Saving Money on Garbage Bags

Ideas for saving money on trash bags as suggested by the ThriftyFun community.

Save Trash Can Liners

Most people have several trash containers throughout their house: kitchen, bathroom, bedrooms, office, etc. Most trash that is tossed is dry. If you reserve one trash container for wet trash (kitchen would be a logical one), you can simply empty the others into it on trash day, instead of bagging them all individually. Saves on trash can liners.


By Leann D

Use Grocery Sacks

We don't use trash bag liners. In the kitchen, we use paper grocery bags in place of a trash can. It is under the sink and each day we empty the trash. Everyone has learned to not put dripping things into the trash. Throughout the rest of the house, we use plastic bags (like from Walmart) on trash day to empty the bathroom and bedroom trashes.

By Ann

Reuse Large Dog Food Bags

I buy the large sized bags of dog food and when they are empty I use them to put in my kitchen trash can. It saves a plastic trash bag or two.

By Jannie

Use Boxes Instead Of Bags

This may not apply to everyone but in country Western Australia, I'm outside the pick up area for rubbish and have to trailer my own to the local dump. I use boxes as well - Coke can boxes or any type of waste cardboard box - you can stuff an amazing amount of rubbish into a Coke box! I then put them straight into the trailer without bagging.


By Jo Bodey

Buy Cheap Bags

I go to the $5 bag sale and reuse this bag. I reuse the plastic bags from the grocery stores.

By Mildred

Place Large Items Directly In The Outside Trash Bin

With boxes and such, I try to recycle. For some reason we don't have a place to recycle plastic. I don't place soda bottles or milk jugs in the trash can. I just go ahead and put it in the trashcan outside.

By Delaine

No Bags

This may sound gross or something but, there are a lot of people that just don't have a lot of money and every penny counts. I have found that instead of using trash bags, just use your trash can. You really don't need to buy trash bags. They have to pick up the trash no matter if it is in trash bags or trash cans. You can also use your grocery store bags and cans or jars or whatnot for the messy stuff.


By Rebecca

Many Garbage Collectors Require Bags

Good idea - but it doesn't work everywhere! In Kansas City your trash is ONLY picked up if it is in a plastic bag! Other cities may have the same rule.

By Trudy in KC

Crush Things To Save Space In The Bin

I always crush plastic bottles (just put them on the floor and stomp!) recycle aluminum and use my kitchen shears to cut up cardboard boxes. Crushing bottles and cutting up boxes save space, so you can get more into the bag!

By Barbara Huggins

Use Newspaper for Messy Jobs

Our newspapers are thrown in plastic bags and I use these when cleaning the kitty litter box, just tie them up and drop into your regular trash bag. I also use the plastic bags from groceries and shops to put messy leftovers, etc. in before putting in the larger plastic bag. It helps cut down on odor too.


By Dian Howell

Reduce and Reuse

Some people have a 30 minute exercise program everyday. I crush, compact, put trash inside trash and garbage inside jars and potato chips tubes cans, and have actually gone 5 days without filling a trash bag,

Now, honestly I save soda bottles and reuse them many ways. Those cereal box bags are reused for refrigerator and freezer bags, craft bags or even lunch bags.

Those grocery bags I use for cleanup, lunches or take bags to one store that sells their shopping bags if people don't bring them.

The cereal boxes can be used for all kinds of crafts and such, or you can give your arms and hands exercise tearing them up into small pieces.

In other words, I save on trash bags by making big trash little and thinking of ideas to reuse some of the trash which saves money, energy and trash bags.


Happy Bagging

By Michael Ruger

Keep It Out Of The Trash

We compost all veggie/fruit scraps, egg cartons, coffee grounds, etc. Plastic and paper can be recycled and is dropped off on the way to my husband's work. We've reduced our garbage down from 3 bags to 1 bag per week.

Recycle whatever you can, even into a craft item or other usable item.

By Laura

Use Plastic Grocery Bags as Trash Liners

Save the bags from WalMart or other stores. Use them to line small trash cans. Or use them to fill with veggie peels, etc. They are convenient to carry from room to room as you are cleaning.

By c. nelson

Ask For Plastic

When I go shopping and they ask, Paper or plastic? I say plastic, I even ask that they double bag when loading cans or anything heavy (saves them from ripping)


After unloading the groceries. I tape any holes or tears in the bags, put them in my "bag holder" and line our trash can with one each morning. I use a small trash can under the sink, and it's emptied every morning and evening.

By Nelene

Change Small Bags Often

To save money on buying trash bags, you can use shopping bags for trash, even placing one under the kitchen sink. When full, place these bags in your garbage container. No need for a liner here either because this container can be washed. Secure the top of the container with a bungee cord hooked to the handle. This will keep animals out of the garbage. Haul the container to the dump in the back of your truck. The top will not blow off if it is secured with a bungee cord. Result...less litter on the highways.

By Betty

Save Your Clear Plastic Bags

When we use plastic bags, we have to use clear plastic bags. Every time I get a clear plastic bag from anywhere I use it for trash. I haven't used a bought trash bag in over a year. I have used empty 50 lb. bags from sunflower seed, carefully removed plastic bags from a new set of outdoor furniture, bags from an internet fabric order, local store plastic bags, bags from buying potatoes and carrots, you get the idea.

Anything plastic, big enough, and on the clear side is fair game for me. I do recycle and compost every thing I possibly can and that means usually we only have one bag of trash per week. I do not use a separate bag in each trash can in the house. I have a separate can for wet non-compostable garbage in the garage. This just goes in the garbage bag on garbage day. I stomp everything to make sure it takes up as little room as possible. Every little bit helps.

By Susan M.

Take Bags Out of Recycle Bins

We have bins in some of our larger grocery stores to put used plastic bags in for recycling. I'll sometimes not only add to these bins but take from these bins and reuse the bags over again and again. The ones with holes, I'll cut up and crochet into a rug. The okay ones I'll reuse myself and the nicest looking ones I'll use for my customers when I sell my pottery at Saturday Markets. I'll ask my customers "Would you like a new or a recycled bag?" and 99 times out of 100 they'll ask for a recycled bag. In fact, they carry their own bags a lot these days. If you don't want to use more plastic bags, why not reuse the bags in the stores' recycle bin for your groceries.

By Cyinda

Adjusting To Less Plastic Bags

Now that we are being encouraged to bring our own, reusable bags to the grocery store, I have fewer grocery bags to use as bin liners. I empty my small trash cans into the larger, kitchen trash can when I'm about ready to take it out and keep the same bag in the small cans for a while, unless there is really germy trash inside. I ask for paper when I can, as I can use it to hold paper for recycling instead of having to tie up bundles. We recycle/compost as much as we can and look for products that have less packaging; that saves us quite a bit on trash bags. We can usually go 2-3 weeks before our municipal trash can needs to be emptied.

By Chris Richman

Use Grocery Store Bags For Kitty Litter

I use my plastic bags from the stores for my kitty litter box. When I clean up the litter I just dump in one for the store bags. I don't have to buy separate bags to dump the waste in.

By Alicia

Garbage Bags

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By Becky E. (Guest Post)
November 7, 20080 found this helpful

We recycle plastics, cans and glass (also grocery sacks and newspapers) so for a family of 4 we only fill 2 trash bags every week. I also buy trash bags that are cheaper but still sturdy. Walgreen's carries some good ones and I buy more than one economy package when they go on sale.

By (Guest Post)
November 8, 20080 found this helpful

While it may seem OK to just throw the garbage in the trash can without containing it in a bag, it makes for a real mess in more ways than one! The garbage trucks in our area has a front loader and when full, dumps it in the back of the truck. It never fails, when it gets almost to the top, the small "stuff" papers and whatnot, will fly out and land on the ground where it is left!! We have cleaned up some pretty gross things that should have been confined to a bag. Grocery bags are great for trash as that is what I use so I don't have any extra added expense to my grocery bill. Thanks for listening to my pet peeve!

November 8, 20080 found this helpful

We save bags by recycling all that will recycle. This way we only use bags for trash that can not be recycled.

November 9, 20080 found this helpful

Re: Kitty Litter
I use a small trash can and line it with about 10 grocery bags puting one trash bag inside the other. I empty the litter from the cat box into the top bag, tie it up and throw it out. Another bag is there for the next cleanup.

November 10, 20080 found this helpful

We flatten any cans that cannot be recycled. By compacting the trash, you can use less bags. Also, we use Wal-Mart or grocery store bags in the smaller trash cans in the house. Using feed sacks or dogfood sacks is also a good idea to save on buying trash bags. Some factories or places of employment actually allow employees to take plastic bags home with them as long as they have permission from management. If you work for a company that is recieving packages or that manufactures plastics, they may have excess bags that you can obtain just by asking.

By Megan (Guest Post)
November 11, 20080 found this helpful

I have a pellet stove and in the winter I empty at least two bags a day. Since my dump will not recycle #4 plastic, these bags make a great trash liner, and they are thicker then the regular trash can, more can be smushed in.

May 3, 20110 found this helpful

Our little dog is paper trained, we save and reuse grocery store bags for her soiled paper, we very rarely have to buy bags for her waste.

August 20, 20110 found this helpful

Bread, bagel, english muffin, etc bags have many uses also. I use them to send bread for sandwiches with my husband for lunch, smelly diapers and picking up dog waste. While I don't have kids in diapers any more I watch little ones sometimes so this works out great. Also keep some in a diaper bag for soiled clothing and such.

October 4, 20130 found this helpful

Here are some specific ideas for successful waste reduction at home:

Buy durable products instead of those that are disposable or cheaply made.
Repair/restore used items before replacing them. Buy items you can re-use. For example, drink tap water, not bottled water. Use china or enamel crockery rather than plastic or paper plates and bowls. Use real cutlery rather than plastic. Pack school lunches in reusable containers with lids.

Buy concentrated products to reduce packaging. Examples are concentrated fruit juice, laundry detergent, fabric softener and window cleaner. Use an electric shaver or a higher quality razor with replaceable blades. Use plug-in appliances instead of those that operate on batteries.

Buy items you can recycle locally through curbside collection or recycling centers. Buy beverages in returnable or recyclable containers. Learn more about recycling options in your community. List all the things you can recycle through your city's curbside program or your local recycling center. Then list the things in your trash that are non-recyclable. Next time you go shopping, look for recyclable substitutes.

Avoid excess packaging when choosing product brands. Buy products in bulk, but only buy an amount you will use: larger sizes reduce the amount of packaging, but smaller sizes reduce leftover waste.

Pass unwanted items on to friends and family. Or sell unwanted items or offer them to someone else for free. Several good websites now exist that allow you to do this. You may also donate unwanted items to a local charity or place of worship.
Make really good use of your waste compost bin or get one. Keep a small container by the sink to put waste items for the compost bin straight in.

Reduce toxic waste by purchasing paints, pesticides and other hazardous materials only in the quantities needed, or by sharing leftovers.

October 23, 20140 found this helpful

I buy a large box of thin trash can liners from Walmart's janitorial supply section online, and do the store pick up. About $30 for thousand or so. All of my trash containers are small, and I have very little trash so I don't throw away many liners. Things I bring home are in recycled packages and can again go back into recycling program. Our trash is required to be in tied or secured bags, as earlier posted. It saves a lot of litter flying into the area. The bags in the box have lasted for over 3 years now, still about half remaining.

November 13, 20140 found this helpful

The disposal firm gave us a container for garbage, now all they do is hook it up and tip it. [did use big black bags before]. Do use the stores small bags, K-Mart etc. for garbage in the house and any other loose things now just dump in there. Saves on buying those big bags plus human nature they don't get it all when laying out on the ground. Keeps it neat and clean.

November 13, 20140 found this helpful

I live in Kansas City and they will only pick up the trash if it is in trash bags only.


Bronze Feedback Medal for All Time! 140 Feedbacks
November 13, 20140 found this helpful

We only buy large garbage bags to contain trash for the recycling can. Groceries provide bags for the smaller cans around the house along with the kitty liter. Saves a lot of money recycling the store plastic bags.

November 14, 20140 found this helpful

I have a garbage "bucket" that I have on my countertop for those compostable item, i.e. eggs shells, peelings, etc. I only use the big trash when I need to. I also use those store plastic bags for meat stuff and containers, and for use in bathrooms and laundry room where the cat litter box is. Scoop, scoop the poop and in the plastic bag and out the door it goes to the trash can.

We too just take out larger boxes and jugs to the large trash can outside. Not need to use up that space in a trash bag. When the trash truck comes.....wha la. He just dumps it in. I also stuff small boxes with as much trash as possible and just take it out. We use 1 large trash bag per week.

November 16, 20140 found this helpful

I walk for exercise most mornings of the week and always seem to find enough shopping bags to use as liners. Just this morning I am in a national park camping and walked along the road and found about half a dozen bags. I really dislike plastic bags on the roadside as animals rip them apart hoping for food. They take forever to decompose, so I find I spend a lot of my walking time picking up rubbish.

November 19, 20140 found this helpful

I save empty bread sacks for when I want to fry chicken. They're great for putting your flour and seasonings in. Put egg and milk mixture in a bowl. Dip your chicken in the bowl, and then drop it in the bag with the flour mixture. Shake well. Fry chicken. Add the chicken parts you don't want to the bag (fat, etc.).Tie a knot in the bag, and throw the bag away when you're done. It keeps the smell of the chicken down in your trash.

When I use Wal-Mart, ect. bags for trash, I tie the handles of several bags together to make it easier for the garbage man to lift them out of the trash can. They all come out at once, because they're tied together. It also makes it easier for me to carry them outside to the can.

April 23, 20160 found this helpful

Never thought about grabbing bags out of the recycle bin at the store! Great idea!

November 17, 20210 found this helpful

I DO NOT take plastic shopping bags from any stores. I carry mesh bags in my purse which take up very little room or in my fanny pack. If I don't have an empty bag I just carry the items in my arms or trolly to my car.

Even re-using plastic bags is still putting them in the trash fills and they do not decompose, animals try to eat and many are trapped in the bags and suffocate. The bags that my husband brings home (cannot get him to NOT take 'em) I cut the handles, tie the bags in a knot or two so animals cannot get trapped and they don't blow all over the land.

Our local Target store takes recycling items - glass, plastic, paper, cardboard - just about anything. I just carry it to the store in the biggest garbage bag I can (the only plastic I use) and deposit it beside the recycling bins in the store. I do this about every other month as I do no live close to the store.

I also buy bags that are biodegradable from a Veterans group - very inexpensive and heping Veterans and our environment.


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