Six Ways to Reuse Your Plastic Grocery Bags

Plastic grocery bags can be irritating and useful all at the same time. These days most grocery stores no longer offer paper sacks, and if you have forgotten your reusable bags, you are probably going to go home with anywhere from one to two dozen little plastic sacks. If you hate waste, then these bags probably drive you nuts. Fortunately, there are a number of things that you can do with plastic grocery bags to give them a second life.

Reusable Bags 

First things first, you should consider investing in some reusable bags. You can often find these bags at your local grocery store for 99 cents or a dollar or two. Buy a bunch—really you can never have too many. Leave them in your car, your spouse’s car, the house, and anywhere else you think you might need them. They are useful carry bags in general. You can even save a few plastic grocery bags and reuse them at your local farmer’s market or grocery store.

Pet Bags 

If you have pets, then these bags can be very useful. For example, you can use plastic grocery bags to clean out your cat’s litter box. They are the perfect size, and this way you don’t have to dump loose litter into your trash can. If you have a small back yard, these bags are also a great way to clean up after your dog.

Lunch Bags

Plastic grocery bags also make great lunch bags for your kids or for you. If they get dirty, all you have to do is throw them away. The only drawback to using grocery bags is that they are not insulated, so if you need to keep something cold, they are not going to work.

Trash Bags 

Plastic grocery bags are the perfect size for your small trashcans. If you keep small trashcans in your bathroom or elsewhere in your house, you can use these bags as tiny trash bags. This is much less expensive than buying the small trash bags.

Clothing Bags 

If you donate clothing to your local thrift stores, then these bags can help you out. Many times, people use trash bags to transport used clothing, but grocery bags will work as well. For example, you could use one trash bag to haul all of your clothing, or you could use three grocery bags to do it. It might mean that you have to do a little more work, but you didn’t pay for the grocery bags where you did pay for the trash bag.


If none of these circumstances apply to you, you can always recycle your grocery bags. Many grocery stores will have a place where you can bring your plastic bags and leave them to be recycled. Some recycling centers will recycle these bags as well.

Instead of wasting your grocery bags, get creative and find new ways to use them.

Call to Action

Do you reuse your grocery bags? What are some of the ways in which you use them?


Six Ways to Reuse Your Plastic Grocery Bags — 20 Comments

  1. When I forget to take in my reusable bags, I reuse the plastic bags for cat litter duty. However, I also purchased the bio-bags that completely dissolve for most days when I don’t have plastic bags. I don’t feel so bad reusing plastic bags knowing that most of the time I’m using the biodegradeable ones.

  2. I se them as pet bags and lunch bags. We also use them as trash bags on our smaller trash cans. I guess I could reuse a lunch bag more than once but we get so many that I only use them once and trash them at work…

  3. We use the plastic bags for dumping the kitty litter.

    But we definitely use the reusable shopping bags when going to the grocery store. I’ve even brought back the brown bags from Trader Joe’s to use again when I shop there.

  4. One of our local food banks collects used grocery bags to use to give food bundles out to visitors. They are a good size and don’t get to heavy when there are cans in them…I guess that’s why grocery stores use them… lol.

  5. I recently bought several canvas bags. I keep them in the trunk of my car. Unfortunately, every time I go to the grocery store, I forget about them and end up using those plastic grocery bags instead.

    • I did that too. Finally, I got SO agravated and disgusted with my lack of commitment, that I made a rule for myself. I had to carry everything by hand if I did not bring a bag. One time I made 3 trips out to the vehicle from the checkout stand just to carry out a bunch of small items. Very embarrassing. Very soon, I was taking along those bags. One benefit was that sometimes, no often enough, I decided I did not REALLY want to buy those things, if I had to carry them without a bag. Saved me money! (a bit of money)

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