Wednesday, February 20, 2008

5 cents = 31 Dollars at the Grocery Store!

I was inspired to write this post based on two blogs I read this week, Carries Cooking and Money Saving Mom. Both of these sites touched on the topic of all those plastic bags we stockpile from the grocery store.

Carrie's blog made a great point for those of us who shop Kroger. I never knew this, BUT they have those big brown bins at the entrance that are there for you to drop your plastic bags in for recycling. I had seen those bins for years...yes, years...and never thought to ask what they were sitting there for. I knew it was recyclying, but I figured for cans, etc. Now, we all know. They are to put your extra plastic bags in. How easy is that? What a great way to help save the environment!!! So, if you have extras..I highly recommend this.

Well, while I was at the grocery store today, I decided to ask my check out clerk if they give any money off for bringing your own grocery bags. I had seen a lot about the reusuable grocery bags you could buy. The ones at my Kroger were kind of expensive, so I hated to shell out the cash...but, well, maybe it was worth it.

Anway, she told me, yes, Kroger does give 5 cents for every bag you provide. Great! 5 cents. But, this was the kicker. She said, instead of dropping your extra bags out in the bin in the front, bring them into the store and through the checkout lane with you. They will reuse those plastic bags on the spot and you will get the 5 cents off! Yeah..I don't have to buy that expensive reusable grocery bag ( or bags, in my case )!

So, when I took all my groceries out tonight, I nicely put them one inside of the other. Then, I immediately went and put them in the back of my van so they will be ready for my next shopping trip. The only ones I didn't reuse were the ones the meat were in ( I am kind of funny about that ). So, those I put in a seperate pile and will put in the recycling bin at the front of Kroger.

Anyway, back to my math! How does 5 cents = 31 dollars? I use approximately 12 bags each grocery trip. 12 bags x 5 cents = 60 cents a trip. I grocery shop once a week. So, 60 cents x 52 weeks = 31 Dollars!! Wasn't that fun! I am now going to have an extra 31 dollars a year AND help the environment.

So, when you head out to the grocery this week, you need to ask a few questions. First, check with your customer service desk to see if they give anything off for providing your own bags at checkout. Then, in addition, ask if they have a recycling spot for the used plastic bags!


Kim said...

That is a great incentive to reuse bags :) I only have one reusable bag, a Target one that was $1.50. I got it because it was made much better than the $1 bags at the other stores. I'd like to start making bags out of worn out clothes, like old jeans. They'd be really sturdy and stylin all at the same time :)

Carrie said...

If you do end up making your own...let me know. I would love to display some homemade bags on my blog. What a great idea!

Joanne said...

Having fun reading back posts in your blog! At Target they also give you 5c for each bag you bring! I thought that was great. This week at walgreens they have 2 bags for $1.. can't beat that, and works well for a filler if you need to get a few more cents to use a RR. :)

Ed Sonnenburg said...


With all those 5 cents the stores will be taking in they should put a recycle bin in a convenient spot inside the store. People with bags at home can bring them in and throw them in the bin. If someone doesn't have bags with them they can grab a few and use them to take home their groceries. These bags could potentially be used many times until they are torn or ripped. In the long run fewer bags would be produced. As an incentive grocery stores should refund us our 5 cents if we return them.

Otherwise it is just a money grab for them. We don't need grocery stores to "train" us.

Ed Sonnenburg

Mildred said...

I am on a fixed income and I refuse to spend the 5 cents on the bags, so I take my own. However, now I'm spending $10 for a package of Glad Kitchen Catchers. Environment? Are they crazy? The thickness and quality of the Glad Kitchen Catchers is far stronger than those flimsy bags we used to get for free. So if they think they are helping the environment - think again. I have 2 cats with litter to be emptied daily, and kitchen and bathroom garbage cans that I line with the plastic bags. What am I suppose to do? Just throw the garbage into my lawn as-is? Or throw it out onto the street? I wouldn't want someone to slip on a banana peel.

The evil people who thought up this asinine idea to start charging for grocery bags need to have their heads examined. Talk about short-sighted thinking. It's all about big corporations steeling more money from the consumer. That's all it is folks. So if you want to get back at these grocery stores, here are some suggestions:

- Start shopping at Wal-Mart for groceries, not only are they cheaper, but you'll get free bags.
- IGA is currently still giving bags away - shop there until they stop.
- Boycott any and all stores that make you pay for the bags.
- Go to Loblaws/Superstore/whatever and fill your cart full of groceries. Unload them at the checkout and ask, "Oh are you guys charging for bags now?" When the clerk says yes - walk out and leave your groceries on the belt.

I love that last idea. That will not only get the cashier riled up, but someone will have to put them away and surely the store manager will start hearing that people are doing this over the charge they are applying on their bags.

The other ideas are great too. Maybe when they review their quarterly sales reports they will see how terrible sales are minus the hundreds or hopefully thousands of people who used to shop there taking their business elsewhere!

You have the power folks - not the stores. If they are going to play hardball, you play hardball too. It's time Canadians stood up to these companies who have done nothing but try to steel the money from our pockets.

Carrie @ said...


You are kidding? They actually make you pay to hae your groceries bagged?

I have never heard of such a thing, but I guess it just hasn't spread to Ohio yet.

Is this a Canadian thing or do others see this across the US, too?

Anonymous said...

I say bag your own bring your own. People are too wasteful. I say charge for bags, inform the public first. So you don't have someone putting groceries up, (or thrown out if it is Wal-Mart, the law states they throw it away once it leaves the it's home.) Which raises the price of groceries.