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Storing Plastic Grocery Bags

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A white plastic grocery bag.
Many consumers reuse their plastic grocery or shopping bags. Keeping these flimsy bags organized and contained for future use can be a challenge. This page contains several solutions for storing plastic grocery bags.


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I found that if I take a plastic bag and smooth it out and fold it up small, I can get several into a large prescription bottle which then goes in my purse or tote. You'll always have a plastic bag when you need one and you're away from home.

By Marti S. from Athens, GA

Comment Was this helpful? 13

I converted an old garment bag into a plastic bag holder. I put a clothes hanger in the hole of the garment bag and hung it on a hook in my garage. I zipped it up about half way and crammed all my plastic bags in it. The more bags I get the further up I'll need to zip it.

By Betty from Lubbock

Comment Was this helpful? 9

January 28, 2019

I consistently use plastic grocery bags for two things: my husband's lunch and poop patrol for my 3 large dogs. After putting the groceries away I would have a bag of bags. I tried rolling them up to put in a plastic container but it took FOREVER to it, although I did like the idea of having them neat and orderly and ready for use.A messy pile of plastic grocery bags.

Basically, this tip is to efficiently set up your supplies the way you use them and place them in a convenient spot!



This takes just minutes and saves me time and aggravation.

    For Lunch Bags:

    1. Lay out a bag, smoothing it out.
    2. A plastic bag laid out flat.
    3. Repeat for all bags until you have a stack of them.
    4. Stacking doubled flat plastic bags together.
    5. Fold in half lengthwise
    6. Folding a plastic bag lengthwise.
    7. Then fold in half again.
    8. A plastic bag folded in half lengthwise and then in half the other direction.
    9. Stack them.
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    11. Put them in a lone bag and hang in a convenient spot.
    12. Folded bags placed inside another bag for storage.
      Folded bags placed inside another bag for storage.

    For Poop Patrol:

      Folded double plastic bags, placed in a green cube for storage.
    1. I use two bags for this job. Place one bag inside another
    2. Placing one bag inside another for collecting dog poop.
    3. Repeat until you're out of bags
    4. Advertisement

    5. I put them in a cube in my cube holder with the gloves I use.
    6. Folded double plastic bags, placed in a green cube for storage.
    Comment Pin it! Was this helpful? 2

    Plastic bag clutter? Quickly smooth the bag. Starting on one side, roll into a sausage. Now tie it in a single knot then tuck each end in. This takes up the space of a small baseball and is neat and tidy. A small container with a lid will keep them contained.

    Comment Was this helpful? 3

    You can keep your plastic bags organized in this empty foil box. No more bags cluttering your home and keeps your plastic bags neat.


    If you would like, you can paint or decorate the box too but, since I store this box in the cupboard, I don't need to.

    Plastic bags being stored inside a cardboard box.

    Comment Pin it! Was this helpful? 1

    December 27, 2011

    I use old Kleenex boxes or wipes containers to store my plastic bags. I try to organize them by size. For the kitchen, I need larger bags to fit my waste basket. In the bathroom or for recyclables, I can use smaller sizes.

    Comment Was this helpful? 2

    Keep all your plastic bags in an empty paper towel roll. This makes it easier to access them, and keeps them organized.

    Comment Was this helpful? 1

    For storing plastic bags, one tip I liked was to use an unused jacket in your hall closet. Stuff plastic bags into the sleeve facing the door.


    When you need one, pluck it from the sleeve cuff. Nary a problem ending up with two or three.

    Comment Was this helpful? 5

    March 24, 2009

    Take a large mesh orange or grapefruit bag that has a draw string type handle from your store bought produce. Snip a bottom corner of the bag off. Insert grocery bags or cleaning rags. It hangs where you wish as well as easy pull out from bottom corner.

    Comment Was this helpful? 1

    Cut the bottom off a 2 litre plastic bottle. Put your bags in through the bottom. Pull one out through the top. When you need one, just pull through the opening.

    A collection of plastic bags stored in a pop bottle.

    Comment Pin it! Was this helpful? 2

    October 15, 2008

    Take a piece of fabric, fold it over and sew side. Hem each end leaving space for the draw string. Run a draw string at the top with a string to hang the container on a nail. Run elastic around the bottom and pull together.

    Comment Was this helpful? Yes

    January 18, 2012

    Take a child's onesy pajamas with feet. Then sew up the cuffs at opening. If you want to, sew the upper arms where connected to the body of PJs.

    Comment Was this helpful? Yes


    Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

    July 18, 2012

    Where can I buy "storage" bags to put plastic sacks in?

    By Beth from NE


    July 18, 20120 found this helpful

    You can get them at almost any department store with cute designs but they are super easy to make. Take the sleeve of any long sleeved shirt. Cut a 16" length of the sleeve and turn under a 1 inch hem either sewing, with liquid fabric glue, or iron on hemming tape like stitch witch.

    Thread a piece of elastic, cut 1/2 the circumference of the top of the sleeve, and join the ends to make a loose stretchy top. Thread a piece of elastic 1/4 the circumference through the bottom to make a tighter stretchy hole in the bottom.

    Attach a little loop of ribbon and hang it on a hook either on your kitchen wall (if you can match your color scheme) or inside a cabinet door, Voila! a handy, dandy plastic bag holder. Lightly stuff the bags in the top and pull out through the bottom hole.

    Reply Was this helpful? Yes
    July 20, 20121 found this helpful

    I store mine in an empty kleenex box and I find I can stack them too. Some days I just need a lot of them, other days I don't. I also like the tip from another reader about storing them in large medicine bottles and stashing in the car, purse or totes. Another place to stash them is in an empty wipes container. Good luck!

    Reply Was this helpful? 1
    July 23, 20120 found this helpful

    You can fold several of the plastic bags into small squares and store them in you pocketbook. Then if you forget to bring your own bags into the store you can use these. once folded they take almost no space. you could keep them in a little change purse.

    Reply Was this helpful? Yes
    August 26, 20121 found this helpful

    An old tube sock will hold about 50 bags. I cut a small hole in the toe for dispensing. I also wad up about 4 bags in a toilet tissue tube and stash them in the car.

    Reply Was this helpful? 1
    Answer this Question...

    March 8, 2017

    Here is a handy way to store extra plastic bags that can easily be made from a common bandana. This is a page about bandana storage tube for plastic bags.

    A storage tube for plastic bags made from bandanas.

    Read More... Pin it! Was this helpful? 2


    ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

    April 20, 2011

    Here's a great way to store your extra plastic bags such as the ones you get at grocery stores and other stores. Fold the bag in half lengthwise (putting the handles together and lining up the bottom of the bag). Now fold again--you have a long skinny piece. Starting at the bottom of the bag, fold in thirds (like you fold a flag) until you get close to the top (where the handles are.) Secure the end (handles) into the opening that is created by this method of folding. You have a neat little triangle to store now instead of a big puffy mess of plastic.

    These are easier to grab out of a basket or bag than a wadded up mess of plastic. I have a three-tiered wire mesh hanging basket in my pantry--the smaller folded bags go in one basket and the larger ones go in another basket. When I need a trash can liner, I grab the right size bag--no more searching through all the bags to get the size I need.

    By Glowgirl from Watertown, WI


    Storing Plastic Grocery Bags

    I have a large stainless steel stock pot that I no longer use and store all of my bags in it and top it with the lid. It holds a lot of bags and looks neat. (10/22/2007)

    By Lilly

    Storing Plastic Grocery Bags

    I found an old stretched out leg warmer in my sock drawer that is no longer wearable. (I got this idea from a post above using a tube sock) I made a drawstring for hanging at the top (insert plastic bags through here) At the bottom I made another drawstring using a narrow piece of elastic. (Don't make this too tight) Insert your hand through the bottom hole and pull out a plastic bag. (10/18/2008)

    By Shirl

    Comment Was this helpful? 1

    October 25, 2006

    I like to save plastic grocery bags for the small trash cans in our house, and I had no place to hold them. I just could not see myself paying for something to hold these, that would be so ironic. Instead, I use a box that holds a 12 pack of can sodas, taped it up where I had to open it, and reinforced the opening where you pick it up by putting tape around it, and I ball up the bags and stuff them in. You will be surprised at how many it will hold!

    By Billie

    More Ideas:

    Storing Plastic Grocery Bags

    How about placing some of the extra plastic bags in the bottom or the small trash cans around your house. Then, when you fill one, there are others to use right away! (02/28/2005)

    By Sandy

    Storing Plastic Grocery Bags

    I also use plastic grocery bags in my smaller trashcans.
    I used to keep some in the bottom, as the other person suggested, but sometimes wet stuff goes thru a small hole or the side of the bag slips down the inside & leaves a sticky mess on the unused bags in the bottom. What I do now is store the bags close by in empty tissue boxes that are too pretty to throw away. They are perfect for this purpose. They hold a bunch of bags & the box doesn't take up much room. If you use the long type tissue box, you can set it upright on its end & it won't take up much table/counter space. I keep one in each bathroom & in our truck. (02/28/2005)

    By AuntDarween

    Storing Plastic Grocery Bags

    You can also use an empty milk jug by cutting an opening on one side of the jug. I have a home daycare so I use a lot of bags and I use clean empty cat litter containers. It works out well. My parents bring in bags too and I have several backups. This works out well for me. (03/01/2005)

    By Amanda Cope

    Taming Plastic Bags

    This is how I keep my plastic bags tamed. First, lay flat then fold in half, then in thirds, smooth all the air out then grab the bottom with one hand and the handle with the other. While you are holding the bottom of the bag, start winding the hand with the handle toward you around the fingers holding the bottom, until it's all wrapped up except a small part of the handle, then slip the handle over the wrapped up bag. Awesome! (03/08/2005)

    By Ruby Barke

    Create a Bag Holder From a Milk Carton

    I clean out my empty gallon milk jugs and when dry replace the lid. I then cut a hole about 2-3 inches on the upper half of the jug then another slightly larger towards the bottom. As I get all those plastics bags from shopping I check to make sure they are intact (no holes or tears) then tightly wrap them around my finger (to press out any air). Then put it into the top hole in the jug.

    The milk carton holds an unbelievable amount of plastic bags and when your ready to reuse one you just pull one out from the bottom hole. I've labeled my jugs according to size of bags, small, medium and large, that way I don't have to pull out a bunch of bags looking for just the right size.

    I do craft fairs occasionally and yard sales, and this works great for recycling all those bags and I'm able to give customers a bag to hold their goodies in. The handle on the jug makes it easy to hold also. (03/16/2005)

    By Debbie

    Grocery Bag Storage Tip

    Here is tip is for all those plastic grocery bags we seem to accumulate. I save them because they are great for when I clean out the cat box , but didn't have a place to store them till I hit on the idea of using a empty tissue box. now I just stuff them in the empty box and store the box away on my laundry room shelf It holds a lot of bags and looks much neater, too. (03/22/2005)

    By Mamaboo

    Storing Plastic Grocery Bags

    I use a tube sock with a hole cut in the toe portion (03/22/2005)


    Storing Plastic Grocery Bags

    I use a fancy plastic bag (from a nice clothes shop!) to squash all the ones from the supermarket into! (sad but true!) Then remove them as and when! (03/22/2005)

    By Julie

    Storing Plastic Grocery Bags

    If you have a litter box, more than likely you store the litter in the same room. I saved a large litter container and cleaned it well. Then I cut a baseball size hole in the front center and keep it stuffed with bags. It stands right beside the litter and litterbox, so it doesn't stand out. (03/23/2005)

    By suzi homemaker

    Storing Plastic Grocery Bags

    Use an empty oatmeal tube canister. Cut a small hole in the bottom for the bags to come out. Of course decorate to fit in with your decor and nail up to the wall in your pantry or laundry room. Put bags in the top and pull them out one by one from the bottom. (03/25/2005)

    By LJ

    Comment Was this helpful? Yes
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