Awhile back I decided to go enviro-friendly and invest in some reusable grocery totes. I always recycled the plastic bags I was using before, but come on, it was time.

I purchased a few totes from my local non-chain market and was a convert immediately. Eco friendly! Easy to carry! Sold!

As time went on, I accumulated a few more totes from various places, one being a health food store near my mom’s house, and another from Barnes & Nobel. Whenever I went to the grocery store, I would grab 2-4 bags depending on the size of my shopping that day. Sometimes they were all from my local market, other times they were a combination of those bags and one from a different store. Basically, whichever bag I happened to grab came with me.

As time went on, I started to notice that while nothing was ever said about it, the cashiers at “local market” would fill their bags to the brim, and leave competitors bags empty. And let me tell you, sometimes you really need that extra bag — competitor or not — to be filled, because the totes can get heavy!

To which I say: STUPID! Are they serious? I’m shopping at “local market”, giving them my business, not the competition. (Which, side note: last time I checked, Barnes & Nobel sells books, not food, and the health food store is in NEW YORK so really? REALLY?) They really won’t use my extra bag because it doesn’t say “local market” on the side?

Now, this is really just a theory that I’ve worked myself up about. (Ask Michael, I think I’ve talked about it like 10 times in the last two days.) I’ve never asked the cashier why they won’t use my extra bag, or even stressed “Please use all the bags”, so I really don’t have much of a leg to stand on.

But I WILL. Because I plan on saying something next time it happens.

Oh! And this!

Yesterday, I grabbed two “local market” bags to do some quick shopping, but as I filled my cart I realized I would probably need an additional bag to hold my purchases. I asked the cashier to use both totes, then use a plastic bag for the last batch. (I use the plastic ones to line my bathroom garbage can.) To make sure I was being clear, I even rambled a bit about having too much for just two totes, and how I really wanted the weight evenly distributed.

Look, I realize this makes me sound a little high maintenance, but when I’m carrying the bags from the car into the house it requires some maneuvering. Like, getting the groceries out of the car, opening the gate, closing the gate, walking up onto the deck, unlocking the door, shoving past a big dog who is very interested in groceries, and bringing them into the kitchen. If I don’t have one random bag that weighs 20 pounds, it makes things a lot easier. Especially since I now have to manuever all that around my stomach.

The cashier told me no problem, so I didn’t really pay much attention as the groceries were bagged. Until the bagger asked me if I wanted to “just fill these totes to the brim instead?”

No. No I do not want them filled to the brim.

“Oh no thanks. Can you actually just split everything evenly between three bags? (Sticks out pregnant stomach.) I just don’t want one bag to be too heavy.”

Sure, not problem, he says.

And then hands me two totes…and one plastic bag containing all the heaviest items I had purchased. Milk. Apple juice. OJ. Pasta sauce in a glass jar, etc.


To those of you rolling your eyes, I know. I KNOW! Blame it on the hormones if you want, but this has been under my skin for two days now.

But I’m still totally going to ask about those competitor totes…