I've got another Save Your Wallet While Helping Save The Earth Tip for you. This one is so simple!
Reusable shopping bags!
Now you might be thinking....I'm not going to spend money for bags when I can get the store's plastic bags for free. You don't necessarily have to. I didn't switch over to reusable shopping bags over night. Baby steps here....remember? ;)
For those of you that don't know, I'm a couponer. Not to the extreme like you see on TV, but I do clip lots coupons and watch sales ads very closely. If you want to know more about couponing check out my posts here. While clicking coupons, I often come across one that says if you buy a certain amount of something, then you will get one of that store's shopping bags for free.
For example, I think one time if I bought three of a specific frozen vegetable I got the bag for free. I was in need of those veggies, I had a coupon, and they were on sale, so I got the bag. I happened to have two of those coupons, so I actually got two. Two doesn't sound like much, but let me tell you, you can get A LOT of things in those two bags. Way more then the plastic ones that end up breaking when you fill too full. Not to mention, the great big handles for easy carrying and how nicely the boxy bags sit so nicely in the trunk of your car without you getting home to find the cans of soup rolling out all over from the plastic ones!
You know....you don't have to have the specific store bag to use in that store. I take my Publix bags into Kroger all the time. I figure they probably enjoy the fact that I have another store's bag, but yet they are filling it with items from there store. :)
Also, check your closets. Do you have bags from promotional makeup deals, beach bags you don't ever use? Pull those things out and give them a use!
I the picture above, you'll see an Olive Garden take out bag (mine and DD's favorite restaurant!), this bag is PERFECT for your loaves of bread, baguettes, and chips. I've found that old Lord & Taylor bag in the back of my closet. There's also that real small Nature's Bounty bag that I got with a sample in the mail. It is just the right size for those...ahem...personal items that you just need to quickly run in the store to get.
For you CVS shoppers.....
don't forget to buy your green bag tag. Gasp! Yes, I did say buy. When you buy this tag for $1, you put it on your bag's handle. Each time you shop at CVS they will scan it. On your 4th visit you will get a $1 back to use on your next order. Now, it has paid for itself AND for every future 4th visit.....Cha Ching! you've made a dollar just for using a reusable bag! You can read more about this here.
Did you know that Target will give you 5 cents off your order for each reusable bag you use? You can read more on that here. Just click the arrow to the right of the screen and it will scroll to the information on that.
So watch out for those promotional coupons to get free bags, and check your closets. I bet in no time you will have enough bags to fulfill all your shopping needs. (Believe me, you do not need tons of these! I have 6 or 7, and that is ample for my family of three's shopping trips. I normally don't even use all of them in one trip.) If not, maybe just invest in one bag a trip. Then it's not too big of an expense all at once.
After you come home from shopping, and empty those bags, be sure to put them somewhere that you will remember to grab them before going to the store. I can't tell you how many times I got to the store and realized I had left them at home! Grrr! To help solve this, I fold them and put them all into one bag in my pantry. I am normally checking my pantry before heading out to the store anyway. Or, you could just fold them neatly and put them by the door and place them in the trunk of your car the next time you head out. That way you always have them with you. :)
I hope you all have been enjoying this series, and have found ways that you can Save Your Wallet While Helping Save the Earth. :) If you would like to read the previous tips just click here. I'd love to hear about some of the tips that you have started using, or have even improved on!