How to store “green” shopping bags and what to do if you forget them

green shopping bags

A girlfriend recently cried out on facebook for help with her stash of “green bags”.

Here’s my tips to keep them under control.

How many do you need?

Green bags are a bit like toys… they seem to multiply in the night.

Like most stuff, if you have too many of something it is more difficult to organise.

Before thinking about storage,  have a good think about how many bags you need. I reckon you can fit about $50 worth of goods in a bag. I have 8 in the back of my car all the time.

Keep only the number of bags you need on hand and store the others in the garage, laundry or shed (see below for ideas to do with excess bags).

Fold them and put them inside one of the bags to store them.


Return them to the car straight away

Create a new habit and return the shopping bags to the car as soon as you have unpacked the groceries.

(I just timed myself  – it took me 56 seconds to get the bags and my keys, walk down the hallway, out to the garage, unlock the car, put the bags in, relock the car and walk back to the kitchen to put my keys in my bag again)… that’s a minute well spent to know they are in the car ready for next time.

Set up a few bags of bags like this put a bag in each car (or on the back of your bike if that’s how you do your shopping).

What if you do forget your bags?

But what happens if you have good intentions and you still leave the bags at home, or in the car?

Of course you can buy more (eeeeek), or here are a couple of resourceful ways to get by.

1. Put your groceries straight back in your trolly, take the goods out to the car and into the boot without bags. Pack into bags when you get home to take them into the house (or grab the laundry basket, a box or any other large container to ferry the items inside).

2. Or use whatever you’ve got lying around

grocery guitar case
Photo courtesy of Lucy Jones on Zero Waste Victoria Facebook Page



What to do with excess bags

Alternatively think of other uses for them around the home or shed… not just for grocery shopping

  • use them to store other things around the home – sports equipment, toys, use one as a nappy bag, footy bag. Wrap items in them to keep the dust out under your bed (eg out of season shoes or clothes)
  • ask if the local op shop would like them, or perhaps your school will take them off your hands for Mother’s and Father’s Day stall etc.

I have relatives interstate and small rural towns that banned plastic shopping bags over 10 years ago. We will get use to the change of routine and we will help the environment in the process.

Got any other ideas for storing, using and remembering green bags drop me a line at

Need a hand to get organised with meal planning, shopping or remembering your green bags, give me a call on 0413 447 562 or see my services here.