baggers would pack a couple of items per plastic bag - which made one feel like a dog-walker of a mass of plastic bags. Now, with the cloth bags, the baggers seem to try to get everything into your cloth bag. And that's good to see.

I won't go cold turkey with the plastic bags, I use them for garbage liners. I do shop outside the Seattle city limits and plan to pick up a few there.

One last story. I jokingly apologized to the cashier at the grocery store that I wasn't using their branded bag. The cashier smiled and said, "well, we don't care - you're shopping here!"

4 Responses to “call me the emotional 'bag'gage lady”

  1. dmontngrey Says:

    We just accumulated two bags (for free) over the last couple of weeks - one from each major store here. So we'll be advertising for both stores no matter which one we go to. Smile I had a coupon for one of them and the cashier just put all my groceries in it as she scanned them. WOW! I was really impressed at how much stuff this bag held! Now I just have to remember to actually take them when we go shopping. That's going to take some training...

  2. Petunia Says:

    I have a string bag in my purse and a bag of bags in my closet. As a strategy it seems to work pretty well. (Right now the cloth bags are full of other things and scattered around the house, but that's a minor detail.) I'm LOL about men & plastic bags.

  3. Joan.of.the.Arch Says:

    I'm still procrastinating making bags from my husband's old shirts. I always put off sewing. There is a plastic bag stuck in the top limb of a tree in the parkway outside my house. Ugly! Cloth bags won't often be blown up into the trees.

  4. sagegirl Says:

    I have a bag of bags in the pantry (a mixture of both our local stores) and generally remember them. I try to remember to put them back in the car after we unload them, that way they are always available. Our Kroger will give you .05 cents credit PER BAG on you grocery total but the the "evil empire" (aka SuperWalmart) gives you no credit. But they will gladly sell you their bags for $1 each.

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