So I’ve been pretty quiet this week.  I’d  call it a busy few weeks with out-of-town visitors, my husbands birthday, Easter and an short jaunt to the Island for more Easter.  Or you could call it a Easter sugar hangover.  Either way, I’m back today (if maybe still jacked just a bit from Easter chocolate).

For the past month I’ve had a couple of re-usable compact shopping totes from Fill Your Own* in my purse.  If you are like me my kitchen is overflowing with re-usable shopping bags.  Most of them very utilitarian &/or emblazoned with a large corporate logo.  We use them all the time.  So we always try to have a few tucked into the car and by the front door.  But all of them are bulky and really rather ugly. And they are often forgotten in the truck or by the front door.

The Fill Your Own bags fold-up nicely for storage in your purse, coat pocket or diaper bag.   This way they are ready and waiting anytime you need a bag.  They are pretty with designs by Canadian artists. I had at least half a dozen cashiers comment on how cute my bags were over the past month  (I was sent the Bloomers and Poppies Delight designs – the Poppies Delight was particularly popular). 

I’ll be honest I’m the lady whose maps look like they have been through the Amazing Race, so the idea of having to neatly re-fold the totes was a bit intimidating for me. I’ve had foldable bags before and they always ended up in my mud room in a mess.  But I quickly got the hang of neatly folding these bags back up after each use.  Although it might be nice to have a smidge longer strap just so you don’t have to be so exact.

Having these carbon neutral (Fill Your Own offset the making of the materials, the manufacturing process, and end-to-end shipping with carbon credits) at the ready in my purse made it easy to use them in a lot of different places.  I rarely use plastic bags, but I’ve used even less this month.  Of course, the first few times I had to remember to put them back in my purse. But once the habit was formed it has worked wonderfully.

So far I’ve kept my bags nice and clean, but they are machine washable for those inevitable accidents that happen when you have small children.

The only downside is that while these bags are large and strong, they aren’t really the best for big, heavy “jug of milk” grocery trips.  Those items are best suited for square bottom bags which have extra reinforced seams between the bag and the straps (the Fill Your Own have seams along the bottom and at the top of the straps).  But for those big grocery trips I grab a couple of the utilitarian (and ugly) bags from the back seat of my car – I have enough of those lying around.    The rest of the time I use the cute Shopping Totes in my purse.

* Disclosure Fill Your Own sent me the bags free of charge for me to use in relation to a review. There was no guarantee that I would provide a review. And no payment was received for this post. All opinions are my own.