I'll admit...I enjoy bringing home plastic bags from the store. They're so handy for cleaning litter boxes or picking up after the dog, or lining a small trash can. BUT, even with all the things I can think of to use them for, we simply get too many! I keep a glass jar (large pickle jar, if anyone wants to know) and when it gets full I stick the rest in a paper bag to donate to a thrift store where they re-use them. HOWEVER, even doing all that, sometimes I still want to simply not bring them home with me in the first place!
So I have reusable bags. Which I forget to take to the store with me. (I actually remembered last week...my first time!)
This site has lovely bags....if you're wanting to buy some.
I like mine free or next-to-free, and one of the best sources I've found is the thrift store.
First, find a good, cheap thrift store.
Next, look for bags like this one.
Once you've found your bags, look for any tears, rips, stains, dirty ick...anything that will affect your use of it.
Assuming you've found a good sturdy bag, buy it. Go ahead and buy it, and don't worry if it says, "George Washington Teachers ROCK!" on the front. We'll take care of that.
Don't pay too much for it. If you're going to pay a lot, you might as well buy a nice one and be done with it. I wouldn't pay more than $1, and that for a really BIG, very sturdy one. I would hope for .50 or .25.
When you get it home, wash it; carefully, some will shrink, although I've never found that to matter too much.
If it says something you don't like on the front, cut out a piece of cloth a bit bigger than the picture and sew it over it. You can make a patch (I've done one with cross-stitched cows cut off the front of a sweatshirt...they were too cute to toss when the sweatshirt was unwearable...I used a crossed stitch to sew it on), or you can leave the top open for an extra pocket. My aunt completely covered one with lots of extra pockets, but I thought that was over-kill. Besides, she was using a sewing machine, and I can't. So I simply hand-sew on a square and call it a pocket. Trust me, if I can do it, anyone can.
And there you have a personalized, easy, recycled, shopping bag which was practically free!
(Maybe I'll take pictures...I could get one and walk you through all the steps in pictures. What a good idea. Maybe.... Someday.....)