Bringing your own tote on shopping trips not only helps the earth, but can get you extra discounts, as well! Not only are these better for the environment than their plastic counterparts, but many stores (including Target, Whole Foods and Kroger) give a 3–10-cent discount per bag at checkout. Reusable bags are also stronger and hold more groceries per bag than the plastic options. When you’re unsure whether your store participates, ask the manager. If the store doesn’t currently offer a reusable bag discount, encourage them to incorporate it. Every cent counts toward your savings!

Another great use for reusable bags: use them to separate purchases when doing multiple transactions. Just put a bag at the start of the new set of items to help the cashier know where the current one ends and the next one begins. And remember to wash reusable totes frequently to avoid foodborne illness.