How to Make $4 Grocery Panniers for Your Bike

canvas grocery panniers photo

 Daniel-Latorre / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Saddle bags for your bike can be expensive. The canvas grocery pannier shown on the bike above runs at $45 (granted it's vegan, but still...). Instead of laying out $45, you can spend $4 and get two that will work just as well.
Matt posted on BikeHacks and old DIY project from 2008 that calls for simply two canvas grocery bags (preferably the kind that fold out, like paper bags), a piece of 2'x4' 1/4" thick masonite (like what is used for clipboards), and a bungee cord.

You can cut your cost even more if you use this tip: "You can get a piece of the wood deeply discounted if you look for one that's damaged. This one was $2, normally $3.75."

Simply cut the wood to fit the inside of the bags so they're reinforced and solid, cut two of the bag handles in half and sew them together so that they fit across the back of your bike rack, secure them with the bungee cord, and Voila! Cheap, practical and perfectly good canvas panniers. You could probably make them even stronger by double-bagging, since by now all of us probably have about 30 of these give-away canvas bags piled up in our closets.