$72.57 of groceries, sundries, and other staples in two plastic crates from three separate stores.
The last of the three stores I went to was a national chain . I try not to shop at too many chain stores but actually like this one, not because of it's convenience and prices (which are pretty good) but because they have a bike rack located directly outside the store (where the Mundo is parked in the above photo). This is the same store where, in the past, an armed guard--an off duty police officer wearing a firearm--stopped me as I exited and said the reason for stopping me was because, "I was leaving the store without my purchase in bags" (meaning, I suppose, it looked as if I were stealing). Anyhow, here's a quick story at checkout.
Me: I don't need plastic bags; you can just put the stuff back in the basket (the plastic basket that the store provides).
Cashier: But how will you get the stuff out to your car?
Me: I'm not in a car; I'm on a bike, and I'll just carry it in the basket, load my bike and bring the basket back in.
Cashier: You can't do that.
Me: Why not; I do it all the time?
Cashier: Because the baskets are not allowed outside the store.
Me: But the shopping carts are allowed outside the store.
Cashier: (after looking at the guard at the door, getting a nod, and then rolling her eyes at me) OK.
As I left the store, walked 10 feet to the bike, loaded it, and returned the plastic basket to the store, the guard eyed me suspiciously.
Then, after returning to my bike and as I bent to unlock it, a couple came out and there was a plastic bag attached to the guy's foot. It was a windy fall evening, and as he kicked it free he grumbled, Damned bag! The bag flew off into the distance.
I in turn hopped on the Mundo and pedaled away with the wind to my back.
I am most definitely not a "bag fanatic" because I bring things home in them on occasion (and they are useful for cleaning up after my dogs). But, on the other hand, if I choose not to use bags I feel I should not be made to feel guilty as I leave the store. At the very least the store will save a couple pennies.