To market, to market we go with GORGEOUS market bags

When I was learning how to drive, my first real trip was a drive to the farmer's market.

I was cool and calm and collected. And when I got there, I parked perfectly, turned off the ignition, and burst into tears.

I was so traumatized I sobbed for five full minutes, scaring the hell out of my husband. In fact, the only thing that got me out of that car was the realization that we were at the farmer's market.

I love the market.

And, I love the market best when I can fill bag after bag to the brim with goodies. Bags, like these.

Reusable grocery bags
The problem, for me, is not that I don't want to use reusable bags. The problem is I tend to only have one or two totes in the car at any given time. And that's just not enough.

Cue the cute, reusable grocery bags: Envirosax pouches.

Each pouch holds five bags. Each bag is loosely the size of a plastic bag and can hold up to 44 pounds. And one pouch fits ever so nicely in my glove compartment.

And here's the cute part. Not only are these lightweight bags waterproof and fade proof, but they come in all sorts of fun graphics. Such as a kitchy retro kitchen design (pictured above).

Better still, if you don't need five bags, you can buy the bags individually. And because the strap on each bag comes with a snap, you can roll each bag up until they are the size of your palm, meaning they will easily tuck into your purse or bike pack.

Which is handy because we walk to the market these days. Thank heavens!

But wait, there's more!
I've talked about reusablebags.com before. Certainly you can get almost the entire range of Envirosax bags there, if you like. But what if the plastic bag shape does not do it for you? What if, for example, you're an over-the-should kind of shopper? Or you like traditional market baskets? Or you prefer a natural fiber.

Well, reusablebags.com has them all.

Over the shoulder bag
If this is your style, then the Mini Maxi Carryall may be the bag for you. Sure, it is lightweight. And, yes, it folds into it own, built-in, zippered pouch. But what I really like about this bag is that it can be closed and it comes with two outside pockets. Because it can be closed, I can slip my wallet in here and leave my purse at home. And, because it has outside pockets, I have a convenient home for a water bottle for me and Sophie (my puppy).

The European shopper, mais oui
The same company that makes the Mini Maxi Carryall makes a collapsible, European-style Market Basket. This basket has a thick rubber-grip handle, which means it is comfy on the palm; an inner zippered pocket, which means you have a place to stash you money and keys; and a rigid bottom, which means your strawberries won't get crushed by your preserves, m'dear.

Hemp me up
Now, the one drawback of all the bags we've looked at so far is that they are made of polyester. This makes them lightweight, which is good for you, and makes them reusable, which is good for the environment. But, still, it is not ideal.

But the ACME Dual Handled Lightweight Hemp Tote skips that concern.

Made of hemp (doh!) and cotton, the bag comes with both short and long handles, which is incredibly convenient for keeping both palm and shoulder from getting sore.

Which is a real concern with all the shopping I plan to do.

And speaking of shopping ...

(World's worst segue - so sorry, I just rolled out of bed!) I'm going to be featured on PETAs VegCooking site this Friday. I created a no-fail vegetarian recipe for them and wrote an amusing little post on, well, you'll see on Friday ...