the (tiny) cost of using your own produce bags


I had a crazy argument with the cashier at my supermarket yesterday. As well as taking my own carry bags, I take my own bags for produce. Some of them I’ve sewn from netting, others are recycled onion bags.

Yesterday, the cashier started removing all my vegetables to weigh them out of their bags. When I expressed alarm, she claimed that it was illegal for her to charge me for the weight of my bag.

Me: “The bag’s weight is insignificant. Please just leave the food in the bags.”
She: “I cannot! It’s a Weights and Measures violation!”
Me: “But you don’t take the food out of your plastic bags to weigh it!”
She: “Our bags don’t weigh anything.”
Me: “And neither, in the scheme of things, do mine. I’ve been bringing my own bags for years. This has never been an issue.”
She (as she was about to tip all my Brussels sprouts out onto the scale): “It’s illegal! It’s a Weights and Measures violation.”
Me: “This makes no sense. Please call a manager.”

I ended up leaving with my produce intact. When I got home, I decided to weigh my bags, to see how much I was actually paying for them.


Brussels sprouts, no bag: 24 ounces exactly.


Brussels sprouts, in supermarket plastic bag: 24.05 ounces.


Brussels sprouts, in my bag: 24.1 ounces.

So, my bags weigh 0.05 ounces more than the supplied plastic produce bags. One-twentieth of an ounce. 1.4 grams. For the Brussels sprouts, I paid $0.007 extra because I used my own bag. All up, I paid an extra 3c on my grocery bill.

Yeah, I think it was worth it.

Leave a comment


  1. Crazy. I always get questions and/or compliments when I use my hashi-made produce bags… what a great idea… saves on plastic doesn’t it… where did you get these… (to which I proudly respond that my sister made them.


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