The (In)Correct Etiquette of Plastic Bagging

I am not a fan of Wal-Mart.  No I don’t think you understand, I loathe Wal-Mart from the depths of my being.  The drying effect of their recycled air on my eyes, the strange and eclectic possessed crowds that pack into the aisles, their unfair competition for the community shops, and the inability to bag more than one item per plastic bag as you stumble to keep up with the unloading of the “loaded” bags off the spinning gray carousel.

This Sunday I decided I would make the sacrifice for the sake of my family considering this month’s budget has been tight between medical bills, plane tickets for my stepson, and our upcoming venture to Disney World by commencing our weekly grocery shopping in Hell.  I left frustrated (to no one’s surprise), my eyes were tired, my nerves were tried and the unloading process of the fifty individual bags for the fifty-five individual products was ridiculous.  Considering we live in a split level home that only has parking downstairs on the opposite end of the house from the kitchen, which is also conveniently located upstairs. I am a fanatic about the number of bags I’m issued, and the amount of product in each bag.  I don’t care if it’s loaded down with 3 sodas and double bagged, I’d rather one heavy trip up the stairs than two.

As a veteran retailer I really do try to do my part, I compartmentalize my shopping basket so that when I am laying it all out on the conveyer belt the items run from heaviest to lightest, separated by cold and room temperature, and then all like items are grouped for convenient ring up.  Honestly I have never worked in grocery stores, but these are all organizational tips offered to me by various bag boys when I have asked how I can make their job easier.  So why is it then that the hot dog buns and loaf of bread need separate individual bags?  Why is it that the 6 bottles of sodas for my upcoming Bunco night are in 6 separate bags?  Why is the turkey meat randomly bagged with a random box of pasta salad?  Why is the one tiny 4″X4″ Apple snack pack for my toddler daughter reserving a bag all of its own?

The frustration goes beyond my treks up and down the stairs.  There is then the pile of plastic bags when all is said and done.  I am having to pick them up off of the counter tops and the floors, and storing them.  I do reuse them, but not 50 a week!  I remember growing up in an old, small west Texas town where we renamed mesquite trees Wal-Mart Trees.  The surplus of sacks found their way out of cars, out of doors, out of dumpsters, and covered our trees all over the community.  They blew in the wind like windsocks, in place of limbs or the rare showing of leaves and life in the desert; we were surrounded by faded blue bags with tattered once yellow smileys on the front.  So with that there is that gut gnawing, creepy crawling feeling of filth just as I look back at my kitchen as I begin the gathering.

Needless to say I cannot wait for this tight month to be done…cannot wait to go back to my local Kroger or ma & pop grocers around town.  What are your experiences with Wal-Mart bags?  Am I alone in this?

35 thoughts on “The (In)Correct Etiquette of Plastic Bagging

  1. lindahobden says:

    Bags are chargeable in the UK so I tend to stuff as much stuff as possible into my (recycled)carrier bags. The self service areas rarely have bags so you often need to bring your own. Home shopping deliveries can come bag free in crates but I rather bags so I can transport the food from my front door to my kitchen. In France you pack your groceries in large cardboard boxes, all loose. 😊


    • shopgirlanonymous says:

      I need to do an update post on this really, we have started using a giant bag that clips to the shopping cart. All the groceries are neatly placed into this ONE GIANT bag and then we can put it in the car and carry it in! It’s beautiful, and is actually pictured on the top, now. 😉


  2. Kristin says:

    I totally get where you’re coming from!!! I typically do the self check-out, but it drives me nuts to watch most of them bag at Walmart! I also organize all my items when I put them on the belt.

    Also, you almost lost me at “Disney World” because I wanted to comment about how lucky you are!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Susan Landry says:

    I don’t hate Walmart, but I do hate when anywhere doesn’t bag my stuff like I laid it out. If I’m paying attention, I will ask them to re-bag things. Like another commenter, I love Aldi too. Sad that yours is in a bad part of town. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  4. HumaAq says:

    I agree with you so much. I started going for self-check out due to this reason. It’s frustrating. One flight of stairs is such a torture when you do a full month’s grocery packed in uncountable bags and 2 small kids hung on you.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Morag says:

    I think if someone bagged like that for me, I would slowly unpack everything out of the individual bags and into an appropriate (smaller) number of bags. They’d soon see that the speediest way to move me on was to do that too.

    Helpfully I don’t often have to bag up shopping at all because I shop in a store with self-scanners where you pack your shopping up as you go along, and I use nice study shopping bags.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. the stay at home philosopher says:

    It looks like you’ve spotted me at Wal-mart….you know, the strange, eclectic, possessed person in the strange, eclectic, possessed crowd. Maybe we all look like that because we loathe the idea of having to go to Wal-mart but alas we find ourselves their for one reason or another. I’d like to meet the retard that designed their cattle gates (check out system)…they seriously need to read up on Temple Grandin. Thanks for you post! It’s spot on.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. hkpossum says:

    Best thing happened for us in Hong Kong a few years ago they introduced a 50 (HK) cent levy on plastic bags for supermarkets. It changed the mindset and now people walk out with far less plastic bags if they forgot to bring their reusable bags. That said I still have to stop them adding an individual plastic bag to each frozen item! I’m not sure what that bag is for…

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Bernadine says:

    I used to live in Portland, OR where plastic bags are banned altogether and now that I’ve moved, I have had to relearn to ask for paper. I remember to bring my reusable bags to the market about 50% of the time but always forget when I go to Wal-Mart. Just today, I bought 4 items there and they gave me 3 bags. Aaarghh!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. onlybadchi says:

    I don’t really have experience with WalMart bags, but I did a research project on WalMart in high school, and they use so much child labor/are overall a terribly inhumane, non-environmentally friendly company–so I totally agree with you!!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. ~Michelle Cook says:

    I like to shop at Aldis and bring my own bags. I got these really amazing bags at Sams Club that are reusable. I can get everything I buy in 2 – 4 of these bags because they are so big and strong. The material used in the bags is a heavy plastic canvas that won’t fall apart. I love my bags and never leave home without them!


  11. annieemmy says:

    I just hate Walmart altogether. I mean, sure, you can save a few bucks, but is it really worth your mental health and well-being? Probably not. Also, I just hate plastic bags in general. Everything falls over and rolls around all willy-nilly in plastic bags. Just give me a paper bag with handles, and I will use that sucker until it has gaping holes in it, and then I can recycle it. See? No hassle.

    Liked by 1 person

    • shopgirlanonymous says:

      I wish they still reminded me to specify by asking paper or plastic. Most times they have started ringing me up and bagging while I’m still distracted with some item along the impulse wall with my daughter. “Oh well, next time” I always think. When I do take my reusable bags I say, “Just throw it all in…right here!” 😉 There face is always like, “Seriously?” sometimes they say it.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Josh Wrenn says:

    I hate WalMart to the depths of my core. I hate the way they treat their slaves-er-employees, I hate that their employees hate their job so much they can’t be bothered to do it, I hate the detrimental effect they have on our economy, I hate their cheap crap, I hate that I hate WalMart so much. The good thing about where I currently live, is they don’t have one within reasonable driving distance, so the amount you would save by going there, doesn’t equal the extra gas money and maintenance. And my city has a plastic bag ban, and a paper bag fee, so that is nice.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. reallifemarti says:

    I have a love/hate relationship with Walmart. My love comes from one stop shopping, even if some of the items aren’t the cheapest I can find. Otherwise, being budget tight-I feel like I’m tithing. And my bags go right into my recycle bin. No further except for the two that line the bathroom trash can.

    Liked by 1 person

    • shopgirlanonymous says:

      What I really need to do, and I know I need to do is start remembering my damn reusable bags (but that wasn’t necessarily the point of my blog so I decided to leave that out). I forget them EVERYTIME! For the past like 8 years, I think I’ve remembered them twice? lol. I hate to place the Walmart bags in the recycle bin, because ours are a shallow open bucket, and all it will take is a slight breeze to recreate my nightmare childhood for this entire town. (I’m up to that many sacks!) Luckily I still have a tot in diapers and another due to arrive beginning of May, and since we have been through two diaper genies, I just use plastic bags for each individual stinky diaper until I can convince my husband to purchase the expensive 80 dollar diaper pale at Buy Buy Baby. 😉


  14. lynn k scott says:

    I no longer shop Walmart for anything. I can tell you, other stores bag the same and it’s irritating! I sort my basket the same as you. I group things together for a reason. I often try to bag the stuff myself. Sorry bag boys, I am quicker and more efficient. I cringe when they day they will take over. Oh and no, do not put my soap with my bread. Chicken gets its own bag. Sorry no dog treats on the hamburger. I even asked once that all the perishables be packed together and the kid said, “what are perishables”. I looked at the cashier with a look of, “seriously? ” Then the cashier kept quiet and I had to educate the lad. I am old enough where I can say, “Sheesh! Kids these days.”

    Liked by 1 person

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