Planning & Prep

How to Store Grocery Bags: An Instacart Guide



Last Updated: Nov 2, 2021

Have you ever looked at all your grocery bags shoved in disarray in multiple places around the house and thought about organizing them, so they’re easier to find? Even reusable grocery bags ultimately get treated in the same way and get filled with other reusable bags.

There are many efficient ways to organize and store your “bag full of bags,” so you can always have one to hand, and in this guide, we’ll go over some of the more creative ways of how to store your grocery bags.

Store grocery bags inside a reused or repurposed container

Zero-waste methods of storing grocery bags are the most eco-friendly and involve repurposing an item or reusing an old one:

Recycle a tissue box

Repurpose a tissue box by packing your grocery bags into the hole of an old tissue box. Then, each time you want one, you just pull them out, like a tissue. You can even use Command strips to stick the box onto the back of a cupboard or pantry door, so it’s easy to access.

Repurpose wet wipe containers

Plastic wet wipe containers—as well as being a versatile storage solution—can also be reused as grocery bag dispensers. Fill them up with bags inside the container, and then pull them through the opening each time you need one. You can even decorate the container with paper that matches your decor.

If you roll your grocery bags, so they’re interconnected before you place them inside the container, taking one bag out will also make a new one pop out, making dispensing bags really easy.

  1. Take 12 plastic grocery bags and 1 plastic wet wipe container.
  2. Flatten the plastic bags and fold each one lengthways.
  3. Lay each bag on top of the previous bag in a line, overlapping the handles.
  4. Repeat this for all 11 bags, lining them all up into one big row.
  5. Fold the handle of the first bag up and then tightly roll up all the bags.
  6. Now insert the roll of bags into the wet wipe container and thread the folded handle through the opening—this will be your first bag.

Grocery bag storage and organization ideas

There’s a wide range of both creative and practical ways to organize and store your accumulation of grocery bags. Decide on which one is best suited to your household’s needs:

Single use shopping bags.

Pack them in a sleeve pouch or DIY bag dispenser

A sleeve pouch or dispenser is an ideal way to store your grocery bags because it offers quick access. You can buy sleeve pouches from the store to use a plastic bag dispenser, or you can make your own DIY plastic bag sleeve pouch. Simply glue or sew some fabric together down the side and attach some elastic (or repurpose some old stockings) to the opening.

You can choose some fabric that will match your kitchen’s color scheme and attach some ribbon so you can hang it somewhere in your kitchen or on the back of a closet or your pantry door.

Flatten and stack them in storage tubs or baskets

You can pick up small storage tubs or baskets from any grocery store or superstore, or you may already have a spare one lying around the house. Flatten and fold your reusable plastic bags into quartered widths and lengths and pack them all into a rectangular storage tub or basket.

This keeps them tidy, and you can easily grab one on your way out when you go shopping. If you want something a bit more attractive, get a metal catch-all storage basket and hang it on the inside of a door.

File your grocery bags in file boxes

If you have any old plastic file boxes hanging around your home office, don’t leave them empty or throw them out. Repurpose them into wall-mounted bins to store your reusable grocery bags.

This file box storage solution works best with the more rigid reusable grocery bags or paper bags. Simply flatten, fold, and then stack the bags neatly in each file box. Hang on the wall for space-saving efficiency.

Store reusable grocery bags in a jar

If you’re looking for a no-fuss, simple way of storing your reusable grocery bags, just ball up all your plastic bags and put them in a jar. Then keep it somewhere where you have easy access to it, so you can simply grab one when you need one and throw them back in when you’re done.

Roll and seal in Ziploc bags

For a quick solution, fold your reusable grocery bags lengthways and seal them in large Ziploc bags. They stay flat, and you can fit around 5 large reusable plastic grocery bags in 1 Ziploc bag.

For something more robust, fold your bags in the same way and stack them in an easy lid clip container.

Scatter grocery bags

If you’re always at the grocery store and still somehow finding yourself without a reusable grocery bag, try scattering them in different places, so you’re never without one.

As well as storing your grocery bags in these creative ways, scatter them around the house—ideally, in places where you’ll see them and grab one. Hiding spots might include:

  • In your handbag
  • In the pantry
  • By the front door
  • In the garage
  • In your car

Embrace your reusable grocery bag collection

Grocery Shopping with Instacart.

Using reusable bags rather than using plastic bags means you’re playing your part in reducing global plastic waste. No matter how large your collection of grocery bags becomes, you can always keep it under control by using these creative ways to organize and store your grocery bags.

Shop your groceries with Instacart, and you can use green reusable grocery bags. In the instructions, ask your shopper to use reusable grocery bags or boxes to pack your shopping. Order your groceries online and enjoy same-day delivery.



Instacart is the leading grocery technology company in North America, partnering with more than 1,400 national, regional, and local retail banners to deliver from more than 80,000 stores across more than 14,000 cities in North America. To read more Instacart posts, you can browse the company blog or search by keyword using the search bar at the top of the page.

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