Does anyone know the official name for those little plastic bags you put your produce in? Like, what is the name of that specific plastic that is insubstantial enough that it weighs nothing but also strong enough that it holds four pounds of apples no problem? And is there another technical term for the bags made out of this specific plastic? I feel certain I have been incorrectly referring to them as “annoying but effective plastic produce bags” for these many years.
Anyway, no matter what you call them, I hate those bags.
Oh how I hate those plastic bags. Let me count the ways.
The first way I hate them is because of what they represent. I live in the world, and I know that recycling is very important. I am committed to reducing, reusing, and recycling. Go Team Earth. And as a card carrying member of Team Earth, I know the those annoying but effective plastic produce bags are a scourge. They cannot be reused, they cannot be recycled, and the fact that I use literally ten each grocery trip is not reducing my waste or my carbon foot print. Every time I use one, I feel like a there is a sea turtle on my shoulder, sadly shaking its majestic head.
“So get those reusable bags, KB, and quiet the Shoulder Turtle.” Yes, that is the logical next step and one I have considered multiple times. But if you know anything about me, you know I have a great fear of the unknown. And if you know several things about me, you know I also have a great fear of decisions, confrontations, and conversations with strangers. I am very concerned that I will get these reusable bags to substitute for the annoying but effective produce bags and it will somehow spell calamity for me.
Scenario A: I get reusable bags. I fill reusable bags with produce. Reusable bags weigh considerably more than original, turtle hating bags. Groceries now cost 1 million dollars. Budget is shot. Grocery recaps are shot. Readers riot.
Scenario B: I get reusable bags. Cashiers at Kroger do not like reusable bags. It makes their lives harder. They get mad at me. I fear going to Kroger due to my widespread unpopularity. I stop grocery shopping all together. My family starves.
Scenario C: I get reusable bags. They do not work. I wasted money. I feel like I fool. I hide myself under the defective bags and wait for the humiliation to lull me into am embarrassment fueled long sleep. I am forgotten about, only to emerge decades later from my shame coma, to discover everyone I loved is gone and the world is on fire because of those little plastic groceries bags. Woe betides.
The one thing I have not minded about grocery shopping during the rumpus is that many health professionals have asserted: now is not the time to be messing about with reusable bags. For the safety of others, high contact spots like reusable bags are to be avoided. This has been great for me, actually, because I no longer have to struggle with the Kroger baggers who hate my large reusable bags and I don’t have to feel guilty about using the little annoying but effective produce ones. It’s provided a much needed spot of relief in an otherwise routine life stress. I’m sorry, turtles. Needs must.
During this shopping trip, however, I encountered a new issue. I don’t know if it was my over sanitized hands or if the bags were just looking for a new way to punish me but I could not get a single one open for queen or country. The perforated edges would not detach from each other, no matter what I did. I tried opening the bag from the bottom. I tried opening the bag from the top. I tried rubbing the bag in between my hands like I was Aladdin rubbing a lamp. This thing would not budge.
And it wasn’t just the one bag. It was every. single. one. It got so bad when I was near the tomatoes that a line formed behind me. Everyone needed to get their salad toppings, and here I am struggling with this bag. Somewhere, a sea turtle was laughing. Finally, I just grabbed a few bags and went over to the wine section. There, I could struggle with the bags in peace, not disturbing my fellow shoppers with my ineptitude.
As I painstakingly opened each bag and carefully laid it in my cart, I couldn’t help but think there has to be another way. A better way. Then I arrived back at the first bag. The bag that started it all. The source of my folly. And it still would not open.
So I admitted defeat and I brought it home with me.
- Avocados (4)-$3.86.
- Bananas, 2.29 lb-$1.35.
- Blueberries, 18 oz (2)-$5.
- Beech Nut Baby Food Pouches (5)-$4. *Digital Coupon* for $1 off five.
- Ben & Jerry’s, pint (3)-$7. In-store sale, 3 for $10, stacked with *Digital Coupon* for $3 off of three. Came down to $2.33 a pint.
- Boar’s Head Pepperoni, .75 lb-$7.40.
- Fuji Apples, 2.95 lb-$3.81.
- Green Leaf Lettuce, 1.12 lb-$1.44.
- Heritage Farm Chicken Breasts, 9.01 lb-$14.93. Originally 17.93, I had a *Digital Coupon* for $3 off a meat purchase.
- Kroger Cream Cheese, 2 pk-$1.79.
- Kroger Sausage, 1 lb-$2.99. *Digital Coupon* for $.50 off.
- Nectarines, 2.62 lb-$2.59.
- Peaches, 2.85-$2.82.
- Private Selection Bread (2)-$3.48. *Digital Coupon* for $.50 off one loaf.
- Private Selection Honey Turkey, .75 lb-$5. *Digital Coupon* for $.75 off.
- Private Selection Ice Cream, .5 gal-$3.24. *Digital Coupon for $1.25 off.
- Red Gold Canned Tomatoes (2)-$2.
- Ribeye Steak, 2.86 lb-$17.14. In-store sale, $5.99 a pound!
- Roma Tomato, 1.03 lb-$1.02.
- Spice Island Spices (2)-$5.99. Spice Island Spices were Buy One, Get One Free.
- Vidal Onions,1.36 lb-$1.20. *Digital Coupon* for $.50 off.
- Apps I’ll submit to: Fetch Rewards, CoinOut
Total Budget: $93.57
Total Spent: $103.24
Deducted from Next Week’s Budget: $9.67.
How do you handle the bag situation and produce? Have you had good experiences with the reusable bags? How do you talk yourself off the ledge of environmental guilt if you have to use the bags supplied by the grocery store? Tell me all your secrets and help me shop in a better, more sustainable, turtle positive way.
Kristen B. is wife to the best Prince around, mama to the spunkiest little princesses, and lover of all things Disney. She started her savings journey five years ago and is now dedicated to making her family’s wishes come true one coupon at a time. She is so excited to take her love of saving to the next level and share her journey with you! Click here to catch up on Kristen’s Savings and join in on your own savings adventure!