Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Bag Deal

It is not  uncommon to see people grabbing their reusable grocery bags as they head out for their weekly shopping.  However, when people see me pull out my reusable produce bags, I almost always get comments.  I am told that it is such a great deal.  I am asked where I purchased them.  But the one comment that I always find the most interesting is when people tell me that it is a bit of a hassle.  Not a hassle because you have to remember them or tote them with you.  But, a hassle because they have cashier weigh an empty bag before they weigh their produce.

Today, as a lady next to me loaded up her reusable produce bags, she began telling me about the hassle of having them weigh her empty bags.  I asked why she did that.  I thought that my bags were about the same weight as the ones in the store.  She said no and that she had read many discussions about how the reusable bags add to the cost of your produce.  Well, being the frugal shopper that I am, I thought that I had already addressed this issue when I first made my switch to reusable bags.  I wasn't sure and certainly didn't remember if I had.  So, before risking a confrontation in front of the mango display, I decided to do a little research of my own.

3B Bags produce bags VS store-provided plastic produce bags

Initial cost investment
3B: $2.42/bag
Store bag: free

Added cost per bag
* based on the same size bag using the store's code for apples)
3B: $0.01
Store bag: none

Other cost factors
3B: $0.05/bag credit for using your own bag
Store bag: none

Final cost
* ignoring the initial cost of purchasing reusable bags
3B: $0.04/ bag savings
Store bag: none

RESULT: 3B Bags lower the cost of your produce by about $0.04 per bag used. The bags are beneficial to the environment, pay for themselves after 60 uses, and (as an aside) hold more weight per bag.  The only hassle that I can see is reminding the cashier to give you the bag credit that you deserve.

I am not sure where people are getting the idea that reusable bags are adding to the cost of their produce.  In fact, they are saving on it!  The only cost incurred is the intial investment which pays for itself after 60 uses (or about one year in my house).  And, that initial cost is still less then most pay for a cup of Starbucks!  More importantly, by incorporating reusable produce bags into our shopping habits, we are being responsible keepers of the planet, its animals and its resources.  Isn't that why we bought the bags in the first place?  Why, yes, it is.
So, stop complaining ladies!  I can't speak for other brands, but 3B Bags are saving you money!

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