Is there anything more annoying than those plastic shopping bags you get at most stores?
It seems like all they ever do is just create clutter and make a mess no matter what you do with them.
Many stores have started charging customers per bag.
Also, eight states as well as several cities have banned single-use plastic bags.
And the environmental damage caused by single-use plastic bags is well documented.
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Well, look no further!
Here are a few ways to get free reusable bags.
What will I learn?
1. Look on Freebie & Sample sites
There are scores of sites all over the web offering free samples of just about anything you can imagine.
That includes free reusable bags.
Freesamplesmail.com is one such site offering free reusable grocery bags.
Reddit Freebies is also a good place to look for ideas on where to find free bags.
But always do your due diligence before submitting your information to any site offering free stuff.
Check the fine print to make sure the site is legit, and your email will not be overrun with spam.
2. Look for promotions from your favorite retailers
Every so often retailers, both brick and mortar as well as online, will hold promotions where they give away free reusable bags.
For example, back in the spring the grocery store chain Wegmans had a promotion where customers could exchange a plastic bag for a reusable bag.
The California retailer Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market offered free reusable bags on Earth Day.
Many online retailers, such as Running Warehouse, will offer a free reusable bag with a purchase above a certain dollar amount.
Sign up for your favorite retailer’s email list or rewards program.
Or follow them on social media.
That way you know when they’re offering a promotion giving away free reusable bags by mail.
3. Take advantage of store loyalty programs
Most stores, especially grocery stores, offer a rewards program of some sort.
ShopRite has its Price Plus Club.
Giant has its Giant Choice Rewards program.
Most of the time, the store’s receipt will state how much money you saved during that trip.
Set aside that amount of money, then use it to purchase reusable bags next time you shop.
For a big list of store loyalty programs, check out this post.
4. Look for specials offering free gift cards
Next time you’re at your local grocery store, keep an eye out for something.
A lot of times stores will have specials where if you buy a certain amount of an item, you get a free $5 or $10 gift card.
If it’s an item you regularly use, take advantage of it and use the gift card to get reusable bags.
It’s another easy way to get the reusable bags you want without any money actually leaving your pocket.
5. Use your Rewards Card
Your rewards or cash back credit card really can be the gift that keeps on giving.
You can use your cash back rewards to buy reusable bags, that way no money really came out of your pocket.
Or convert your points into gift cards and use the gift cards to purchase the bags.
If the points system on your card allows you to redeem your points for products or items, see if you can redeem some of your points for reusable bags.
Again, a way to get the bags you want without any money actually leaving your pocket.
6. Buy a new or renew your existing magazine subscription
Many magazines will offer incentives to get you to either buy or renew a subscription.
Free reusable or tote bags is one such incentive.
For example, the academic journal Foreign Affairs is offering a free limited-edition tote bag with a subscription.
Check the magazine’s website or social media pages to see if a publication you are interested in is offering this promotion.
Or check your email inbox when it’s time to renew your subscription.
7. Use Swagbucks to get free bags
We’re big fans of Swagbucks here at MoneyPantry.
It’s a great way to earn gift cards to retailers and businesses many people shop.
Just use your SB to get a gift card to Amazon.
Then go to Amazon.com and type in “reusable grocery bags” in the search bar.
Then use the gift card you earned with your points to get the bags you want.
Walmart gift cards are available as well.
Or redeem your points for a PayPal gift card, and use it to purchase the bags.
8. Go to Expos, Job Fairs & other similar events
Companies love to give away items with their name and logo on them.
It’s free advertising.
And they love to give these items away when they have booths at career expos, job fairs, local road races, or really any event where they have an official presence.
Just walk up to the booth or tent and strike up a conversation.
They’ll probably hand you a bag and other freebies without you even having to ask.
You can probably find a list of expos and job fairs on the website or social media feed of your local chamber of commerce.
Also, check the websites and social media feeds of the major companies in your area.
9. Make your own bag
Who says you have to search the web for freebie sites, go to the store, go to an event, or even leave the house to get reusable bags?
Why not make your own?
You probably have the necessary stuff to make one (or more) just lying around the house.
And you don’t have to be a DIY master in order to make one.
All you really need is an Internet connection and a little bit of time.
Have a lot of old t-shirts you want to get rid of?
Don’t throw them away, turn them into grocery bags!
Same with old pillowcases.
YouTube has many videos showing you how to make your own reusable grocery bags.
Or go to Pinterest and see what other people have done.
It’s a great way to give things just sitting around the house a new lease on life and save you some money in the process.
Buy Cheap Reusable Totes
If you don’t have the time to sift through freebies sites and other options mentioned above to get bags for free and can afford to spend a few bucks, there are a few ways you can get bags for really next to nothing.
10 Hit the Thrift & Dollar Stores
Family Dollar, Dollar General, Dollar Tree and even online dollar stores like these, sell reusable fabric grocery bags for pennies. So be sure to check them out.
Your local thrift store is another overlooked place for buying bags and grocery totes for pennies. If your local thrift store doesn’t have any, be sure to check on these online thrift stores.
11. Buy in bulk from AliExpress
What’s AliExpress? It’s an online store owned by the Alibaba Group where you can buy products at much cheaper prices than Amazon, eBay and other similar sites.
Most of their stuff is generic and cheaply made chines good, but when it comes to totes and grocery bags, you’re not exactly looking for brand name products.
You can get reusable bags for 30¢ or even less. And the more you buy, the lower the price per unit gets.
Just go to aliexpress.com and search for “reusable totes” or “reusable shopping bags”.
Free Gorilla Totes
A lot of freebie sites claim you can get free totes and bags from Gorilla Totes (one of the top companies that make and sell all kinds of bags including reusable grocery bags). This is not true at all. Gorilla Totes is not giving away free bags. This has gotten so bad that they had to put a statement on their homepage.
“GORILLATOTES.COM DID NOT AUTHORIZE/APPROVE TO BE LISTED ON ‘FREE SAMPLE’ WEBSITES. PLEASE DO NOT FILL OUT SAMPLE FORM UNLESS YOU ARE ORDERING 150 OR MORE TOTE BAGS* FOR A FAST QUOTE JUST FILL OUT THE ‘FREE QUOTE’ FORM AND CUSTOMER SERVICE WILL EMAIL YOU PRICING RIGHT AWAY!”
Yes, they even pout in all caps!
So, yes, unless you are ordering 150+ bags from the company, you won’t get any samples from them.
Saving Money and the Environment
The new year is just around the corner, and many of you are thinking about your New Year’s Resolutions.
A popular one will be to save more money in 2020.
Some of you will also be looking to be more environmentally conscious.
By following some of these suggestions, you can do both!
So, use these options to get yourself some free or very inexpensive reusable bags. You’ll save some money and the planet!