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10 Unexpected Uses for Reusable Bags

Beyond the grocery store, there are plenty of other uses for reusable bags. We've gathered a bunch of alternative ways to put those handy grocery totes to work.

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Woman walking along beach, rear view, Sitges, Catalonia, Spain uses for reusable bags Max Bailen/Getty Images

Carry Items at the Beach

A reusable grocery bag is the perfect size to hold a towel, a bottle of sunscreen and a good book. Plus unlike expensive beach bags, you won’t be too worried if your grocery tote accidentally gets ruined at the beach.

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Hand made reusable grocery bag sewn with quilting fabric a fast easy project uses for reusable bagsTavia/Getty Images

Hold Craft Supplies

Knitting or sewing projects usually aren’t done in one sitting. Store your supplies and unfinished projects in a reusable grocery bag (just make sure it’s clean first). Then, when it’s time to work again, everything is in one place and easy to carry from room to room.

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Small mixed race group of people working in charitable foundation uses for reusable bagsmixetto/Getty Images

Donate to a Food Bank

Many food pantries are trying to eliminate plastic bags, but don’t have the budget to purchase reusable bags for their clients to use. Check if your local food bank or pantry is in need, and donate! You’ll clear some of your clutter while also contributing to a worthy cause.

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Children trick or treating uses for reusable bagsKinzie+Riehm/Getty Images

Trick-or-Treating

Sure, a pillowcase works fine, but why not use a reusable grocery bag for trick-or-treating? The handles make it easier to carry, and it’s big enough to store an impressive haul of candy.

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Woman using Reusable Shopping Bags uses for reusable bagsmassimo colombo/Getty Images

Fight Car Clutter

Keep a reusable grocery bag or two in your car. Then when trash or kids’ belongings start to clutter up the seats, you can gather everything in a bag to transfer back into the house.

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Girl's hand holding bag with blanket and teddy bear uses for reusable bagsJamie Grill/Getty Images

Overnight Bag

If your kids are going to a slumber party or staying at grandma’s house for the weekend, a reusable grocery bag is all they need. It’s not too big, but roomy enough to carry extra clothes, toiletries and pajamas.

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Silhouette of joyful young Asian mother holding hands of cute little daughter looking at airplane through window at the airport while waiting for departure uses for reusable bagsd3sign/Getty Images

Travel Bag on an Airplane

A reusable grocery bag is great to use as your air travel carry-on bag. It’s bigger than a purse, but still comfortable to carry. And the easily accessible contents ensure you won’t get held up at security checkpoints. Fill your bag with all kinds of travel snacks.

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Canvas Bag With Baby Supplies uses for reusable bagsNovo Images/UIG/Getty Images

Diaper Bag

If you can’t find your regular diaper bag, or it’s too bulky for small outings, grab a reusable grocery bag instead. Throw in some diapers, bottles and snacks; and you’re ready to go! Another idea is to always keep a reusable bag packed with baby’s things as a backup.

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Working woman carry simple flax eco bag with copy space, plastic free concept.JaruekChairak/Getty Images

Gym Bag

You don’t need an expensive duffel bag for a trip to the gym. Fill a reusable grocery bag with your gym clothes and you’re ready to sweat! We like how a reusable grocery bag is easy to throw in your car or take to work, without taking up too much space.

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Canvas tote bag filled with old books. Selective focus.Jelena990/Getty Images

Carry Library Books

A reusable grocery bag is perfect to take to the library to carry your books. It’s strong enough to carry a heavy load, and easy to fold up and place in your backpack or purse before it’s needed.

Erica Young
Erica is a freelance lifestyle writer with a bachelor's degree in Journalism. Her favorite recipes are quick, easy and something her kids will actually eat. When she's not writing you'll find her organizing a closet, roaming the aisles at Target or nursing her third Diet Coke of the day.

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