Reusable Grocery Bags?

I have a fairly trivial question, but am wondering if anyone has reusable grocery bags that they find particularly functional.

I’ve never used reusable grocery bags in the past, however a ban on disposable is taking effect in our town. Paying a tax every time will annoy me, so we’ll get reusable bags.

I’m interested if there is anything better than what the grocery stores offer out there. A bag that is easy to carry and clean (very important), while being well made and durable would be of most interest.


My supermarket, in the UK, sells quite heavy duty bags with which I have no problem.

By the by, since a charge for disposable bags was introduced recently in England (a goodly while after Scotland & Wales introduced it.), almost everyone uses the hevay duty. (5p per bag - only applies to larger outlets - small shops in the village are not affected). As an aside, there was a recent news item that a small manufacturer of disposable bags has cited the charge as a signifciant reason why thye have had to close, making 40 employees redundant.

Trader Joes gave me a free one . We have been bag free in stores for over a year now . You can purchase a brown paper bag at the grocer if forgot your bag , I like the reusable bags because of their strength . No more busted paper handles or the paper bag blowing out at the bottom spilling your groceries .

Free? Dang, TJ’s charges 99 cents for them where I am. But they are good quality, durable and cleanable. And if you bring your own you can enter the weekly raffle for a $25 gift card. (I actually won once, so I know people do win.)

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We’ve been bag-free for a couple years now in our county. I was using the reusable $.99 bags from Trader Joe’s, but I don’t like that they can’t be washed in the washing machine.

I ended up ordering these a few weeks ago and love them – they are a great size, comfortable to carry and can be thrown into the washing machine. (I ordered one of the sets of 5 bags with the carry pouch)


Really like most of my tote bags. Not a fan of TJ’s. I find them awkward. Maybe I just prefer the cloth fabric.

While I do like the washable canvas ones from TJ there are a lot of great ones on Etsy. I hate plastic bags so I’ve used cloth ones for many years. Machine washable is my #1 requirement.


We’ve been using the same canvas shopping bags for just about 30 years. I bought them from the Vermont Country Store in Weston VT during one of our monthly sojourns there. They hold quite a lot more than one of those baskets that markets have instead of a market cart. Plus they are laundered every week.

I just checked the store and they no longer carry the same bag, but do offer shopping bags, probably improved. It’s worth an investigation I think. The link I post does not mirror the bags we have. Ours are soft, a bit larger, just an ordinary canvas bag but does stand when you position it.

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[quote=“Gio, post:8, topic:3860”]
I bought them from the Vermont Country Store in Weston VT[/quote]

Those look nice and guaranteed forever is always a welcome policy. It looks like this newer design is designated spot clean only. I agree with one of the above posts that washable is definitely a must. Cleanliness is one of the reasons I never bothered with reusable bags before. I wish these could be washed weekly like yours.

I don’t mind the Trader Joes bags . Washable . What for ? How dirty is the basket or shopping cart the store provides you with that you cart throughout the store . I’m not that extreme .


I’ve used them for decades, and never, ever washed one. Everything’s in its own container or bag. There’s never been a need to wash them. The contents aren’t exposed any more than they’d be in a paper or flimsy plastic bag. As long as nothing has spilled inside the reusable tote, I see no reason to wash it. Most of mine are plastic, so they stand upright for easy loading, which some, but not all, of the fabric ones will do.


Bacteria will multiply in most reusable bags over time. The place most people will probably put the bags when arriving at the market is the same place kids in diapers sit in the cart…as dirty as a public restroom. Unless you individually bag all of your produce there’s the potential for nastiness spreading from unwashed produce to the bags and vice versa. Storing the bags in your trunk? It’s fairly filthy in there too. Do you remember which bag you used for meat and which for vegetables on your last shopping trip? If not there’s potential for cross contamination. The list of reasons goes on and on.

To each their own. I am admittedly a bit OCD, but yeah, I definitely want bags I can wash.

The trunk of my car is way cleaner than anything in the grocery store . How about the checkout conveyor belts . There is plenty of snot dripped on those . And when you handle money , pretty scary what’s happening on that surface . Alive and kicking well .


I don’t wash my bags. They probably should be washed but I never had the time or the will. I just use the dirtiest for meat, fish, and veggies. Clean ones for stuff I don’t cook.

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I got two really big canvas ones from Costco that are great. I always put my meat in a plastic bag though.


I like the ones with double handles (long and short) because when they’re heavy, I like being able to put them over my shoulder. example:

I use the plastic ones and they get a “clorox wipe” every now and then. produce is in a bag, anyway. the diaper thing made me think twice, though…

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Yah, we have a WF bag with double handles - LOVE it.

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I’m also short enough that some bags scrape the ground, so the ability to carry on shoulders is key.

I use the ones I bought when we lived in Europe – made of the same material as a roof tarp, so while not machine washable, certainly tough enough to stand up to being turned inside out and washed in soapy water if something gross spills inside. (I do my best to not purchase anything that’s already spoiled, and my food gets washed and/or cooked before consumption…)

They’re enormous and tough and will hold enough stuff that carrying it can become an issue.

Problem is that the clerks, bless 'em, think they can only put 2-3 items in them – I actually told one petite ltitle thing that I could carry HER in that bag.

The best part is that it also slashes the number of trips to and from the car.

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Since I have a growing collection of branded, freebie bags from events, I use these for most of my shopping these days. My favorites though are the bigger canvas tote like bags with long handles. I tend to walk to the grocery store, so I can carry it on my shoulder and it’s easier than lugging them like like the regular bags. It’s also great of course for non-grocery shopping. On the odd chance I buy ice-cream or something moist, I just put that in a plastic bag before I toss it in the tote. I’ve never had something melt/seep through. If it does get dirty, I throw it in the wash.

I have cats so I don’t let plastic bags go entirely to waste, but I do find myself with using only 1 maybe 2 at most plastic bags per trip, rather than 4 or 5.

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