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Thursday, March 14, 2013

Frugal Friday--Grocery Bags

March 1st it became official.

Stores in the City of Austin no longer have to provide plastic bags for their customers.  It's bound to be a great money maker for the stores because now the bags they used to provide for free they now can charge up to $1.99 for.  Or you can be like me and just decide that you'll balance all of your office supply purchases in your two hands and carry them out to your car.

But that brings up the big question... how do you remember to bring your bags into the store as you are going in?  Several people have asked me this question and I really didn't have a good answer.

It is funny, but when I go shop at Sprouts, I consistently remember because they give me a nickel back every time I do the 'right thing'.  I wonder if they have removed that policy now?  hmmmm.

This is where my bags live...
in the trunk of my car.  That's often where they stay when I go into the store because I forget to open the trunk until I'm putting my groceries in.

Idea #1: When you are headed to the store, put your purse or male carry-all (if you carry one of these) in the trunk of the car before you leave the house so when you get to the store you'll think, "Hey, where's my purse," and remember to get your bags out along with your purse.

Idea #2: Put your purse/male carry-all into one of the bags as you are leaving the house.  I do see one down side to this... Usually the grocery store is my last stop in a series of errands where I could see needing that carry-all before it's time for needing the bags in the first place.

Idea #3: Move the bags to the front seat (assuming no one sits there) and clip your list to the bag so you won't overlook the bags on the front seat and rush into the store without them anyway.  Hopefully you're using a list to shop with.  :)

One more item about the reusable bags.  L tells me they are huge harbingers of germs, especially if you have had raw meat in them, which makes sense.  Please wash them regularly so you don't accidentally poison your family.  So far I've been able to avoid meat purchases and reusable bags, but that day will no doubt come along.

I had three suggestions for remembering your bags, but would love to hear what YOU do, to remember and avoid paying the penalty.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

These are great tips, as always, Andrea! I am always forgetting to take my shopping bags with me even though I try to leave at least a few in the front seat where I should see them, but maybe I will try leaving my purse in one of them, as you suggested, so I can't leave the car without them ;)

Will disposable produce bags still be allowed? I usually use one of these to double-bag any meat purchases in case of leaks...

I am also curious to see if stores such as Sprouts and Whole Foods will continue to offer a "rebate" for bringing your reusable bags now that it is the law...On the opposite end of the spectrum, I know that stores like 7-Eleven started charging for biodegradable plastic bags (similar to the material used by Whole Foods) when free plastic bags were banned in Taiwan, too.