I've noticed something as I've shopped at Aldi recently. The paper bags, which they charge a quarter for, have gotten smaller, with flimsy handles, the latter of which I've already discovered the hard way a couple of times. It's obvious to me why they are doing this: to make the customer spend more on bags (or an ongoing "supplier issue" as much of their recent low stock issues have been) so they recoup from your still super-low grocery prices there. I picked up a few of their reusable ones and done with it a few shopping trips ago so no worries. But at least they still have friendly, attentive employees checking you out in person in the check-out lanes.

On the other hand, we have all seen what has become of Wal-Mart lately. "Manned" checkout lanes are rare as they are encouraging a shift to self-checkout. I personally don't have a problem using them. I find them fast and easy, but when I read about another move they're soon to make at Wal-Mart, I was shocked. "Wal-Mart goes bagless on July 1", read the headline.

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Except, it's only half-true. According to Snopes, only Wal-Mart stores in the state of Maine will be going bagless, and not all of its stores, but it may signal the start of the trend nationwide across their company. If that's the case, it may be time to do like I did at Aldi, and invest in a couple of reusable bags. Of course, I've long said those have issues of their own, but we may have no choice. You can always reuse the plastic bags you still have lying around the house as well.

July 1 also happens to coincide with a law going into effect in Maine, reportedly banning plastic bags, according to Bangor Daily News.


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