5 Creative Ways to Reuse Your Grocery Bags

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Do you have so many canvas bags and reusable plastic bags that they are coming out of your ears?

Or maybe you haven’t subscribed to the new California law of purchasing bags?

Like my friend for example.

**He shared his #thestruggleisreal video with us on Facebook and his relationship with his daughter is so cute to watch, as she helps open the door for daddy.

I was unable to upload the video but was able to get a screenshot of his attempt at bringing in his groceries with no bags.

Anywhoo, I suspect he’s a strong A, clutter-free, organized, and on a budget type of person.

He, I, and others had a mini-discussion about it on Facebook. “Just buy the bag, they’re only 10-cents,” someone told him.

The issue, in my mind, goes beyond the 10 cents you spend for those new heavier plastic bags.

In the past, those disposable bags were well……….disposable.

Meaning you could use them for endless things like bathroom trash bins, poopy patrol with your dog, dirty diaper containing, etc.

With the new “reusable” feature of these bags also comes the increase in how we value them.

Therefore, the guilt of just trashing them or using them for disposable items becomes stronger.

I even had a client with bins and bins full of canvas and plastic bags in a storage unit that she didn’t know what to do with.

So, you can see why I celebrated my friend on his stance for not bringing the bags in, in the first place.

The best trick, always, to keeping clutter at bay is to stop it the door by only bringing in what you absolutely NEED.

If you are adamant about subscribing to the new California bag law, like my friend, I recommend a collapsible car organizer like the one below, to keep your groceries contained and safe in your backseat or trunk and for faster unloading.

So today I want to share a few things you could still do with the new bags as well as how to build that habit of bringing your bag with you.

Top 5 Ways to Reuse Your Grocery Bags

1. Take them to the gym

Stuff a few grocery bags into your gym bag!

Don’t put your stinky smelling gym clothes or shoes into your clean gym bag.

Put them into a grocery bag! If you shower at the gym you can even throw in your wet towel so that your bag stays dry.

Then just pop everything into the washer when you get home, air dry the bag and put it right back into your gym bag.

2. Containing Gifts and meals

Use them to bag items you want to gift or to take a warm meal to a sick friend.

3. Portable Art Bag 

Create a portable art or toy bag for the kids. Have it prepared in a drawer or hang from a hook so that it’s a quick grab when you need to run out the door.

4. Closet Laundry System

Hang one from a hanger in your closet to put clothes that need to be gently washed or taken to the cleaners. No more accidental washes of your delicates.

5. Collect your Donatables

Bag up individual donatable items for your church or hand me downs for your neighbor’s son across the street.

Fill a bag with water, a treat and hygiene items to give to a homeless you see on the street.

Have more bags then you can reuse? Have no fear!

Donate Them

Donate them to food pantries or a local daycare center.

They need bags donated to give out food and clothing and to return items home with the children, especially during the holiday season.

Know that your plastic bags are being put to good use!

Here’s how to remember your Grocery Bags
One strategy that has helped me remember my bags is to have a set in the trunk compartment of my car and creating the habit to return them there.

When I buy groceries I don’t use all of the bags I bring, so the ones I use come inside and the rest go back in the compartment.

Inside the house, I have a designated place for my bags to be contained by the door (where I could see them).

About every week or two when I am cleaning out my car I return the bags to the compartment.

Therefore creating a flow for them to go back to their home.

A system is: If this happens then this____________ happens.

My trigger is cleaning the car and replenishing everything.

How can you create that habit?  What creative ways have you found to remember your bags or to reuse them?

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  1. I’m in New York where the “grocery bag” laws are starting to change. But for a long while now, I’ve been using my own heavy duty reuseable grocery bags. They’re very sturdy and colorful and I LOVE using them. They’re so much easier to manage than those plastic grocery bags and studier than the paper ones. On occasion we still get those plastic bags, so we have a space in our garage where we collect them. Every so often, my husband brings them back to the market where they recycle them.

    • When you use a product that makes you happy, it also makes the task more enjoyable, doesn’t it?! Good idea to get into the habit of bringing your bags before your law changes.

      Thanks for stopping by.

  2. I am a huge fan of the reusable bags. I use them all the time for groceries, but have also found them handy when going on road trips, moving children into college, making donations, and more. My one discovery was that they do need to be washed periodically, especially if they are being used for food. I was pretty surprised by the color of the water when I washed a few a little while back.

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