One thing that drives me crazy about grocery shopping (besides people dropping dead and the lunatic who frightened my children by calling everyone a murderer…separate incidences courtesy of our local Wal•Mart) is all the plastic bags I accumulate.
And when I shop at Wal•Mart, I’m there for the duration. My cart runneth over. I’ve been known to drag not one, but two carts full of groceries past the elderly employees stationed at the exit. As I avoid the usual stare which says, “Gee lady, how much do you eat?”
Therefore, it is not unusual for me to have as many as 40 plastic bags to add to my collection. I always bring them back for recycling. But still, it seems a waste.
When I lived in Los Angeles many years ago, the grocery stores actually encouraged patrons to bring their own recycled bags. (I brought back my paper-in-plastic bags.) And as a reward, they would refund the customer FIVE WHOLE CENTS PER BAG.
Since my weekly grocery budget was $25.00, those nickels meant a lot to me. Oh. And the whole saving the environment blah blah blah. I wanted the nickel.
When we moved here to Armpit, Florida, I was simply in the habit of bringing my own ratty paper bags. And when our local Wal•Mart was built, I arrived, singing songs of Ode to Super Wal•Mart, carrying my well used bags.
At checkout, the cashier looked at me as though I were insane. (Because of the bags, not the fact that I was rejoicing in the Grand Opening.) She shook her head in judgment as she subtly let it be known that bagging my purchases using these inferior OLD bags was not worth all the trouble.
And I resisted the urge to retaliate by telling her that A BRA WOULD HAVE BEEN A BETTER CHOICE. Because otherwise, that wouldn’t have been a very Christian thing to say.
So, I just thought it.
Alas, on subsequent visits, I caved and began accepting my groceries in plastic bags. But I didn’t like it. I saved my ratty old bags for trips to Sam’s Club.
And then I noticed recently that Wal•Mart, and a whole host of other grocery chains are actually promoting the use of CANVAS bags. And LOOK, they were even SELLING them at the registers.
Well. I have canvas bags. In fact, I have quite a collection of them. Some are from my homeschool group, a couple I received because I taught Sunday School, and one even advertises my OB/GYN on the side.
I began putting these canvas bags (all 10 of them) to good use by bringing them with me. WHEN I GO TO WAL•MART, EVEN. And the checkers, having gotten use to me after all these years, are getting much better at maneuvering the bags on their bag turnstiles.
And no, I don’t care what the bags look like. They could advertise DEPENDS for all I care. After all, I’m the gal who went to church service with a Tampon hanging completely out of her purse on Sunday.
And considered passing it off as a Bible bookmark.
Evidently, I’m no longer easily embarrassed.
So gather your unused canvas bags together, and keep them in one place. Then grab ‘em as you head out the door to do your shopping. They hold WAY more, won’t break when loaded with wine ginger ale, and are easier to carry.
And make Al Gore proud as you save a tree the planet. Whatever. Pay up Wal•Mart, fork over some nickels.