It’s Purging Season-How Many is Too Many?

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No, this is not a landfill.  If you are honest with yourself, you may have a similar stash of plastic grocery bags lurking in your home.  This is what happens when we save to reuse… but don’t.   We subscribe to various trade publications that often have long articles about recycling and how to house the items being recycled.  At times it is overwhelming and leaves me with a big sense of guilt that I should be doing more.

So true to my approach of how I justify everything…I threw out all my hoard of these reminders that I was not reusing them at the rate I was acquiring them.  Yep…I tossed them in the regular trash collection on a Wednesday.  (gasps)  Thursday I started a system that has worked for me for several years.  I do have a few reusable type bags I use, when I remember to put them in the car, on a big shopping day.  However, I like shopping in smaller batches, stopping at a store as part of another errand on my way home.  So I do bring in 5-7 of these bags every week or so.  There is no set number. AND I reuse them to the point of sometimes running out before the new ones come in!  Let’s take a look at what works for me.

Cool Idea


First, is this not a great way to store these babies?  Plus you get points for saving the life of one Kleenex box.   A box this size can be kept almost anywhere.

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Next, the way I use our bags most is for kitchen trash that I don’t put down the disposal.  We cook most nights, and have marathons on Sunday, so we have a lot of bits and bobs of “stuff” and wet food packaging.  Using a $2.99 Ikea stainless bowl, I place a bag as a liner and toss anything in it that is too messy, or too smelly for the daily trash.  It’s so easy for me to toss as I go and clean up once. These bags get placed in the freezer until trash day.  Since we live in Florida, we have trash pick up 2x a week. We now have trained ourselves to automatically get “the freezer” trash on garbage day.  We also place our cans/glass in these bags and then put the bag into the recycle bin. Saves trips to the bin and keeps the bin cleaner.   I feel pretty good when I reuse and also recycle any bags I bring into the house each week.


Lastly, if you have one of these guys hanging around your abode…you know another endless use of a plastic bag!

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17 thoughts on “It’s Purging Season-How Many is Too Many?”

  1. We have a huge stash of bags too, but we have three pups! And I pick up pinecones every day in the yard so that I do not get finned by my HOA. I think the stores need to be like most other countries…no bags, unless you pay for them. Although I have been to countries where even if you wanted to buy them they do not have bags in the store. You must bring your own. It’s funny, if I go to Aldi I bring bags but I cannot remember them if I go into another store.

    1. Best reuse hands down! You are blessed 3x with those pups! We are in between right now. Miss that cold nose.

    1. Yes, someone was pretty clever with that tissue box! Nope, not our new pup yet. Buy you remember correctly we had the best border collie ever!

  2. There is a way to make plastic mats out of the grocery bags. I never found time to try and make them. The person that posted it a few years ago suggested making them and giving them to the homeless to lay on the ground and keep them dry. I thought that was clever!

    1. We are going to try to find this article. Would love to find a place to donate. Thanks for sharing.

  3. I didn’t know how else to use the plastics grocery bags besides for my bathroom trash but using it for smelly things that don’t need to go in every day trash is such a good idea!

    1. Yes, food scrapes can be certainly be a good second life for these bags. Thank you for commenting.

  4. Great tips – we were bummed when the local store stop taking plastic bags for recycling due to the virus. We switched to paper bags so that we could recycle them easier than tossing them in the garbage. I like your food scrap idea, nice!

    1. Now that we live in a walkable city, the grocery here only uses paper. I agree much easier to recyle but I miss the plastic for smelly food scraps! I’ve had to become creative with gently loved zip locks. Still plastic I know. Vicious circle!

        1. Living now in our perfect roost, a 7th floor condo overlooking our city, afraid not. Have had one in the past, and must stay best veggie garden ever using the compost!

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