Reusable Grocery Bags - Small enough for your pocket or purse
Get greener with folding grocery bags - an excellent Christmas stocking stuffer idea!
Here in Maryland, we're being charged $.05 for every paper or plastic grocery bag we use in a store after January 1, 2012 so reusable grocery bags are flying off the shelves.
If you're anything like me (and, on a lot of levels, I hope you're not...for your own sake...), you might fill your car with reusable grocery bags with the best of intentions. Yes, I know...something about the road to hell....
Read more about the paper and plastic bag laws for each individual state: The retail bags report - list of retail bag laws in the US.
Anyway, I almost always forget to bring these reusable fabric grocery bags into a store with me! In the trunk or back seat is where these folding shopping bags remain..ostensibly forever. I even have some reusable grocery bags stored in my glove box and trunk, and I still forget them!
If I don't change my ways, a trip to the grocery store and the Chinese market where I load up on vegetables is going to cost me approximately $1.00 a week, and that doesn't include trips to the local mall where single use bags will also be taxed.
All told, I'll probably use around 30 paper or plastic bags a week which adds up to $1.50 per week. Now, that might not seem like much to you but it adds up quick - I'll spend an additional $78 a year just to tote my purchases home.
Let's not forget to mention the impact on our environment of using greener grocery bags - much less paper and plastic headed to our landfills.
So, that's why I started to research folding grocery bags small enough to fit in my pocket or purse. I've come to determine that I need to have grocery shopping bags that are attached to my person - either hanging from a wrist or, more preferable, folding grocery bags which can fit in my jeans pocket. I know it's not the most mature of decisions but it just has to be. Otherwise, I just forget them.
I've found what I think are the best reusable grocery bags which can be folded into a small package. One of these folding grocery totes even folds up into a strawberry. How cute is that? In fact, a strawberry folding shopping bag would be an ideal present for Valentine's Day - perhaps not the sexiest Valentine's Day gift ever but it sure would be welcome in my sorry little world...perfect for a Mother's Day gift also but I'd suggest filling it with a piece of nice jewelry or two...
The Reisenthel Collapsible Bag
The coolest reusable grocery bag ever!
I just bought this Reisenthel Market Baket yesterday when I found it on Amazon.com! It's exactly the same size as those little carry around grocery totes in the grocery store which I think is just perfect for a quick trip to the grocery store or, even better, I'll be sportin' this thing at farmer's markets this coming summer. With an aluminum frame, this little basket will hold its shape and not squish a loaf of bread. It also collapses down for storage. This is a must have reusable grocery tote if you ask me.
Update: 26FEB13 - I received my Reisenthel Collapsible Grocery Tote last week; need I say that it hasn't left my side? I'm actually thinking of taking this on a plane for my next trip to Arizona. I think it will fit right under the seat and would make getting items in and out so much easier than the tote bag I normally carry. This reusable grocery tote is just a class act!
Update 18MAR13 - Well, when pitted against the front seat of a Mercedes, my poor Reisenthel bag couldn't hold up to the pressure. I had it on the floor board of the front passenger seat when I put the seat forward to load a suitcase into the back seat. On my car, if you lift a lever to move the seat, it automatically goes forward and, evidently doesn't stop, even when crushing my poor bag (good to know! At least my dog wasn't down there!). Anyway, I was so saddened by this event that I gave my beautiful Reisentel to an elderly neighbor to use (it's still quite functional - just a bit bent) and bought another one yesterday. Lesson learned. This bag is collapsible...
Envirosax 5 bag sets
Reusable bags with flair
Envirosax reusable grocery bags are among the leaders on Amazon.com. Reviewers like the wide shoulder straps and the fun prints on these Envirosax bags. Reviewers also comment that these bags hold up well, hold about 4 grocery bags worth of goods, and can be thrown right in the washing machine without any fuss. Envirosax takes great pride in the fact that these reusable grocery totes are printed "using vegetable and soy based dyes which are environmentally friendly." If you're going 'green', there's no greener reusable grocery bags out there.
Edit: 2FEB13 - I bought this set of 5 reusable grocery totes and couldn't be happier with them. They're extremely sturdy - much sturdier than cheaper bags. I think, in the long run, these grocery bags will be well worth the additional cost.
A poll about paying for paper or plastic bags
I'm always curious about the opinions of my readers. Please participate in the poll below so I know which side you're on.
How do you feel about having a tax imposed on paper or plastic bags?See results without voting
This pocket shopping bag is a perfect way to shop 'green'
Pun fully intended....
Reviewers on Amazon.com love this little frog shopping bag - they note that the material, though, does not seem as heavy as they expected but, they also note that, for the price, it's a good buy. They also note that this small folding shopping bag goes easily back into it's frog pouch when not used.
Single Envirosax reusable grocery bags
If you don't need a set of five Envirosax, here's singles on Amazon.com. Although these are not cheap reusable grocery bags, they will last you forever. And, they wash up really well - I've washed mine at least five times since I got them in February; they come out perfect!
These Envirosax reusable sacks also come in a lot of different patterns. They're quite attractive.
Another set of highly touted large, pocket-sized , collapsible shopping bags
The b.b.begonia bags have excellent reviews on Amazon.com. Any of these would be a great Mother's Day gift but, remember, fill it with jewelry! These fold up shopping bags are quite easy to refold also; there will not be any cussing when folding them away for storage.
Some of the 'Trendiest' Reusable Grocery Totes Around
These Trendy Shopping Tote Bags open up to be 15x15 which is pretty good size. Some of these bags have clips so you can attach them right to your purse - no more leaving your reusable grocery bags in the car (unless you forget your purse - it's happened, trust me....).
These shopping totes are made of 250 D Polyester fabric which the manufacturer states is thicker and tougher when compared to similar reusable grocery baskets.
Flip and Tumble reusable grocery tote
This reusable grocery bag is big and stretchy! Measuring in at 12x14x5, this stretch grocery tote has long handles - 26" long! Stuff it as full as you can and, when you're done, roll it back up into a little ball about the size of a peach. This is the perfect grocery tote to throw in the glove box of a car or keep in the trunk for weekend yard sales.
Blue Q Shopper Hummingbird
One of my favorite reusable shopping totes, this hummingbird tote is large (measures 16-Inch wide by 15-Inch high by 6-Inch deep). Take it along when buying your bird supplies.
One of the nicest things about this reusable shopping tote is that 1% of the sale will be donated to The Nature Conservatory. So, while you're doing something nice for the environment (not using plastics which fill landfills, you're also donating to a very worthwhile organization.
This nylon shopping bag is a perfect Christmas, birthday, or Mothers' Day gift for that special someone in your life. Made of sturdy nylon, this reusable bag will withstand years of wear and tear. Perfect for the bird lover.
5 (count 'em: FIVE!) Eco-Friendly Nylon Fold-Up Shopping Bag Set
Each of these large reusable grocery totes holds up to 25 lbs although I've stuffed them WAY over that amount.
These fold so small that they're easy to keep in your glove box or purse. These bags are made of nylon and are very puncture and tear resistant. I love the individual storage bags they come in - I always have a reusable grocery tote with me now!
Eco Shopping Bag - 5 Foldable Rose Set - For the rose lover in your family
Everyone loves roses, even if they're adorning an eco friendly shopping bag. And, the fact that there are 5 foldable rose shopping bags means that you'll have plenty of space when you go on a shopping spree.
These beautiful eco shopping bags hold around 20 lbs each (that's a lot!) and measure 15-1/2" W X 15-1/2" H.