The thing about taking your own shopping bags to the store is that it isn’t mainstream enough yet that people don’t think it weird. The problem is two fold:
1) If you go to the normal checkout you have to explain your needs to the bagger. The bagger is usually in their work mode and won’t stop for anything–so your special request catches them off guard. They are quite perplexed at the thought of putting nearly everything in one bag. Of course, I have separate bags for the produce and meat and possible cleaning products, be even those bags are put into my giant IKEA bag, making it possible to get from my car to my apartment in only one trip. “Are you sure? Are you sure you can carry this?”
2) If you go to the self-checkout the machine gets really upset. You can’t put your own bags in the bagging area because it throws everything off and won’t let you continue. If you put your bags in the cart and “skip” the bagging area, half-way through your order the employee must come over and oversee your actions before you can continue. The last option, and possibly the best, is to just throw everything on the scales in the bagging area and then quickly bag it into your own bags after you’ve finished the transaction. This also means you’re holding up the line for the aggravated customers behind you.
Really. You can’t win. But I’m not giving up.