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Grocery Bag Trash Can

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This article is taken from Five Gallon Ideas, which features over 100 uses for 5 gallon buckets with more being added all the time.

Tell me if this makes sense. Most people buy a lot of one sort of bag (garbage bags) while simultaneously throwing out lots of another kind of bag (grocery bags.)

Despite our best efforts to take reusable cloth bags and backpacks with us to the grocery store, we still somehow manage to end up with way too many plastic grocery bags than we can possibly use.

If this sounds like a problem you might be familiar with, then this is the solution.

Now I’m certainly not the first person to revolt against this perverted scheme concocted by Big Grocery Bag.

This is the wire bag holder from Amazon that we used in our last place. It hangs any grocery bag, and works well most of the time. Except that anything sort of mushy or drippy tends to leak, and heavy stuff will make the bag fall out. It’s a smart solution but just not quite smart enough.

Of course at first we tried a standard 5 gallon bucket – but grocery bags are much smaller than 5 gallons, so they just wilt into a sad plastic pile at the bottom.

I solved this problem by testing one of every shape and size of bucket we could get our hands on. The bucket that worked best is this 3.25 gallon square bucket.

I think square works better because grocery bags aren’t round on the bottom, and its handles are on opposite sides not all the way around.

The bag stays in very well, but I’m still considering just getting a big rubber band for the rim around the outside of the bucket to hold the bag in really tight. You’d only need one to last through hundreds of plastic bags!

We found ours from a Safeway deli, originally holding frosting. Check out our free bucket locator list for other places to check. And if you’ve found another size and shape of can that works well with grocery bags let us know in the comments.

For many more ways to use 5 gallon buckets for self sufficiency, visit Five Gallon Ideas. When citing this article, please link to


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