View Poll Results: How do you usually tote your groceries home?

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  • Paper Bags

    3 5.36%
  • Plastic Bags

    7 12.50%
  • Reusable Totes

    46 82.14%
  • I don't use reusable totes, but definitely plan to start!

    8 14.29%
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  1. #1
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    Happy Paper, Plastic or Reusable Totes?

    Just curious as to how you usually tote your groceries home....

    I have a few totes that I carry around for things like carrying stuff back and forth from work, library books, etc... but I rarely take them with me when I go grocery shopping. I really should though...

    So how about you?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Paper, Plastic or Reusable Totes?

    I do the same thing as far as books with the library, etc. I have really been wanting those ACME workhorse bags and some others from this site: http://www.reusablebags.com/

    But, unless I can leave my kids home, that's just another thing to bring to the store besides the diaper bag for my infant, goodie bag for my DD, loveys for both kids, sling for the baby, etc. Heard those ACME bags are collapsible. If I really was ambitious, I guess I could just stuff all those bags into my baby's diaper bag? Wonder how many I would need to buy?

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Paper, Plastic or Reusable Totes?

    I LOVE my reusable bags, but I do on occasion forget them, then I use plastic. I always feel guilty when I leave them, so I bought an extra one to keep in the car, but I still forget that one in the house sometimes. Ugh!

    I bought the ones from Kroger on sale for .99. - they have a flat bottom, and I'm amazed at how much they will hold. I also bought one of the insulated ones from Kroger for a little more - $2.99, but it does keep food cold for quite a while if I need to run into another store or something. Totally worth it.

    What I love about the bags is that I can carry them on my shoulders, which is nice when I'm also trying to steer and hold hands w/ a toddler.
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    Default Re: Paper, Plastic or Reusable Totes?

    Thanks for the link to that website, austinmom. Lots of good info there.
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    Default Re: Paper, Plastic or Reusable Totes?

    I finally did it and bought the insulated bag today at Krogers for $2.99. I've been talking about buying a bag for a while now, but for some reason I've been lagging on it. But today right at the check out stand they had them, so I grabbed one. Now I just have to remember to take it with me when I go shopping. I'll probably just keep it in the car, since I'm so forgetfull!

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Paper, Plastic or Reusable Totes?

    If you're using these at Kroger, ask about the refund they give you for bringing in your own bags. I didn't realize it, but my store actually gives back .04 for each bag you bring in, and I've read that some stores offer more. Hey, it's better than nothing!
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Paper, Plastic or Reusable Totes?

    To help keep foods cold, if we had a way to travel when I lived in OR or another store to stop at, we used to keep a cooler in the trunk. I picked one up in WM around this time 2 years ago, I think, it was on sale for $5 or some astronomical you'd be crazy not to buy this price.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Paper, Plastic or Reusable Totes?

    I have about 20 totes....canvas...got them in a wholesale lot on ebay for about $10 total. But I usually have more groceries than 20 totes will tote. So them I use plastic bags. I do reuse my plastic bags for trash bags in the smaller cans, and save them for when I hold yard sales.

    Albertsons gives you a .05c credit for using your own bag. That can add up over time to buy yourself a starbucks

    I just saw some tote bags at Walmart in the craft section that were like $5-$6 for 4 bags, or something like that. I could not tell how big they were though...

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Paper, Plastic or Reusable Totes?

    I have the reusable totes and some insulated bags for the refrigerated or frozen stuff. They are a lot easier for me to carry- just like Julee said. The insulated bags are great. Anything that is perishable (or that will over-ripen in a hot trunk) goes into them. When I make a trip inside I know to grab those first and the rest of the stuff can stay in the car until I get a chance to put everything else away.

  10. #10

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    Default Re: Paper, Plastic or Reusable Totes?

    I use the reusable totes from Trader Joes. They are huge and very strong. I also use the cold totes from TJ's as well. They are great. I also carry a cooler for larger shopping trips.

    I keep all my bags near the front door near my purse so they are easy to grab and go. I might start carrying them in my car so I always have them.

    christi

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    Default Re: Paper, Plastic or Reusable Totes?

    Ok, this maybe a dumb question, but do you used your bags only for groceries, or do you also use your bags, when you do other shopping? Just curious.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Paper, Plastic or Reusable Totes?

    Quote Originally Posted by rmtrivas21 View Post
    Ok, this maybe a dumb question, but do you used your bags only for groceries, or do you also use your bags, when you do other shopping? Just curious.
    Not dumb at all! I'm personally guilty of forgetting them when I go to Target and whatnot. I have taken them, but not usually.
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  13. #13
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    Default Re: Paper, Plastic or Reusable Totes?

    I love my reusables! I have the Kroger ones, too. I use a lot of frozen fruits and veggies to make my DD's baby food, so I also use my insulated one to tote stuff back and forth from my in-law's house. It's easier than a cooler, because I can just fold it flat when it's empty.

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    Default Re: Paper, Plastic or Reusable Totes?

    Also, my Walgreen's sells them for .99. They say Walgreen's on the bottom of the bag, so they're not obviously from there. I bought one to use for my CVS, Walgreen's, and other small trips.

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    Default Re: Paper, Plastic or Reusable Totes?

    You know, this thread has totally inspired me to really make a change. I just got a super-roomy organic cotton tote from Earthbound Farms and it folds up really small so I'm going to carry that in my purse from now on and pull it out when I go shopping. I also have a couple smaller canvas totes from Old Navy that I can use for smaller trips - like Walgreen's, etc. It seems I'm making lots of smaller trips to stores anyway, so that should work out perfectly. :D

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Paper, Plastic or Reusable Totes?

    Quote Originally Posted by bexx09 View Post
    You know, this thread has totally inspired me to really make a change. I just got a super-roomy organic cotton tote from Earthbound Farms and it fold up really small so I'm going to carry that in my purse from now on and pull it out when I go shopping. I also have a couple smaller canvas totes from Old Navy that I can use for smaller trips - like Walgreen's, etc. It seems I'm making lots of smaller trips to stores anyway, so that should work out perfectly. :D

    It's inspired me too! Did you order the tote from Earthbound farms? if so, did you get it online?

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    Default Re: Paper, Plastic or Reusable Totes?

    Quote Originally Posted by austinmomto2 View Post
    It's inspired me too! Did you order the tote from Earthbound farms? if so, did you get it online?
    Actually they sent it to me free for being part of their Consumer panel. I'll post the details in another thread, but the short version is that I emailed them a compliment last year, got a couple free coupons and then 6 months later they sent me an invite to join the panel. I said yes and they sent me free gifts and coupons!

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Paper, Plastic or Reusable Totes?

    I have been wanting to use reuseable totes but i can't find a bargin price to purchase a large amount so I can have enough when I shop.

  19. #19
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    LIGHT BULB Re: Paper, Plastic or Reusable Totes?

    Quote Originally Posted by jonjaktez View Post
    I have been wanting to use reuseable totes but i can't find a bargin price to purchase a large amount so I can have enough when I shop.
    jj, even if you purchase just 1 bag, it will hold as much as what will fit in 5 plastic bags (or more, if your baggers are like mine). Even if you just use the one, and then use plastic for whatever else won't fit, you're saving 5 bags! That's five baby steps in the right direction, imo!
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  20. #20
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    Default Re: Paper, Plastic or Reusable Totes?

    Quote Originally Posted by jujubee View Post
    jj, even if you purchase just 1 bag, it will hold as much as what will fit in 5 plastic bags (or more, if your baggers are like mine). Even if you just use the one, and then use plastic for whatever else won't fit, you're saving 5 bags! That's five baby steps in the right direction, imo!
    She's right. I fill mine up to the tippy top with canned goods and they haven't shown any wear yet. A lot of stores are starting to carry reusable bargain bags for 99 cents near the registers. I've seen them pop up a lot more over the last few months. Hopefully you'll find a good deal!

  21. #21

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    Default Re: Paper, Plastic or Reusable Totes?

    Target sent me a reusable Target tote last week. I think it must be because I have a Target card. I'm afraid to say I haven't used it yet, but I do use Trader Joes bags for my groceries and I have an Aldi bag for perishable food, which I think cost $1 a few years ago and is still going strong.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Paper, Plastic or Reusable Totes?

    this is one of those issues that drives me crazy, personally.

    In Maryland, curb side recycling MUST be done in recyclable containers they just toss into the truck.

    • Plastic/glass recycle has to go into those blue plastic bags
    • paper/cardboard has to go into brown paper bags or cardboard boxes.

    So I use totes, but then have to pick up cardboard boxes at Costco or a few bags when I shop, or for stores that provide the blue recycle bags, I sometimes do use those.

    But it's insane to have to USE something that is recycleable JUST so you can recycle!

    We often drive our recycles down to the center ourselves, but that also uses gasoline and has it's own eco issues.

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    Recycle Re: Paper, Plastic or Reusable Totes?

    Quote Originally Posted by jujubee View Post
    If you're using these at Kroger, ask about the refund they give you for bringing in your own bags. I didn't realize it, but my store actually gives back .04 for each bag you bring in, and I've read that some stores offer more. Hey, it's better than nothing!
    At Kroger for the bag credit tell them its Code 72, at least it is here in the Houston area. They give us a $.05 credit for each bag.
    I have 7 totes and 1 insulated one. Before I leave I throw in my insulated tote a freeze block. When I unpack my "goodies" aka groceries I put all the totes inside my insulated tote and set it right by my purse so I dont forget. If I already have them in my car I will grab a freeze block and then put it in the tote. Ive learned never to forget my freeze block after running to the store and thinking I would have time to get home to put my cold items up. Well they were doing road construction and I literally sat waiting for 30 minutes plus the time of getting home my fridge stuff and meat had been sitting out for almost an hour.
    I have also gotten 2 totes from HEB. Those suckers are huge. They are canvas and I love the fact I can wash them.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Paper, Plastic or Reusable Totes?

    We have blue bags here too. Luckily one day I found a table full of rolls of rufflies blue bags on clearance for .25 a roll and bought the whole darned table full. So I have plenty to last a while. I need to do some further research on our recycling programs here. The city comes and collects the blue bags or you can drop your recycleables at one of three recycling bins located throughout the city. But I don't know if there is somewhere you can take them and get $$ back for your recycleables. That would be nice. Of course we would plan our drop off if we were going that way anyways.

    When we were young and had little money my DH and I ran a small recycling company for buisnesses. We provided them with garbage cans and they threw in thier glass bottles and can (bars or restraunts with bars were great) and we picked them up and took them to the recyling center. We ended up making a 100-200 bucks a week at this.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Paper, Plastic or Reusable Totes?

    I completely forgot about this until today when I found mine, but if you have an Ikea nearby you can get one of their big blue bags for just 59 cents. They are HUGE and hold a lot of stuff!

    You have to pay 5 cents per plastic bag (they donate it to charity) you use there so if you're an Ikea shopper it definitely pays to either bring your own bag or buy one when you are there. They work great!

    For those that forget their bags I actually keep mine in the back of our Escape and one in the back of our car. I never thought of taking mine into places like Walmart or Target but I'll have to start. Target has such nice sturdy store bags though that last a long time!

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    Default Re: Paper, Plastic or Reusable Totes?

    Thank you Kristen for that info. My DH and I are going shopping at Ikea this weekend and Im getting plates, glassware and silverware. Ill be on the look out for those bags.

    I love using Targets bags for the van for trash. They are super strong and good size for a plastic bag.

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    Default Re: Paper, Plastic or Reusable Totes?

    Just checking in - today was my 1st day using a reusable tote! I ran to Albertson's during lunch and stuck an Old Navy canvas tote in my purse and whipped it out when I was checking out. Got .05˘ bag credit there.

    Then I stopped at Fred Meyer's on the way home and bought a Fred Meyer's tote for .99˘ and got a .05˘ bag credit there too!

    This is pretty cool!
    Becky

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    Default Re: Paper, Plastic or Reusable Totes?

    I checked out the kroger bags but they were so small! I could fit like a head of lettuce in it or something, lol.

    I'm going to have to get another big bag like I have in my living room. I have a peg coat hook up on the wall near the door, and I have this huge pink tote I got from Walmart when I was pregnant that I took to the hospital with me when I have birth. It's a huge beach tote and right now I just have all of our baseball hats and such thrown in it to take up less room.
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    Default Re: Paper, Plastic or Reusable Totes?

    Yea Bexx! *wipes tear* You make a gal proud!
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    Default Re: Paper, Plastic or Reusable Totes?

    JUJU! You can't post at the same exact time I post! lol
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    Default Re: Paper, Plastic or Reusable Totes?

    Quote Originally Posted by ladywaterwind View Post
    I checked out the kroger bags but they were so small! I could fit like a head of lettuce in it or something, lol.
    Are these the same bags? Blue? Flat bottom? B/c the one I bought there is plenty big - I can get about 5-8 (depending) plastic bag fulls in that one.
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    Default Re: Paper, Plastic or Reusable Totes?

    Lol... thanks Juju! :)

    And LWW, I wonder if they are the same size as the one I bought at Fred Meyer (since it's a Kroger company). It's not huge, but it's still pretty roomy.

    What I really liked was that neither cashier batted an eyelash... in fact, they thought it was pretty cool and said they should be doing the same thing themselves.
    Becky

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    Default Re: Paper, Plastic or Reusable Totes?

    OMG! We're all posting at the same time!!
    Becky

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    Default Re: Paper, Plastic or Reusable Totes?

    You freaky same time posting people! You're breaking the laws of science!...somehow.

    Really Juju? I think they are the same, they were on a stand near the register, for like 99c and blue. They didn't look that big to me. Guess I need to stuff some stuff in there and see how it holds, maybe there's a depth perception I'm not getting, lol.
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    Default Re: Paper, Plastic or Reusable Totes?

    The Fred Meyer ones are black...

    I've never been a fan of blue... lol! ;)
    Becky

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    Default Re: Paper, Plastic or Reusable Totes?

    Quote Originally Posted by bexx09 View Post
    The Fred Meyer ones are black...

    I've never been a fan of blue... lol! ;)

    Who are you?!

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    Default Re: Paper, Plastic or Reusable Totes?

    Eh.
    Becky

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    Default Re: Paper, Plastic or Reusable Totes?

    Still searching for the pink ones, but my blue ones from Kroger do hold quite a bit. I've had lots of heavy stuff in them, too. So far, so good. We also have a big bag that's supposed to be for recycling, but I use that sometimes, too. It's made of the same material that they ship rice in.

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    Default Re: Paper, Plastic or Reusable Totes?

    I picked up another canvas tote from HEB. I just love these totes they are soooo roomy and durable. I keep picking up the totes at Kroger cause it seems I cant always remember to put them in the car so if I make a "surprise" stop at Kroger I have it handy.

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    Default Re: Paper, Plastic or Reusable Totes?

    I bought a few at Trader Joe's and bring them when I go grocery shopping. I need to be better about bringing them to CVS and Target.

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    Default Re: Paper, Plastic or Reusable Totes?

    Ok Im very very bummed about this news I got today.
    I went to Kroger, brought in my blue totes and when checking out I asked the cashier if she had given me the $.05 credit for using the totes. She said, "oh we dont do the tote credits anymore." WHAT????? Has anyone else run across this also?
    I go to another Kroger if Im near it and I will be on Tuesday, running errands, so Ill just have to make a stop and see.

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    Default Re: Paper, Plastic or Reusable Totes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sammysmom View Post
    Ok Im very very bummed about this news I got today.
    I went to Kroger, brought in my blue totes and when checking out I asked the cashier if she had given me the $.05 credit for using the totes. She said, "oh we dont do the tote credits anymore." WHAT????? Has anyone else run across this also?
    I go to another Kroger if Im near it and I will be on Tuesday, running errands, so Ill just have to make a stop and see.
    Hmm, I would double check if I were you. Kroger just started doing the tote credit here, I can't imagine that they would stop now.
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    Default Re: Paper, Plastic or Reusable Totes?

    The Kroger by our old place didnt know that you got a credit until I said something to the manager. So that is the one Ill be going by on Tuesday so Im going to check it out. I may even call around just to see.
    It bums me out that HEB has these really sweet totes but they dont give you a credit. I use them anyway. These suckers hold ALOT.

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    Default Re: Paper, Plastic or Reusable Totes?

    I am ashamed to say since the Wild Oats/Whole Foods store nearest us closed back in May, I have become very sloppy and have been letting stores put my purchases in plastic bags. We do reuse the bags, but that is no excuse. I was very good about carrying my own bags to WO/WF since they gave a bag credit ... it was good motivation (no other stores here do that). However, I have recently been looking at reusable bags to purchase. We need way more than we have as we do a "go to town" trip every other weekend and have a pretty full car by the time we come home.

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    Default Re: Paper, Plastic or Reusable Totes?

    A few months ago, I started looking into purchasing some reusable grocery tote bags. My DH and I have a website (he does pet portraits), and I wanted to get the logo and website info printed on there, but to just get a few printed would be pretty expensive.

    So I emailed all of our friends and family to see if anyone else would be interested in reusable bags, and got a huge positive response. We ended up ordering 100 bags, which I thought would be way too many, but they are all gone! And I've had a few relatives ask if we were ordering more!

    The bags are huge with a removable covered cardboard insert in the bottom. I keep 8 of them in my trunk (7 folded up inside 1), but I usually only need 3 when I go food shopping because they hold so much more than plastic bags.

    I'm super happy with them, and it makes me feel good to know our friends and family are using less paper and plastic bags now.

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    Default Re: Paper, Plastic or Reusable Totes?

    Nimbus that's really neat!


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    Default Re: Paper, Plastic or Reusable Totes?

    Hi: I didn't know which category to vote in for sure since we use all three.
    We use paperbags to put our newspapers in to recycle them and our neighbors as well. We get the coupons out of their papers and of course we use them then recycle them at a scrap yard. Two cents a pound adds up when your recycling containers with crv , copper, metal etc.

    We use plastic bags to put hot meals in for the poor and homeless here, we provide meals to go. It's hard to get them to bring back their bags etc. but we have a few that are co operating.

    And finally totes are good when we have enough of the others. We try to be eco friendly as much as possible, since we are able to separate our waste here (So. Ca) into separte containers. I hate to see anything going to the landfill.

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    Default Re: Paper, Plastic or Reusable Totes?

    I love my reusable bags. We use them when we go into any store. Also, if we know we're not buying a lot from a store, we don't bring any bags in, and tell the cashiers not to put it in a bag. We'll also buy a tote or basket and have the cashiers put our items in there to keep from bringing home those annoying plastic bags. Sometimes we will use paper at the grocery store but I always recycle them, I use them to hold our other paper that needs to go in recycling. We have about 40 bags, and try to keep 10 in the car at all times. We keep them in our back seat since we have to grab the kids out anyway. Makes it easier to remember.

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    Default Re: Paper, Plastic or Reusable Totes?

    We love our reuseable totes. If we forget them (sometimes we do) we'll just buy a few more. I can never have enough of them. We also use them for much more than shopping. Our daughters carry toys with them to holidays and family stuff, and we always know which bag is ours. Our 3 year old has her own tote for shopping, she gets to put her special treats in her bag. It was a little canvas bag we bought in the dollar section at Target, it has a hippo on it! I am not a fan of paper or plastic bags at all. The paper ones we used for our recycling until we ran out of them and the plastic ones only get used for when we have garage sales and our kitty litter.
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    Default Re: Paper, Plastic or Reusable Totes?

    Theres a brand of totes called Chico that compresses into it's own bag. It has a clip so you can add it to your keys or whatever. I always have it with me in my purse in case I'm out and have to get something. They're about 5 bucks, though, which seems pretty pricey.

    I'm definitely going to have to get an insulated bag for the summer. That's a great idea.

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    Default Re: Paper, Plastic or Reusable Totes?

    I use reusable totes. Many of them I've gotten free with purchases or given to me by a store during a promo.

    I have also bought a few totes at thrift stores and yard sales .25 - .50 to use while shopping.

    With our size family, I need a lot of bags.
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    Default Re: Paper, Plastic or Reusable Totes?

    I was lucky to receive three free insulated totes from a promotion for Fairfield Clinics last fall. I love them. Everytime I shop with them the baggers at the store comment how nice they are. I use them everywhere I shop. My MIL and FIL were admiring them this week while visiting.

    I am starting to give reusable totes as gifts. My mom's birthday in August 4th and I ordered her two beautiful handmade ones off ETSY.com. If anyone is looking for pretty ones as gifts, you can most likely find one on ETSY. My mom's two bags cost $30 shipped, but are so pretty, I can't wait to give them to her.

    I plan to give more as gifts to other people in the future.

    I asked the bagger at the local grocery store awhile back about how many people are using the totes, he said only 1%.

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    Default Re: Paper, Plastic or Reusable Totes?

    Cloth bags here!
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    Default Re: Paper, Plastic or Reusable Totes?

    I love my totes!!! I even got one for my birthday!!! I try to find ones that match my personality like ~Betty Boop ~Girls Just Want to Have FUNDS!, Save the Planet with butterflies, Minnie Mouse, Every Tree Has Character~Mickey Icon Tree, and stuff like that with lots of pink & swirls!

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    ISO Adoption Rocks, or something like it...maybe some more causes, I just don't really see a lot of them...
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    Default Re: Paper, Plastic or Reusable Totes?

    Lol I have a bunch too, but not quite that creative. : ) I got my first canvas bag when I was about 16, a neighbor put appliques of flowers on a natural colored bag, and I have another with a denim bottom she embroidered with more flowers. I have two teacher's bags, one blue with tapestry-style teacher things on it, the other red and white striped with apples. I have a little one with a German restaurant on it from my Great-Aunt in Germany, a huge one from JC Penny's, an insulated Walmart bag, a regular Walmart bag, two green Jone's Sausage ones, one brown meat one from Safeway, a black one from Safeway, and a white Earth Day one from Safeway. I think that's all, and it's usually sufficient and then some for my bi weekly shopping trips. : ) Oh, and I have a big cooler I take with too. :)
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    Default Re: Paper, Plastic or Reusable Totes?

    I should do the cooler in the trunk, too.. I forgot about my insul. bag from TJs, but it isn't big enough.
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    Default Re: Paper, Plastic or Reusable Totes?

    Ya, it's a big help! : ) My mom uses 2 or 3 big ones. :)
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