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How to Never Forget Your Reusable Shopping Bags

Updated on August 10, 2013
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We are all so busy. We are in and out of the house, in and out of the store, and in and out of our workplace. It is so easy to forget our reusable shopping bags, but it is so important that we do remember them. By using reusable grocery/shopping bags, we can keep the plastic out of our house, off the roads, and out of the landfills, which helps our earth. Reusable shopping bags help us save money because by spending fifty cents to two dollars for each bag the grocery stores and shops spend less money on plastic bags - a cost they pass onto us. Reusable grocery bags save our backs because they have straps you can put on your shoulders making it easier to carry our groceries and shopping items into our homes. So what is the problem with our reusable shopping bags? Well, it's not the bags; it's our capacity to remember to take them into the stores with us.

Following are 5 tips to help us remember our reusable shopping bags:


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Leave Reusable Bags in the Backseat of Your Car

Try to leave your reusable bags in the backseat of your vehicle so when you need them, you will only need to reach back and grab them. Hopefully, your peripheral vision will kick in before you get out and walk into the store.

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Put Your Reusable Bags Next to Your Purse, Wallet, or Cell Phone

When you bring your groceries into the house, put all your bags into one bag after you have unloaded them. Set them next to something like your purse, wallet, or cell phone. These are things we usually remember and will help us to remember to place the reusable bags back in our vehicles.

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Keep Some in Your Pantry

When you are creating your grocery list, you usually get into your pantry. Place a few of your reusable grocery bags in your pantry, and pick them up and place them and the list where you will remember them. Take them with you as you leave, and place them in tje front seat of your vehicle. Surely you will see them before going into the store.

If You Forget, They Are Cheap

If all else fails, buy more reusable bags while you are in the store. Of course, you are adding to your collection of reusable shopping bags, but it seems when you have to spend more money, you will remember that you had to buy them and will hopefully remember to grab them before walking into the store the next time. They are usually very cheap - 50 cents to 2 dollars a piece. They are well worth the purchase when you are carrying them into the house. Much better than the plastic bags that cut into your fingers because you are trying to get them all at once, plus the reusable bags hold so much more.

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Keep One in Your Suitcase

When traveling, it is nice to have a reusable shopping bag that has a zipper. It is so much easier to stick your merchandise in one bag and carry it on your shoulder, rather than trying to juggle several small and large bags at once. Your back will thank you when you are buying tourists trinkets and gifts for those back home.

© 2012 Susan Holland

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    • missolive profile image

      Marisa Hammond Olivares 5 years ago from Texas

      excellent tips. I try to place all of my extra bags into one bag. It just makes it easier. Thanks for the ideas. :)

    • sholland10 profile image
      Author

      Susan Holland 5 years ago from Southwest Missouri

      Me, too, MissO! I have had to buy several, but they are worth it.

      Thanks for dropping by!! :-)

    • Lord De Cross profile image

      Joseph De Cross 5 years ago

      This hub can be reusable again by sharing--the green idea will be a good reminder. Thanks for sharing your well researched hub Susan.

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

      Good ideas for keeping reusable shopping bags handy. You could make one to match your car's interior. And it could have your HP profile address embroidered on the front. Oh yes, it could also have a tiny business sized pocket for some cards with the profile address printed on it so when people ask, what's that? you can hand them a card and say, join up right here! Okay…I'll quit. :)

    • hectordang profile image

      hectordang 5 years ago from New York

      Thanks for the tips! I read an article saying reusable bags have more bacteria. Any thoughts on whether that's true?

    • tarajeyaram profile image

      tarajeyaram 5 years ago from Wonderland

      Sholland10-I have added this hub as one of my fav hubs for the week of March 25, 2012. I thought everyone should read this hub. Excellent hub.

    • diogenes profile image

      diogenes 5 years ago from UK and Mexico

      Ha! Good for ecology, BUT. I get mine in the disposable plastic bags because I use them when I sell books, etc, at the boot sales (flea markets). We don't have paper sacks like you did, at least when I lived in the US, but plastic ones...and we have to pack our purchases ourselves at the checkout!

      Bob

    • sholland10 profile image
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      Susan Holland 5 years ago from Southwest Missouri

      Thanks, Lord de Cross! :-)

    • sholland10 profile image
      Author

      Susan Holland 5 years ago from Southwest Missouri

      RTalloni, LOL, if I made one to match my car interior, I would surely forget it. LOL HubPages should have reusable bags! I don't sew, so they would have to come up with their own product. ;-)

    • sholland10 profile image
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      Susan Holland 5 years ago from Southwest Missouri

      Hi Hector, yes, I have read articles about bacteria in the reusable bags, too. At first I was concerned, but most grocers wrap meat, and most everything else is packaged to not leak. I haven't had any problems with the bags, and they are so suitable for carrying more. I guess you could spray them with Lysol after each use. Never tried it, but it might allay any concerns. :-)

    • sholland10 profile image
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      Susan Holland 5 years ago from Southwest Missouri

      Thank you, Tara! I am so glad you liked it. Reusable bags are so useful. :-)

    • sholland10 profile image
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      Susan Holland 5 years ago from Southwest Missouri

      Hi Bob, at least you are reusing the plastic bags. We have a choice between paper and plastic at most grocery stores if we don't have reusable bags.

      Thanks for dropping by! :-)

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      I am working on establishing this habit. I have done as you suggested and put them in my car. I do love them for the reasons you stated, especially that they are easier to carry if they can be carried over your shoulder. Great hub topic and so useful. Voted up.

    • sholland10 profile image
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      Susan Holland 5 years ago from Southwest Missouri

      Thanks, Teach! I have had problems forgetting mine, so I am striving to make it a habit, too. I do love using them. :-)

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 5 years ago from America

      I put them in my car. I could hang them over my head and I would still manage to forget them. I wish they would just take the plastic bags out of the store and force us to carry our own.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 5 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Susan....You are a handy-dandy lady! I hope more and more people begin to do their part in terms of saving or environment. I bought yards of burlap and made a dozen re-usable bags of various sizes and am sure to have some with me at all times. Thanks for the tips!!

    • profile image

      Giselle Maine 5 years ago

      Great hubs, with helpful tips. I keep my re-usable shopping bags in the house near the door, that way I can just grab them on the way out. There are lots of ways to stash them without looking cluttered.

      But I still sometimes forget to bring the bags so your tips are great!

    • sholland10 profile image
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      Susan Holland 5 years ago from Southwest Missouri

      LOL, Moonlake! I am pretty much the same way. That is why I had to come up with this list. I think even if they took all the plastic bags out, I would still forget at times... Oh well, I use the plastic bags to line my bathroom trash cans and to pick up trash in the yard.

    • sholland10 profile image
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      Susan Holland 5 years ago from Southwest Missouri

      Wow, Paula, you are very resourceful making your own. I would lose my eggs and milk if I had to sew my own - not much of a seamstress. LOL My daughter-in-law made me a gorgeous bag to carry my school papers or to use for shopping, and I LOVE IT!! Keep on sewing - they would make great gifts!! :-)

    • sholland10 profile image
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      Susan Holland 5 years ago from Southwest Missouri

      Hi Giselle, I try to keep them in at least one of the places I suggested. The best thing for me to do is to keep them in the backseat and see them when I get in the car to go to the store. Then, I simply reach back and put them in the front seat and pick them up as I get out of the car. You are right about stashing them without it looking cluttered. I guess ramming them down behind the backseat would count. LOL :-)

    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 5 years ago from Orange County, CA

      I think just having them everywhere is the best way to remember them. As you suggest, we have them in each of our cars, so we never forget them. Voting this Up and Useful.

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I have 1/2 of mine in my pantry, and the other 1/2 in the trunk of my car. I do keep one folded up in my purse. So many times I'll go into the store and forget to grab the bags out of the trunk. At least the car is close by.

      Useful tips!

    • sholland10 profile image
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      Susan Holland 5 years ago from Southwest Missouri

      Thanks, ALocsin! I think you are right. We should just have them in several spots we won't forget. :-)

    • sholland10 profile image
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      Susan Holland 5 years ago from Southwest Missouri

      Hi Susan! Keeping one in your purse is smart. I will turn around to go get them from my car if my cart isn't nearly full. LOL I have bought MANY shopping bags. LOL

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 5 years ago from United States

      Good suggestions. I do keep mine in my back seat but sometimes still forget. I will try putting my purse back there when I'm going shopping. Thanks.

    • RealHousewife profile image

      Kelly Umphenour 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Ya got me! I'm terrible about this - but I do reuse mine for trashcan liners in the bathrooms:) lol. I never forget them when I'm traveling though - I take empty ones for the shopping I know I'm going to be doing:) lol

      I will try to modify my behavior! Thanks for the tips!

    • emilybee profile image

      emilybee 5 years ago

      We keep the reusable shopping bags in the car, and always forgot to bring them in the store. So, when we get to the car we transfer everything into them, just because it's so much easier bringing everything up 3 flights of stairs to our apartment that way! We save our plastic bags for garbage though, which still isn't good..all that plastic going into landfills...but what are better ways? Everyone has trash. Great hub and voted up.

    • profile image

      Giselle Maine 5 years ago

      Hi sholland - yes, my biggest problem is remembering to place them in the back seat of the car in the first place. Once they are there, I'm fine, because my 2yr old and a 3yr old come with me - so I'm always going into the backseat to get the kids out. I did find that it is a little hard to carry more than 6 re-usable bags with 2 toddlers while still holding hands in the parking lot. But up to 6 bags is OK.

    • sholland10 profile image
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      Susan Holland 5 years ago from Southwest Missouri

      Pamela, great idea to throw the purse in the backseat! I usually wouldn't forget my purse - I hope. LOL :-)

    • sholland10 profile image
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      Susan Holland 5 years ago from Southwest Missouri

      Kelly, I have my good days and bad days. On the bad days, I know I am going to have trash can liners. :-) Please, please, don't ever modify your behavior!! LOL

    • sholland10 profile image
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      Susan Holland 5 years ago from Southwest Missouri

      Emily, I have put my plastic bags in my reusable bags before, too. I do try to remember them, though, and I have bought several cheap ones in the store. No lack of them at my house. LOL

    • sholland10 profile image
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      Susan Holland 5 years ago from Southwest Missouri

      Geselle, I find the reusable bags with the longer straps easiest to carry, especially with toddlers along. Moms can carry anything when dealing with kids and shopping. LOL We truly do find the best way to get it all in at once. ;-)

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 5 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Susan....Thank you for using such a nice word. "Resourceful".......I like that. All these years I thought I was just a cheap-skate, penny-pincher!!

    • sholland10 profile image
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      Susan Holland 5 years ago from Southwest Missouri

      Paula, you are FRUGAL!! LOL ME, TOO!!!

    • prairieprincess profile image

      Sharilee Swaity 5 years ago from Canada

      These are great ideas. I do have this problem, and do forget them sometimes when I wish I had them. I will put some in my trunk, so they will be there the next time I make a spontaneous trip to the grocery store. Great subject for an article!

    • sholland10 profile image
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      Susan Holland 5 years ago from Southwest Missouri

      Thanks, Prairieprincess! I got the topic from Simone's Weekly Topic Inspiration forum. Thanks for dropping by! :-)

    • robie2 profile image

      Roberta Kyle 5 years ago from Central New Jersey

      This is a wonderful, useful hub. It took me about a year to start reliably remembering my reusable shopping bags and now it would feel funny to use anything else, but for the longest time it was a problem, until I started putting them right by the front door so I would see them on my way out and take them to the car. Great job!!

    • sholland10 profile image
      Author

      Susan Holland 5 years ago from Southwest Missouri

      Good Job, Robie! Leaving them by the front door is a great idea! Thanks for sharing! :-)

    • JamaGenee profile image

      Joanna McKenna 5 years ago from Central Oklahoma

      The only way I can remember to take reusable bags with me is to hang them on the handle (or knob) of the front door! That way, I HAVE to come in contact with them to open the door, which makes me grab hold of them. There's no place to set them off to the side at that point, so unless I want to delay my departure by looking for a place to drop 'em, I HAVE to take them with me. Whatever works, right?

      Voted up, useful and awesome! ;D

    • RealHousewife profile image

      Kelly Umphenour 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Right right it isn't here!!

    • sholland10 profile image
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      Susan Holland 5 years ago from Southwest Missouri

      Jama, I know what you mean about having to come in contact with them. Something I didn't mention in the hub is slam the car door on a few bags that are sticking out when you know you are going to need them. That way you fix them by opening the door and putting them in the seat next to you. Yes, my memory can be that bad to have to resort to such extremes. LOL

      Thanks for dropping by and the votes! :-)

    • sholland10 profile image
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      Susan Holland 5 years ago from Southwest Missouri

      Kelly, I know! Maybe they are in the backseat with my bags! LOL

    • TToombs08 profile image

      Terrye Toombs 4 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

      Those are some great ideas, SH! I always forget mind. :( Voted up and more.

    • sholland10 profile image
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      Susan Holland 4 years ago from Southwest Missouri

      Hey Terrye! I forget mine, too. That is why I had to sit down to brainstorm ways to remember them in this hub. The back seat is my best bet for remembering; just putting them back is the problem. LOL

      Thanks for dropping by, voting and more! :-)

    • ketage profile image

      ketage 4 years ago from Croatia

      Great Hub, I have a dozen of these reusable bags. Because I always forget to carry them with me when I go grocery shopping. I do keep a few in the car, but I never remember to put them back after I use them.

    • sholland10 profile image
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      Susan Holland 4 years ago from Southwest Missouri

      I totally relate, Ketage! I set them next to my purse when I finish emptying them. That way I take them out the next time I leave. If I put them in a cabinet, forget it! LOL

      Thanks for dropping by! :-)

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