Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Tightwad Tuesday: Storage Bags

I've decided to try and apply one tip from The Tightwad Gazette each week for the next year. I've learned a lot from this author. This is one of  my old standby book 'friends' that has tutored me in how to live frugally.  Since we will be living off our savings and my small part time income this coming year, I thought it would be a good time to pull the book out again and see if I can learn some new skills in stretching our money.

I learned a great tip from Tightwad Gazette years ago which was to examine every plastic bag that comes into your home with an eye for reusing it. I used to spend a lot of money on store bought freezer and storage bags. Because I've incorporated this tip in my home I only occasionally purchase bags at the dollar store.

Here is a short list of bags that could be reused:

- bread wrappers
- vegetable bags (you normally find these on a roll in the produce department)
- apple bags (or any other bag that fruit comes in) 
- powdered sugar bags
- brown sugar bags
- dried fruit bags
- nut bags
- corn or flour tortilla bags
- chips
- cookie bags
- any plastic bag that comes in a box. For instance, the plastic bag that holds instant mashed potatoes.

 I don't mind washing the bags as much as drying them. I normally hang them up to dry but this doesn't always completely dry them inside. So oftentimes I'll place my hand in the corner of a dish towel and then in the bag while drying the outside with the other end of the towel. My husband has promised to make me a drying stand so I won't have to dry them by hand.

I found a new suggestion on washing plastic bags in the book that I haven't tried yet. It suggested throwing them in with a load of white clothes along with 1 tsp. of bleach and 1/2 cup laundry detergent and warm water. I'll be trying this soon.

Once the bags are dry I store them by rolling them around the cardboard tube that you find in the middle of a paper towel roll and then I place the roll (of bags) in my kitchen drawer where I store the tinfoil ,etc. 

My goal this next year is to find more and more ways to use what I already have on hand. The less I throw away the less I'll have to buy.

What do you save and reuse?