As you may have guessed, I’ve acquired a new habit in the last few months. It involves plastic shopping bags and their unwelcome tendency to develop holes. I know – I should take my own reusable bags to the store, but loyal readers know that those are fraught with problems for me. Some stores have nice, sturdy plastic bags, but other places have flimsy bags that are almost guaranteed to have holes in them. I can’t stand taking groceries out of a bag and finding a hole in the bottom when the bag had been sitting in the back seat of the car or some other surface unsuitable for “clean” groceries. I used to always plop the full bags into large plastic boxes in the trunk of my car, but sometimes I don’t feel like opening it, and it’s quicker to put them in the back seat. I know I’m taking my chances when I do that.
What happens when I’m unloading the bags in the house and a hole is discovered? A lot of extra work happens. It’s not as bad when I can tell what was exposed by the hole, but if I had several small items in the bag that moved about freely, I have to clean all of them off – many times. That’s time-consuming and uses up precious resources.
But what if I can’t tell if there’s a hole in the bag? Sometimes they’re small and difficult to see. I figured out a long time ago that I can find holes in gloves and sandwich baggies (my pseudo-gloves) if I hold them up to the light. The light shines right through! I thought that this would work well for the grocery bags also, but I can only hold the bags by the handles because the outsides of them are not clean. Have you tried holding a bag by the handles up to the light to look for holes in the bottom? Yes, it’s the ones in the bottom that are problematic. The only way I’ve come up with to see the holes in the bottom of a bag is to wave it up so that it’s in line with the light. But it’s still not easy to see through the handles into the bottom of the bag. I’ve had to wave it in the air ten to fifteen times to be certain that I saw all parts of the bag. There have been times that I have had good results and other times that I’ve found holes.
All of this has caused additional work that I don’t have time for. So how have I dealt with it? I realized when I was bagging groceries one day that all I had to do was double-bag the groceries that absolutely had to be kept clean. So simple! No two bags are going to develop holes in the exact same spot, unless they’re gouged.
Has this new method been perfect? No! But only because I’ve forgotten to double-bag the groceries a few times. Otherwise, it’s practically foolproof. I hope this helps any of you that have had the same problem.