Saturday, February 19, 2011

Reinforcing Reusable Grocery Bags

I am a big fan of reusable shopping bags. They are eco friendly, hold way more groceries than plastic grocery bags, and don't tip over in the back of the suburban. There is nothing worse than climbing up over the tailgate of the Suburban and into the cargo space to retrieve the spilled groceries that always roll into the far corner ( I'm sure the neighbors love to watch that performance!). I really love the bags I bought at Costco (they also sell similar ones at my local grocery store). They are made of a heavy duty plastic, so they can be wiped clean with a Lysol wipe after carrying meat or produce. They also have sturdy straps that won't rip off easily.

The only down side is that the are fairly large, so if you fill them up small items tend to tip in on each other. They are also hard to keep open when you first start filling them (or maybe I am just uncoordinated.). Of course, you know I am always looking for the cheapest ways to solve a problem, so I had been mulling solutions around in my head. Then, the other day  I had an ahh hah moment! I was taking some empty cardboard boxes out to the recycle bin, when I realized that several of the boxes were just the right size to put in the bottom of my reusable bags.

I'm so happy! I  reused a few pieces of  potential garbage, now the bags sit flat while you fill them up, and the reinforced bottom is much more stable when it's full of groceries (or produce from Bountiful Baskets).  I just tuck the pieces of cardboard against the side of the bags and fold the bags up when I'm not using them.


  1. What a great idea...I hate when I have shampoos or something like that in the bags because they wouldnt stay stable in the car


  2. I have had the same problem with my Costco bags - they won't stay open to load them, but I found that all it takes is one large-ish boxy item and they're good to go. Your flat box is a great idea though.

    BTW, we use our Costco bags to pack our clothes for our annual camping trip. Two of them will actually hold clothes for all five of us for the week (the third bag holds groceries). We unpack when we get set up, and then use the empty bags for dirty laundry to bring home.

  3. Great idea. I love cloth bags -- bought a bunch from my grocery store a couple of years ago. Some of the seams have popped open but I just ran a zig zag on my sewing machine and we were back in action.

  4. You should check out the cool bags on Their grocery totes have bottle sleeves on the sides for your tippy stuff,and reinforced bottoms and handles for easy carrying. Their larger ones (Pannier on the website) and messenger styles would serve you well for weekend bags and storage. Also they are completely cleanable



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