A bag isn't always just a bag! I discovered over the holidays that every store has their own reusable shopping bag--no this isn't the revelation. The revelation is that every bag is different in some way and it isn't always a good way.
Wal-Mart started carrying the bags a year ago. I bought two at the time. They quickly wore out. I was disappointed that I couldn't get more but that is no longer a problem. Today Wal-Mart carries the bags again. This time they are sturdier, wider, and hold quite a bit. I was told by a Wal-Mart cashier that they have a new blue bag that isn't as sturdy and won't hold as much. Their bag is 99 cents.
Albertson's has bags in bright colors: green, yellow, and red. And then their is pink--yes pink. Want to support breast cancer research, buy a pink bag for $2, and $1 goes to cancer research. All the bags are about as sturdy as the Wal-Mart bag, but I like them better simply because I prefer bright colors over black. It also makes them easier to locate should they slip under the car seat! Their bags are also 99 cents.
Tom Thumb has two different types of bags, both are a dark green. The second has become my absolute favorite. The first bag is like all the other but has reinforced sides as well as a rubber pad for the bottom, making it easier to clean. It seems to hold more than the aforementioned Wal-Mart and Albertson's bags. I filled it till I had to lift it with two hands. The second Tom Thumb bag is insulated for hot and cold items. Yes, I said insulated. The top zips up as well sealing in the cold or warmth. Now, I haven't taken my groceries on a long drive but from the store home (about 15 minutes), my groceries were still refrigerator cold. The best part is both bags were 99 cents. An insulated bag for 99 cents!!
Which brings me to Kroger, they too have two bags--one regular and one insulated. The regular is nothing to write home about. Like Wal-Mart's they are black and lack any reinforcement. But their second bag, also black, is insulated. The insulated bag doesn't differ in style from Tom Thumb's, except in price! Kroger's insulated bag costs $3. Their regular bag is the normal 99 cents.
Target and Home Depot also have bags, but I haven't purchased or used those bags, so they will be reviewed another day.
If you don't want a store logo plastered on your groceries or feel a bit embarrassed using a Wal-Mart bag in Tom Thumb, then you can order your own online. They cost a bit more but you can find them made of recycled materials as well as 100% cotton and everything in between. I simple typed reusable shopping bags into a search and over 4 million sites popped up.
This is my second week to shop with reusable bags. And I have to say other than remembering to take them into the store, they are a lot easier than all those plastic bags. The only downside is I now have to find another way to dispose of diapers and other sundry items, like cat poop.