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Apr 14, 2008 02:46 PM

Trying to go BYOB with the groceries

So, now I have a large recyclable bag from Whole Foods, 2 smaller bags from Krogers, and a canvas bag from Spec's liquor. I try to remember to take them with me, or keep them in the car, but sometimes I am in my car and sometimes it's his car, so I need to get even more and keep the same amount in both cars. I was really concerned about glass jars banging around each other and breaking, and I wanted a bag with compartments. Lo and behold, I am at Krogers and they have a special offer that if you buy 6 bottles of wine you get a free wine bag, with, Duh, 6 compartments. I don't want 6 bottles of wine so I ask and they let me just have one! So nice to be a well known regular. Well, I had forgotten my bag, so I grab another one (they are only $1.00) and hand that to the checker, first. She asks if I want to use it (I scratched my head) and I said yes, please, and then she asks if I want paper or plastic? Huh! I want to use that bag. I take the bottled items and put in the wine bag, the sacker fills up my blue bag, I hand her my canvas bag and she puts a couple things in it, and proceeds to put the rest in a plastic bag! It's going to take awhile to get these people used to this, but I am determined!

How is everyone else doing with this?

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  1. Many places now charge for plastic bags, that might start the change.

    1. helps to put your reusable bag first at the checkout, so that's the first thing that's handed to the bagger (does not apply at bag-yer-own places).

      1 Reply
      1. re: soupkitten

        I did that and she still asked if I wanted paper or plastic!

        1. I think it may depend on where you live. At the grocery stores I go to in Toronto it's pretty much the norm to bring your own bag and the stores strongly encourage doing so. In fact, I always feel a bit guilty if I don't have my bags with me and have to use plastic. I just put my re-usable bags at the front of the groceries and ask them to please use them. Keep at it - they'll catch on and it probably won't be a big deal for them much longer as stores become more aware. Every little bit helps!

          1. re: ms. clicquot

            The groceries don't seem to have a problem where I live either, they've all figured it out. It's the non-grocery stores where people seem to be confused - drug stores, department stores, etc.

            1. re: rockandroller1

              Yes, I agree that sometimes there can be some confusion at non-grocery stores. However, I have noticed that some drugstores and the liquor store now have their own re-usable bags available so I think they're starting to come around.

            2. re: ms. clicquot

              I think more and more stores of all kinds will catch on to this. Judging by the reactions of the baggers at my local supermarket when I first began doing this, I must have been one of the first people in their store to request that they put the groceries in my own bag. Now they do this without any reactions of surprise, etc.

              Whole Foods will be discontinuing its plastic bags next week. Here is an interesting article in today's Times. You're damn if you do...damn if you don't.


          2. We have used the big bags from Ikea and just purchased a green canvas, slightly insulated, zippable bag from Stop n Shop. I think it was $3.00. It is hard to remember to take them with you all the time. I love the fact that things do not go flying all over the car when I do 2G cornering or panic stops!
            If you think of it, save some of the cardboard partitions (that x each other) from wine boxes to keep glass things seperated. If you cut some off both ends they will still stay together and will not need to stand so tall.

            5 Replies
            1. re: Scargod

              Thanks Scar. Using the cardboard insertions is a great idea!

              1. re: danhole

                You're quite welcome. One note: I'm not the "God of Scars" but the "God of escargots".

                You can call me S, or you can call me Go, or you can call me Scargo, or you can call me Slow, or you can call me God, or you can call me S-car-God or you can call me SG, or you can call me SCG, but you doesn't have to call me me late for dinner...

                1. re: danhole

                  I saw this thread yesterday and haven't read through all of it so may be repeating what someone else has posted. If so, sorry about that!

                  I was just at Trader Joe's today and they had smaller reuseable bags made for bottles. It holds six and is 99 cents. Just thought I would mention it. Also at this TJ's (not sure all are doing it) if you bring your own bags, you put your name and address on a raffle ticket and it goes into a drawing for $10.00 in free groceries. Great way to get people to use their own bags. It has taken me a while, first I got them in the car, now I usually remember to take them into the store and am loving not having so many plastic bags to recycle.

                  1. re: jodymaryk

                    All the TJ's I know of (in the Bay Area) do that raffle thing.

                    I really like the red canvas insulated zipper bag I got at TJ's. It was cheap, too, for the quality of the bag. I'm trying really hard to remember to put the bags back in the car after I take the groceries in, and to take them into the store with me.

                    Now, if they would make paper receipts optional, I'd be happy. I really don't need a receipt for every purchase I make, especially when it's under $10. And when it's food, I'm not going to return it (except at TJ's, where they don't require a receipt anyway) so why do I need a receipt?

                    1. re: Ruth Lafler

                      Unfortunately, that's the way cash registers work, and I doubt you could jimmy one so that it would generate a receipt only on request (some people will still want them, if they're budgeting or want to make sure that the checker didn't make an error; and of course some things you buy at the grocery are returnable). But yeah, when I get home, I rarely look at mine -- and of course when I do want to return something, I can never find the receipt. I wish there were a better system.

              2. IMO some checkers just don't know how to bag groceries at ALL, never mind in a canvas bag, and therefore can only know how to jam a few items in all over the place and move on to the next plastic bag. Also, if that person isn't buying into the whole BYOB themselves, they may not understand what all the hoo-ha is about and not make an effort to make sure your canvas bag is blocked before moving onto plastic (and sadly some checkers are barely even aware there's a customer there, just swiping away while they talk to the next checker over). Some people don't understand either that the BYOB's are a LOT stronger than plastic so you CAN fill them to the brim.

                Our local liquor stores had the buy 3 bottles and get the free bag promotion and I got one too, they're pretty neat ! But my problem is i never remember to bring them, so i really love the LUGZ bags and (thanks to a fellow poster's recommendation) Baggu, because they fit in my purse, always on hand (yes i carry big purses, and don't tend to buy more than three or four bags of groceries at a time). I have used these in my small town grocery stores, big chains, lots of markets, conveniences stores, drug stores you name it, no problem.. Only once or twice have i ever run into a checker who didn't seem to grasp that you could put more in them than regular bags.

                You could just try a friendly "could ya please fill that one to the brim...i find it SO much easier just carrying one bag" and a nice thank you :) They'll catch on . Perhaps the bagger had it drilled into their heads to ALWAYS ask the customer "paper or plastic". My bags sometimes spark conversation with the checker/bagger too, and i'm usually pretty quick to say how great they are for many reasons, including how strong they are and how much you can CRAM in there !.

                3 Replies
                1. re: im_nomad

                  I'm sure I annoyed one sacker, because as they were trying to put items into a plastic bag, instead of my bag, I was taking them out and putting them in my bag. She looked at me like I was a loon, but I told her it was less for me to carry, and she seemed okay with that response.

                  1. re: danhole

                    Many when they do this then throw away the plastic bag. Argh!!

                    1. re: lgss

                      Yeah, when they throw away the bag I have just refused - really! There is this one counter guy at the corner store who, whenever my husband and I refuse the bag, proceeds to put it on his head like a hat, as a joke. Ha ha very amusing - but then he throws it away (as well he should, since it's just been on his head). I am not kidding - he has done this 3 times...