I love the idea of using reusable, eco-friendly shopping bags, though there have been plenty of times where I've left them in the car (I hate that!) and have to either purchase a 10 cent bag OR splurge for yet another reusable grocery bag.
A confession: I like cute bags and I tend to be a bit of a hoarder. I have cute inexpensive bags that I love from Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, even Nob Hill has some cute ones (though theirs seem to be 1.99 for a similar quality bag as the TJ's for .99.) These bags are NOT easily packable or compact, as they are basically the same size and design as regular brown bags they used to give us for free. But they're great bags, if you know you're going to the grocery store and plan ahead.
I am a sucker for TJ Maxx's huge bags because they change their designs regularly and I 'have to have' that new design. Unfortunately, they aren't that great of quality and don't fare too long, and, because they are sooo large, too big for groceries. It makes for one super heavy bag! Yet I still buy them. Because they're cute. And useful, especially toting my kids balls and playthings to the park. If it gets lost or ruined, I don't really mind.
I also have some foldable ones from a variety of places. I have a few cheap ones from IKEA that are nylon and fold into themselves really tiny..... at least when you first purchase them. After the first use I couldn't get them to pack away nearly as compactly. I have some nice (albeit bulky) ones from Target. They've ranged in price from .99 to 4.99.
Today I finally decided to get a set of 'nice' bags that I can remember and use for groceries. I chose the Sesame Street Envirosax. They came highly recommended. I went with the Sesame Street ones because I like a bit of whimsy and perhaps they'll make me happy while I shop. I also love that it is a set of 5 bags, all uniform in size and I think it will help my grocery shopping. I also drooled over the Baggu Standard size bags. Their animal print ones looked stylish and fun. Maybe next time. Both these manufacturers are more pricey than I have spent on bags but, according to the reviews on Amazon, they seem worth it.
Today, though, I quickly went to Target to do an errand. While there I checked out their Reusable Bag section They had the usual .99 cent or 1.49 ones in some type of plastic/woven material.... and, at the bottom were a bunch of unbleached canvas ones with a bright red embroidered Target Bullseye logo. I picked on up. It was roomy and looked durable. I couldn't find a price anywhere, so I took it with me on my errand through the store, thinking that I'd check the price at one of those scanners.
They rang up 1.49! And were also on their Cartwheel App promotion for an additional 5% discount. Not much, but something. I grabbed 5 or 6 and headed to the checkout.
A nice, sturdy, washable eco-friendly canvas shopping bag for 1.49. Love it.