Grit Blogs > Farm Fresh and Frugal

Easy Reusable Bags

MaryAnnWith the current law passed in California banning single use plastic bags, I figured it was a perfect time to talk about reusable bags. I’ve been using reusable bags now for well over 10 years, and my first set of strings bags are pretty much worn out with plenty of holes. My issue isn’t necessarily with plastic for I do believe it has its uses. My issue is with disposables. Everything today is designed to be disposable. Great, so you throw it in the garbage and then what? That garbage then sits in a landfill for centuries piling up until there is an incomprehensible amount of pollution.

I try to limit the amount of garbage we produce at home. We use cloth instead of paper napkins and tissues, washcloths instead of paper towels, cloth diapers, and containers instead of plastic wrap. I make most of our food from scratch and buy my produce direct from the farms, our meat is direct from the butcher wrapped in butchers paper, all reducing the amount of kitchen waste, which can add up to a lot. Most of these things I did to save money. I hate using disposables. I’m cheap. To me it’s a waste of money to buy something with the intention of throwing it in the garbage. If I’m going to waste money by throwing it away I’ll go to the casino instead.

Since I spend so much of my time in either the kitchen or the garden I tend to stain my cloths quickly. I try to keep a set of good clothes and a set of work clothes, but inevitably we’ll be hosting dinner and I’m cooking and the next thing you know my ‘good’ shirt now has tomato, grease, wine or some other stain on it.

Add stitches to an old tshirt

Since I had a pile of shirts and my bag stash was slowly disappearing, I decided to solve two problems at once and repurposed my old stained tank tops into bags by simply adding a couple rows of stitches across the bottom. (Since knit doesn’t fray or unravel you can do the same thing with any old T-shirt by cutting the neck and armholes as desired. ) Viola! Instant grocery bag. They are cheap, easy to make and because the knit is stretchy, you can fit a lot in them and never worry about the handles breaking or digging into you fingers when they are heavy. If they get dirty just toss them in the laundry with the rest of the wash, it couldn’t be easier. The best part is the reaction from the kids bagging groceries. At first they think you are handing them your laundry then when they discover it’s a bag they get excited over it, it’s priceless.

Finished bags

nebraskadave
10/6/2014 8:24:07 AM

MaryAnn, what a great easy and simple idea. It's one of those duh moments. I like the simple ideas that can make a difference in what we throw away. We really do live in a throw away society. When I was a kid we hardly had any trash to set out for the garbage truck. Of course we burned all the paper trash in a burn barrel out back. The newspapers, magazines, and cardboard were sold back to the paper companies. I see that some stores are recycling cardboard by compacting and baling it up for the recycle company. All grocery stores have a container to recycle the plastic bags into manufactured wood products. I'm pretty diligent about returning all unused bags to the recycle container at the grocery store. My city recycles every thing but glass, so the trash can is not full here either. ***** Have a great reusable bag day.