Living Large Tip of the Week: Remembering those Cloth Bags

We've been using the same cloth bags for two decades

I’ve blogged that converting to cloth grocery bags is one of the easiest ways to help the environment. In over 20 years of using cloth bags, we’ve calculated that we’ve saved over 10,000 plastic bags from being produced and thrown into the landfill.

Cloth bags also helps you reduce clutter/trash that you bring into your home and it could save you money at the grocery store as many stores gives you at least .05 cents for every bag.

When I blogged about this before, readers lamented that they have tried to convert to cloth bags, but they cannot remember to bring them each trip.

Here’s some tips on remembering your cloth bags:

  • Keep them in your car under the seat where they will be out of the way, yet still visible when you go to grab your purse.
  • When making your grocery list, write”cloth bags” at the top of your list as the first item each week until grabbing them becomes a habit.
  • If you clip coupons, use some scrap bits of recycled paper, making “coupons” for your cloth bags. Keep them with your coupons until this easy way to save money becomes second nature. .25-.50 cents a week may not seem like a lot until it adds up to $13-$26 per year!
  • If you shop with someone else, remind each other about your bags. This could be a fun game to play with your children and a way to help teach them about saving our planet.

This post is part of the Patchwork Living Blogging Bee over at Attainable Sustainable.

Do you use any other methods to remember your cloth bags?

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20 Responses

  1. sarah henry says:

    If I leave them in the car, I just send my kid out to collect ’em, if we’re in line, or explain to the person behind me, who holds my spot. People understand.

  2. joan says:

    As I empty my bags when I come home with all the groceries, I fold them up and put them inside one of the bags–I hang it on the front doorknob to put back in the car the next time I go out.

    • Kerri says:

      Good idea, Joan. I take mine right back out, but that’s only because we have such a little house and I don’t want to look at them hanging on my doorknob from every vantage point in our house! 😉

  3. Toni says:

    If I forget them in the car, I just have my items put back in my cart instead of into a plastic bag, then bag them myself at my car.

  4. I like the idea of adding ‘cloth bags’ to the grocery list. It did take me awhile to get in the habit, but practice makes perfect and all that. Now it’s just second nature.

    I also keep a couple of small bags (like these: in my purse at all times, just in case.

    • Kerri says:

      That’s also a good idea, Kris. I never thought of having smaller bags with me, although I have a couple of small cloth ones!

  5. Mary Brown says:

    I have the bags in the car but also seem to forget them until we are checking out, I’m going to use the idea of writing “cloth bags” on top of the list. I also don’t have enough for our shopping trip and need to get a few more.


    • Kerri says:

      I start a list and put it on the fridge. Had to start doing this when we moved here because trips to town are so far. Good luck, Mary, I hope it helps!

  6. Bonnie says:

    Seems like 5 minutes after we put away the things from our shopping trip we’re starting a new list. The idea of including ‘cloth bags’ is a good one for us – thanks!

  7. Heather L. says:

    Thank you for these handy hints. I can’t tell you how often we forget our bags and in addition to all the good things it does for the environment, it’s easier for us old people to carry into the house than those stupid plastic things.

  8. I am SO guilty of this! I keep my cloth bags in the car and still get all the way to the checkout lane before remembering that they’re still in my back seat. Putting them where I set my purse is a great idea! Good tips! Thanks Kerri!

  9. I put my empty gallon culligan water jugs (bpa free)in my bags as soon as i empty them. that way i never forget to take the bags, because i never forget that i need to refill my water jugs. 🙂

  10. kerri says:

    Excellent idea, Lisa!

  11. Lisa says:

    I also use my cloth bags to store those empty soda bottles and cans! It makes it easy to remember to bring them with you if they’re full of those refunds!