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Budgeting for the holidays Pt. 2: Collect bag money at Target, Whole Foods

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Whether your forte is grocery shopping, shoe shopping or Christmas shopping, chances are you have a bunch of bags around your home. There's only so much trash one person can create to recycle those bags for small trash cans. Why not get a little money back reusing them in the same stores you're already shopping in, such as Target?

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Anyone who shops in Target will see racks of red Target bags to encourage shoppers to buy, but did you know you can bring your own bags and save $0.05 for each bag cashiers use to stock your stuff?

The only downside is unwrapping the bags may slow a cashier down. But help the cashier out by having the bags already straightened out and ready to use. Same rules apply at Whole Foods Markets for bringing your own bags. Five cents off or shoppers can choose to donate the money to whatever charity Whole Foods Market is working with.

Five cents isn't a lot of money, but if you're leaving a store with 20 bags in a shopping cart, that's $1 you could've saved. If you're open to coupons or the 5 percent discount Target already provides for using their Target debit and Target credit cards, why not save even more money from your bill?

Seem like a nuisance to always keep bags with you while shopping? As soon as you unload your last set of groceries, fold a few bags up and put them in your trunk or bottom of your purse so they're always on hand.

While you're in there, dump the bags that are in bad shape into the recycle bins by the entrance and/or exit doors.

Follow Shamontiel on Pinterest for all her latest Chicago finance, employment and savings tips, or subscribe to her Chicago Personal Finance channel at the top of this page. Also, follow her Green Living Pinterest board for more environmental tips.

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