While the city of Chicago has had a 7-cent bag tax for a few years now, bag taxes are creeping into the suburbs as well. Last week I spotted signs all over Woodstock, Illinois announcing their new 10-cent bag tax which began on January 1st.
What I found interesting about this was that Menards was having their bag sale last week. If you brought the paper bag from your own newspaper at home, you would not be charged the .10 fee, but if you picked one up from the bin at the front of the store, you had to pay for it.
The Woodstock Jewel-Osco has signs up at each register to help support their cashiers in answering questions about the new policy.
If you do shop at Jewel and forget to bring your own bags, they are also selling a much heavier-duty thick plastic bag with handles for 10 cents. If you must pay, it would make more sense to choose these bags instead of the thinner, plastic bags at the end of the lanes. I remember reading that Jewel introduced these when Chicago’s bag tax went into effect as well.
If you need reusable bags, it’s always nice to get them free — or close to it. I scored a bunch of my reusable bag from Jolly Time Popcorn rebates. Their bags are heavyweight and free with three UPCs from their microwave popcorn boxes. Aside from the stamp, that’s a pretty good price, and I have timed my purchases around $1.00 popcorn sales with .50 coupons (there’s one in the 1/12 SS currently!) Jolly Time also has free Redbox movie rentals on the boxes right now, so all of that adds up to a pretty good deal.
I don’t shop at Woodmans as often, but sometimes they have a coupon in their ad for two free bags with a $50 purchase.
Many stores also have free bag promotions around Earth Day in April, so they’re worth looking for too.
Lastly, I’m a big fan of these nylon reusable bags too! They’re really strong, and they fold up into a pouch that’s smaller than a deck of cards. I keep one in my purse, as well as one in each of my coat pockets. They’re really handy for all kinds of unexpectedly-needing-to-carry-something situations, and they’re currently under $2 each at Amazon.
If you know of other Chicagoland suburbs that implemented (or are implementing) bag taxes as well, please feel free to post them here.