We are all guilty of buying or making our beloved reusable bags, and then at one point or another, we go into the store, and forget them.
If you're anything like me, you feel so incredibly guilty about this, that you've had them put YOUR ENTIRE GROCERY CART FULL back into the cart for you to take out to your car, sans bags. This might have happened so many times you don't even mind the looks anymore.
If we want to remember our bags, at all times, we have to systemize. So here's my fool proof system for remembering my reusable bags, which has now permanently made its way into my life.
1) Their permanent home needs to be on your way to your car. If they're sitting in your pantry at home amongst the plastic grocery bags you've collected for the last five years, they are obviously doing no good. Keep them in a place you always look at on the way to your car, the best place being with your keys. Put them in the passenger seat until the muscle memory of getting them out of your car and bringing them into the grocery store has been permanently imprinted into your brain and body... forever. Previously, I had stated that the best place to keep them was in the car. This is the best place for remembering them, but the food safety website advises against this as hot temperatures can cause harmful bacteria to grow. I keep mine in my car, and have done so for the last 10+ years, and have never run into an issue. I also wash mine regularly, and boil them at least once per quarter.
2) Compose a catchy jingle to sing to yourself. This actually works. I started this when I lived in an apartment that was 3 stories up with no elevator. After many frustrating days getting all the way down to my car and realizing I had forgotten something, I created a jingle so I would never forget anything again. My jingle is simple, it's just my important list, to a slight tune. It goes like this: "Phone, Keys, Wallet, Bags, Check"
Check, and that means I've got everything I need. Done. Sing it when you leave the house, and when you get out of your car to go inside the store. Any store. Any shopping experience is an opportunity to use your own bags.
3) On top of storing them near your car, also grab a smaller one, and keep it in your purse, diaper bag, or anything else you generally take with you. This will help safeguard in case you forget to sing your jingle.
4) Put your bags back. Nothing worse than going to get your bags out of the car, because you DID make the jingle, and you actually remembered to get them out, and then realizing they aren't in there because you forgot to put them back!
And finally, aside from remembering to bring your bags, you should also make sure you remember to wash them every now and then to remove potentially harmful germs.