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How to Stop Forgetting Your Reusable Shopping Bags

reusable shopping bags full of groceries
Billion Photos/Shutterstock

How many times have you gotten out of your vehicle at the grocery store and realized you forgot your reusable bags? With many stores now taking a non-bagging route, it’s important to remember to bring yours along.

Plastic bags are all over the place, and even when they make it into the dump (instead of blowing down the street), it takes them 1000 years to biodegrade. Even paper bags often find themselves in landfills because not everyone recycles.

Want to do your part to cut down on waste? Use these tips to help you remember your reusable bags every time!

Collect a Variety of Reusable Shopping Bags

The more bags you have on hand, the better the chances that you’ll have at least a couple of them with you when you get to the store.

Aside from buying reusable bags from the stores where you shop, you can find cloth bags at plenty of other places, including thrift stores.

If you want some free bags, watch for store grand openings. Often, a reusable bag will be one of the freebies for the first 50 to 100 customers.

You may also want to make some of your own reusable grocery bags. This is a fun way to recycle and reuse old t-shirts.

Put Bags in More than One Place

Don’t keep all of your bags in one place. Consider some of these other places you can put them so you won’t forget them.

  • In your vehicles: If you have one or more cars, you may want to keep a few bags in each one. 
  • In the coat closet: During seasons when a coat is necessary, this is an ideal place to keep your reusable bags. You open the door, grab your jacket, and then grab the bags.
  • By the entrance door: If it’s no longer coat season, keep some by the entrance door you use most frequently. Hang them on the coat rack or put a hook on the wall just for them.
  • In your bike basket: If you take your bicycle to the store, keep a bag or two in your bike basket.
  • In your purse: While a standard reusable bag from the store may not fit in a purse, you can buy bags that fold or roll up into a ball and fit conveniently in your purse, in a pocket, or even in the glove box of your car.

Wherever you keep them, make it a habit to return them to that spot after unloading them.

Always Use Them

If you make a habit of using your reusable shopping bags for all shopping trips, it will become second nature, and you’ll find it more difficult to forget your bags when you go to the store.

Many people use tote bags for groceries only, or maybe for a trip to the farmer’s market. However, you can take them with you to any store that would typically give you a plastic or paper bag—don’t save them for just the stores that don’t bag items.

Add Bags to Your Shopping List

One trick that can really help, especially if you don’t have many convenient areas to keep your bags, is to make it the first thing on your shopping list.

If you’re in the habit of double-checking your grocery or shopping list before you leave the house, this little reminder might help ensure that you always remember to take those bags with you.

Yvonne Glasgow Yvonne Glasgow
Yvonne Glasgow has been a professional writer for almost two decades. Yvonne has worked for nutritionists, start-ups, dating companies, SEO firms, newspapers, board game companies, and much more as a writer and editor. She's also a published poet and a short story writer. Read Full Bio »

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