My Frugal Life: Reusing Plastic Grocery Bags

Uses for plastic grocery bags (the one time use/disposable)

  1. To carry groceries home: Most can be used more than once to get groceries home.

  2. For Trash: Use in small wastebaskets around the house and in the kitchen. I have a flat lidded 30 gallon wastebasket and put a bag on top of the flat lid. I toss trash in the bag then when done tie the bag and toss it in the trash bin. I empty the 30 gallon once a week on trash day

  3. In the car: This is great if you have kids because it does not take room and they can put snacks in it to bring into car then dispose of the wrappers in the bags=easy cleanup

  4. Wet things: Such as muddy shoes, wet umbrella, wet clothes from the beach etc.

  5. To prevent something from getting wet

  6. Taking soggy food home: I also use the reusable "green" bags but use the plastic bags to take produce and meat home.

  7. Instead of paper lunch bags

  8. Save the more colorful ones or ones that say thank you on it and use as gift wrap for harder to wrap items-wrap in several bags then tie in same spot at top and then cut the loops to make a pouf(many how tos are online ). *this idea can be done with paper bags, inside out chip bags, aluminum foil,cereal boxes etc.

  9. As backing for a rug that needs to be waterproof on bottom-just duct tape bags on underside(be careful using on wood floor as plastic can scratch).

  10. Draft stopper for door/window: Fill several (clean)bread bags with plastic bags tape together to make long tube of plastic filled bread bags. In the bread bags at the end, put some sort of weight(kitty litter/charcoal deodorize) also tied in bag. Or you can do what I do and tape to door instead of weight.

  11. Make a kite or wind sock

  12. Make a place mat with paper bag, tape and plastic bag.(great for kids art project they can make however big they want -use with plastic side up for casual dinners they can even decorate with permanent markers)

  13. Make a door mat: Only if you have lots of bags and time (instructions exist online).

  14. I have four dogs, which means lots of cleanup. Here they have places where you put plastic bags so that people walking their dogs in parks can use them to pick up after their dog's mess.

  15. If all else fails recycle them in places provided (you know, the ones by entrances of stores.

Source: Some from this website, for some of the art projects, my own ideas and my friends' because no one likes waste.

By cara from Kent OH

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July 2, 20100 found this helpful

I also take ours into our daughter's daycare, as they use them to send dirty clothes home in.

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July 2, 20100 found this helpful

I have more uses for plastic grocery bags than I have bags so my daughter saves me hers.

One use is for recycling glass. In the outside storage room, where I keep my reclyables, I hang three bags to keep the glass separated by color. When the bags get full, I tie them up and set them in a garbage can for storage. When I take them to the recycling center, the glass is easy to dump from the plastic bag into the tall container.


When picking up roadside litter, we collect a lot of glass bottles. I sure do wish the folks that throw out their containers would buy their beer in the aluminum can.

When picking up litter by myself, my bag starts getting heavy after picking up 2-3 glass bottles so I take them out of the bag and place them beside a sign post. When I have accumulated several bottles beside the sign post, I put them in a plastic grocery bag and pick them up and take them home in the truck or car. Beats having to tote them for a long distance and I'm able to keep the bottles out of the landfill.

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July 3, 20100 found this helpful

I scoop the solids out of the cat's litter box into the bag to dump it. We get the flushable litter. I flush the contents, then throw the bag away. Before that I was dragging the whole box outside or to the bathroom to dispose of cat feces. The bags are much easier.

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July 3, 20100 found this helpful

I contribute extra bags to thrift stores and also my branch library.

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July 3, 20100 found this helpful

I shuck corn and peel onions or potatoes on to a bag. Then I can carry it out to the compost bin, then toss the bag in the trash.

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July 4, 20100 found this helpful

Thanks for the wonderful info! I save my bags in a tube made from a bandana. Fold it in half, stitch the open edge,make a pocket at either end for 1/4 inch elastic. Cut a scrap from another bandana to make a loop for hanging.


If you aren't making but one of these use any matching fabric strip for the loop. There's no need to ruin the second bandana. You can hang this in the pantry and if you stuff the bags in one at a time you can pull them out from the bottom just like a dispenser.

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July 5, 20100 found this helpful

Yeah, I use them for trash bags. It saves.

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July 7, 20100 found this helpful

I use some in the winter under my snow boots on top of my socks because it keeps my feet really warm! I also have some fashion boots that are not snow proof, so I use the bags to make them snow proof in this same way.
I also use them as a rain bonnet.
Please tear the handles into two pieces, as it is not a minute for a wild animal to become almost cut into by getting all mixed up in a loop of plastic.


My ferret will get hung in a six pack plastic ring in a matter of seconds just out of playing and curiousity. He found one once that fell off the counter before we could cut it up. The plastic bags are less mistaken for food if you tie them into knots all through the bag and get rid of any loops.
It would be great if none ever ended up in landfills.
We are making our Christmas paper out of brown bags this year.



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July 7, 20100 found this helpful

I don't think the plastic bag problem is so much a bag problem as a litter problem, as these bags can so easily be re-used in ways you would use plastic trash bags, or you can recycle them by using at yard sales, or recycling them at the supermarket. We bring ours to the boat to use as small trash bags there. (You can even use one as an emergency outdoor toilet by stretching it over the edge of a plastic gallon bucket!, and then of course, tying up and throwing away!)

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July 29, 20100 found this helpful

I used mine a few years ago to make Christmas ornaments.
All you need is some fabric, ribbon, and bags.
Cut the fabric into squares or circles, fill the center with a bag or two, then gather the ends and secure by tying bows!! I decorated my Christmas tree for about $5 by using fabric I found at a garage sale!
You can also use them as stuffing for decorative pillows! Just cut up the bags into smaller pieces and stuff away.

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