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
- 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?