Reusable grocery totes are all the rage right now...whether they are a nostalgic throwback to bygone cartoons, an Eco-friendly work of art crafted by an up-and-coming artist, or a DIY crafting project involving little more than an old shirt and a pair of scissors, this HOT new fashion accessory (Europeans have been donning these for years!) is a frugal shopper’s new Bestie! Forget the old “Paper or Plastic” routine…no matter what your budget, you can find (or create) a grocery tote that expresses your personal style, eliminates hundreds of useless (and non-biodegradable) plastic bags each year, and aids you in your quest to save as much money as possible when shopping!! I’ve fallen in love with these reusable totes! They are available in every material, color, design and size imaginable, and most bags cost next to nothing, and boast some very cool features/perks.
Stay tuned till the end of the post…I’ve gathered a collection of the most adorable, practical, and reasonably priced grocery totes on the web!! 🙂
5 Reasons To Make The Switch To A Reusable Grocery Tote
- They are environmentally AWESOME!! Not only do these handy little helpers keep millions of plastic grocery bags from eternally cluttering landfills each year, but a lot of them are made from recycled materials, like plastic water bottles. Earth friendly times two! Reusable and Sustainable are definitely two of the hottest “It” words of the decade…
- The designs are VERY chic. Or retro. Or nostalgic. Or comfortable/functional. Whatever you’re looking for that expresses your personal style, I guarantee there is a tote that fits the bill. From old-school Sesame Street characters to the designs of well-known artists, the options available in this new “handbag” category are amazing, and the construction materials, artwork and designs are becoming more innovative and inventive every month. Yet another outlet in which you can express yourself. You can even find “thermal” or “insulated” totes (like picnic or beer coolers) that help keep your groceries cool until you get home! How great is modern technology?
- You don’t have to worry about the bottom of your bag breaking open and your expensive bottle of Grey Goose vodka shattering all over the unforgiving pavement on your walk home/to the car (not to mention your five cans of cream of chicken soup rolling down a steep graded hill faster than you can possibly catch up in your new Jessica Simpson heels without falling flat on your face) as you can only stare vacantly in horror. This is a true story. Enough said. All hail reinforced canvas bottoms that cradle your groceries and liquor like the precious cargo that they are!!
- If you’re an avid bargain-hunter/couponer (like I am) these totes are fabulous because they pull double-duty and give you a way to carry your tools-of-the-trade into the store. My purse isn’t big enough to hold my “Bargain-Hunting Kit” (with my checkbook, keys, wallet, three different lipsticks, compact, change purse, etc., etc., etc. already stuffed to maximum capacity inside of it), so my grocery tote is a great way to covertly carry my coupon binder, calculator, mini-scissors, sale circulars, and whatever else I need for my mission without looking particularly awkward!! Just pop them in the tote, and no one’s the wiser…they stay safe and secure until needed, and leave your hands free to shop and text on your Droid simultaneously! Then just carry them out amongst your newly purchased, almost-free groceries! (Plus they are handy on overnight trips, as beach-bags, and so much more…)
- Reusable totes can save you money at stores you already shop at! Many people don’t realize that an increasing number of grocery/drugstore/super-centers are offering enticing incentives that encourage shoppers to bring their own grocery bags. Most offer a small discount off your total bill that is calculated per bag (usually from 3 to 10 cents), and some stores will enter you in drawings for free groceries or prizes. For the supremely altruistic amongst us, a small number of stores allow you the option of donating your small grocery-bag savings to a favorite charity instead of reaping the monetary rewards on your grocery receipt. Any way you slice it, savings do add up! (example…if my grocery store takes 5 cents off my bill for every reusable bag I fill with their products, and estimating that I fill 5 grocery bags each week, the savings from using reusable totes would equal around $1 each month, or $12 per year…I know, I know, it doesn’t seem like much…but it’s enough to get me a couple subscriptions to my favorite magazines for the year. That makes me happy. 🙂 ) All the small ways we save money add up to BIG savings at the end of the year!!
Stores That Reward Customers Who Bring Their Own Reusable Shopping Bags/Totes
Remember, these policies can differ depending on the location/ownership policies of your store. Don’t take my word as gospel; always find out the nitty-gritty details of your local branch’s practices before banking on that extra 5 cents per bag discount!!
- Target (takes 5 cents per bag off your total bill)
- CVS (purchase a tag for 99 cents that you attach to your tote-it’s scanned every time you shop-and get a $1 off coupon for every fourth scan)
- Aldi’s (no longer will you have to pay good money for hideous Aldi’s plastic bags. Reward enough.)
- Safeway (save 3 cents per bag)
- Kroger (save 3 to 5 cents per bag)
- Foodland (save 5 cents per bag)
- Winco (save 10 cents per bag. WOO HOO! BIG SPENDERS!)
- Whole Foods (save 10 cents per bag, or opt to donate this sum to a local charity or school)
- Trader Joe’s (tote users are often entered into giveaways for free groceries or other items, and sometimes a small amount of store credit is given, depending on your location’s policies)
My Favorite Reusable Grocery Totes on the Web
From Tapp Collections on Amazon.com, this cheerful and fun tote is perfect for parent’s toting the kiddos along to the grocery store (or the kid at heart!)…the whole thing easily folds/scrunches up to fit inside the connected duck, which will easily fit inside your purse for easy storage. VERY tempted to get my niece one of these for Christmas…she’s only 5 but she LOVES helping out on shopping excursion. Don’t fancy the duck? No worries…they also sell frogs, mice, pigs and more! Only $7.99 and eligible for free shipping if you’re ordering $25 or more of products from Amazon. Definitely the most storage-friendly bag of the bunch...you could probably even stuff the little duck/frog/pig in your pocket…or your bra (depending on cup size and bra construction, of course!)
Masha Reusable Tote: this tote has it all: It’s ultra-chic cherry tree design was created by artist Masha Dyans, its primarily constructed of reclaimed plastic bottles (perfect for you or as a gift for you Eco-conscious BFF) , and the price is nice!! Only $6.99!! Check out Amazon for a few more of her aesthetically pleasing bag designs if this one doesn’t tickle your fancy! As far as grocery totes go, she has some AMAZING artwork going on in her bag designs!
Envirosax Sesame Street Shopper: Oscar The Grouch: Who doesn’t want to relive those “Sunny Days”?? This lightweight tote can be rolled up and snapped for easy storage, and is rain-resistant and Eco-friendly ( wallet friendly too…only $8.73, with free super-saver shipping available! 6 dollars, 7 dollars, 8 dollars, Mwah-Ha-Ha-Ha!! C’mon…The Count???) Check out the page for a few more of your favorite characters immortalized on these cool grocery totes…
Waste Less Bags Variety Pack (6 bags): Because let’s face it, bargain-shopping addicts (like me!) need more than just one bag. This set of 6 delivers it all…colorful, coordinated, and in varying sizes. And each one can hold up to 25 pounds or two-times the weight of a normal grocery bag! Sign me up! These babies are also waterproof…no more soggy paper bags!! $19.29 for all six ($3.22 each) and eligible for free shipping on Amazon with orders of $25 or more.
Want to do it yourself??? Check out this awesome post from asewingjournal.com that rounds up some of the most popular DIY reusable tote/produce bag/etc. craft projects out there on the web that are made from nothing more than old, tired t-shirts and such! (and with such awesome results!!) Pick the project picture you like best and click on the link for detailed instructions on how to make your own grocery tote…a great sewing project for beginners, and a fantastic way to finally put your ex-boyfriend’s t-shirts that have been stuffed in the back of your closet to rest (and good use!!) The required slicing, dicing and shredding of them is VERY therapeutic, and the end result is crazy-chic! HAVE FUN GALS!! 🙂
See anything you like?? What kind of reusable bag do you carry home your hard-won bargains in?? Please feel free to comment in the box below (or the link at the top of the post) or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!! I look forward to hearing from you, and welcome any ideas you have!!