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Thread: 5 cents for a plastic grocery bag? Any easy patterns recommended?

  1. #26
    Super Member coopah's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the input. WOWSER! I'll check out the links. Since my DS has a cat, the cat food bags are an appealing idea. The reason I'd like to make the bags is that some of the ones sold at the grocery store were tested. Since most of them are made in China, the laws for lead are different. The printed ones had an abundance of lead, and having been a teacher, I know all the stats on effects of lead on the brain. I dunno about the ones that look like oilcloth that are sold at the stores. So, I'm thinking that sifting through all the ideas here willl be a help. Groceries are purchased almost every day, so needing many, many bags isn't the issue. Thanks for all the help. Off to check the links. Thanks, friends!!
    "A woman is like a tea bag-you can't tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water." Eleanor Roosevelt

  2. #27
    Senior Member MissBarbQuilts's Avatar
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    Oh my, oh my. This is not complicated. Of course you can wash the bags sold at Walmart and grocery stores. I have done it many many times and they come out great. As for the young lady who can't see herself going into the store with an armful of bags, as you unpack your groceries at home, fold each bag and then place all the folded bags into one bag. When you get to the store just grab it and go. The only bag that needs washing is the one with meat in it.

  3. #28
    Junior Member bigbrownowl's Avatar
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    Check out the Morsbags website

    http://www.morsbags.com/html/

    I have made these to give away with a local group. There are instructions on the site to make the bag.

    Have fun!
    W.C. Fields

    If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Then quit. There's no point in being a damn fool about it.

  4. #29
    Super Member HillCountryGal's Avatar
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    Thankfully we're not charged for plastic shopping bags... yet. I actually reuse all mine. Won't find any of them in a land fill or tangled in the fence line. But, we do live in the country and have a burn pile.

    Here's a bag I made from a feed sack. It's great for hauling my quilting supplies to our weekly handquilting group.
    Attached Images Attached Images


  5. #30
    Super Member quiltmom04's Avatar
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    I've made bags and I've used the 99 cent ones they sell. As cute as homemade bags are, they don't stand up to hold the groceries in the car, and if you make them so they do, they take so long and use so much stabilizer, you'd go through a whole lots of 5 cent bags before you got to the amount they cost. Why not save the 5 cent bags and reuse THEM?

  6. #31
    Super Member Belfrybat's Avatar
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    This site has a pattern I've used. http://www.morsbags.com/ I made these for a crafts fair a couple of years ago out of men's shirts and sheets. They were a big hit.

  7. #32
    Senior Member roadrunr's Avatar
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    I lived in Poland during the 80's and most stores did not have plastic grocery bags (only for produce), so people would use net bags that would expand with the things that you put in them. I am so used to having a bag or something with me, that it's second nature to me to tell the cashier "no bag, please" Did you know that Target will deduct 5 cents off your bill for not using a bag? And CVS pharmacy has a card that you swipe when not using a bag and you will get $1.00 in extra bucks for every 4th swipe? (of course, the card costs $1 to buy, but you get the money back).

    Since I usually ride my bike to the stores and don't really buy a lot at one time, I put everything I buy into my backpack
    and go on my way.

    Since I'm not the only one who shops, we do accumulate quite a few of those plastic bags. I reuse those bags when I take the dog for a walk and when I clean the cats' litter box. We purposely have small cans in the bathroom and bedrooms and the plastic grocery bags are used for that as well.

    I'm all about recycling and repurposing as much as I can.

  8. #33
    Super Member Belfrybat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HillCountryGal View Post
    Thankfully we're not charged for plastic shopping bags... yet. I actually reuse all mine. Won't find any of them in a land fill or tangled in the fence line. But, we do live in the country and have a burn pile.

    Here's a bag I made from a feed sack. It's great for hauling my quilting supplies to our weekly handquilting group.
    Really nifty. How did you affix the straps?

  9. #34
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    30 years ago someone gave me a lot of jeans fabric. I made large grocery bags out of them. They are still going strong. Why do grocery bags HAVE to be washed very often? Mine don't get dirty, but if something spills in it, I'll wash it. All the cashiers at our store know us when they see our bags come out. Just make a pillow case shape, as wide or as long as you want, and then turn the corners on the bottom toward the bottom center and stitch down. Make straps and enclose them in the top hem, stitching twice for strength. I also reinforce the side seams. No rips in all these years. You don't need to buy a pattern for that.

  10. #35
    Super Member damaquilts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DebraK View Post
    no big deal. they just go in the wash with the kitchen towels
    Yeah that's the way I look at it. Or with my sheets if they don't run or with the bathroom towels. Whatever one has to wash things anyway

  11. #36
    Super Member GrannieAnnie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coopah View Post
    My DS lives in the PNW and is charged 5 cents for each plastic grocery bag every time he shops! Does anyone know of a bag pattern that is quick and easy, but would be good for groceries? He eats a lot of fresh produce (dunno if they charge for those bags, yet). I'm thinking the bags should be able to be reversed, so they could be used more than once before washing. I know the pollution arguments for not using plastic, but now he'll be using water, detergent, and energy to wash these bags. Sometimes what seems to make sense...doesn't.

    I make tote bags from old pants and skirts and just remenants. They are completely washable and will not cut and break like the fabric (@@) bags the stores cell. Some are lined and some are not. Easy to toss into the washer when something spills or leaks or they just get soiled from dragging around. Over the years, I've made probably 200 of them.

    The last 4 I made were from a chunk of drapery fabric that I inherited. Only need about 2/3 of a yard to make one if the fabric is heavy enough.

    There are gobs of tote bag patterns available. Mine only have straps (usually from the same fabric) and then boxed bottoms.

    Take almost no time to make them.
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  12. #37
    Super Member GrannieAnnie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lynndianne View Post
    I think I would buy one of the bags that the grocery store (or Wally World) sells. Take it apart and use it for a pattern.
    I must have 30 bags that I have collected over the years in my trunk.

    Lynn

    That would work-----------maybe make a bit bigger, however. The store bags are useless in my opinion. If they get wet they tear. They can not be washed. And they will split if something with a sharp corner hits them.
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  13. #38
    Super Member hperttula123's Avatar
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    I have almost 10 bags(the ones that I bought at the store). I love them. You can fit so much more in them and I love being able to reuse them. I wash them whenever I need to make a full load of laundry. Hopefully, I get around to making some more. I want to make them out of home dec fabric. I like using them because I would rather have less bags and they are full than 50 plastic bags with three things in it. It makes it fit nicer in my little car too.
    enjoy your life...it's the only one you have!!!
    Heather

  14. #39
    Super Member GrannieAnnie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ragquilter View Post
    I made grocery bags from old jeans. The bigger the waist size the better around 44"- 48" makes a good size and men's have bigger pockets. They are washable and sturdy. I carry 2 gallons of milk in one all the time, I made mine about 5 years ago. Take the jeans and cut straight across a little above the crotch, I sew the zipper and waist closed. Then turn them inside out and sew the curve of the front seam straight and you can trim the bulk out. Then sew the bottom shut, I sewed the seam twice, then zz with a narrow tight stitch then went back over with a wide zz stitch. Lay one of the legs out straight and trim off the seams, fold in half and half again, the front and back make 2 handles. Sew the handles to the bag, I did a square and then an x to make them sturdy. If you want longer handles belts from a thrift store work well.
    I cut mine longer than you do. About 20" from the waist. Then cut the crotch seam more or less straight so I can make a center seam. I use leftover leg fabric for the handles.
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  15. #40
    Super Member GrannieAnnie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BellaBoo View Post
    For me, paying the .5 is cheaper then washing all the bags and less hassle. Re used shopping bags have to be washed or sprayed after every use so the bacteria won't build up from various food packages/produce. A research showed reused shopping bags are full of bacteria after a few uses without cleaning.
    I have a problem getting stuff into the house. I can handle a few heavy bags, but I can not handle a bunch of small bags that split and break and drop stuff under my car. I once bought 43 items that were put into 31 bags. I can't handle that. 4 of my shopping bags would have held every bit of it.

    I just throw the bags in the washer with other kitchen stuff and I'm ready for the next shopping trip.
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  16. #41
    Super Member GrannieAnnie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tartan View Post
    I don't know if you have them there but my grocery store has plastic bins with black carrying straps that you buy for $5. I bought 2 and I can get most of my grocery items in them and I can wipe them out with a Clorax wipe. I watched a program that said fabric grocery bags need to be washed regularly to keep the germs out of them.
    My washer runs almost every day--------------so the washing is no problem
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  17. #42
    Super Member GrannieAnnie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hperttula123 View Post
    I have almost 10 bags(the ones that I bought at the store). I love them. You can fit so much more in them and I love being able to reuse them. I wash them whenever I need to make a full load of laundry. Hopefully, I get around to making some more. I want to make them out of home dec fabric. I like using them because I would rather have less bags and they are full than 50 plastic bags with three things in it. It makes it fit nicer in my little car too.

    I'm with you on the homemade bags that hold more.
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  18. #43
    Super Member GrannieAnnie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Belfrybat View Post
    Really nifty. How did you affix the straps?
    I sew the straps with a boxed X pattern so I don't have to worry about them coming loose.
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  19. #44
    Senior Member barking-rabbit's Avatar
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    T shirts make nice bags for the mall. So many ways to make them too. Google t shirt bags.
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  20. #45
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    Wow lots of opinions about shopping bags.

    I am in BC Canada and one of the big discount grocery store chains has charged for bags since they opened over 16 years ago.

    A local chain started to push for reusable bags and got rid of plastic shopping bags all together (except produce bags). You can have paper shopping bags, or use reusable bags and get a discount of 3 cents per bag as well as a monthly draw for a basket of treats. They sell the reusable bags for $1.00 but they go on sale for 25 cents regularly. This store still bags your groceries, will take them to your car and does delivery for seniors and shut ins. Oh and meat is wrapped in plastic to avoid any leaks.

    When we shop at Safeway and forget to bring bags from home the clerks only put a couple items in each bag. It is ridiculous.

    I have never had a reusable bag rip and spill my groceries, like has happened on more than one occasion with plastic bags.

    As far as bacteria goes, do the studies look at where it comes from? Does anyone measure the bacteria load in shopping carts or hand baskets? Everything I buy is packaged or wrapped before I put it in a bag. Once we get home fresh food is washed or cooked before consumption.

    Oh and Fabricland, our Canadian fabric chain store charges for bags too.
    Attending University. I will graduate a year after my son and year before my daughter.

  21. #46
    Senior Member Tudey's Avatar
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    I deconstructed a bag from Safeway that was made out of some weird fabric that disintegrates when washed. I made my own pattern from that. I have had a blast making lots of grocery bags---in fact my mom and sisters and sisters in law and niece are all getting some for Christmas. They are sturdy and washable and colorful!
    Who needs therapy? I quilt!

  22. #47
    Super Member Grace MooreLinker's Avatar
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    I wash my bags, need to remember to bag fresh fruits and veggies in the bags that are at the site for them. there
    have been problems with the re usable bags .
    Freedom is costly and quilting keeps us busy...

  23. #48
    Super Member HillCountryGal's Avatar
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    Belfrybat..
    I used webbing for the straps. Sewed them between the sack and part of the top I cut off, then ran another stitch. They are easy to wipe out and keep clean. Several of my friends have them in the pickup truck for muddy boots, etc.

  24. #49
    Super Member roserips's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bakermom View Post
    There is one on craftster that is the same shape as the plastic bags. It makes a good sized bag.

    http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=177482.0
    I have made several of these and really like them since they fold up small to put away or take with you for next use. I do recommend washing after a while since they do get dirty.

  25. #50
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    I live in Calif. in an area where Wal-Mart doesn't have bags, you can either bring your own or buy theirs. I have dozens of homemade bags and keep them in our cars. My bags are all washable and the ones for meat are made from fabric with a vinyl liner. Bacteria is all over the grocery store, shopping carts, hand baskets, in the crates the produce is shipped in, on the hands of the workers, and the conveyor belt at the checkout. So, if you are really concerned about the bacteria and the bags you should wash all your produce before you put it inthe refrigerator and wipe down all the meat containers, boxes and cans before you store those. Just think, how many times have you been in the store and a child is coughing or sneezing? That's all airborne bacteria and germs landing who knows where. Another thought, do you take your purse into the restroom? If so it's full of germs and bacteria, how many of you go home and put it on the counter or table? I don't think there is an easy way to avoid bacteria and germs anyplace we go.

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