Yes, I really am writing about my love for reusable plastic bags. I use these bags for everything. Sure, they’re traditionally marketed as disposable – but I think the product is being sold short. There are so many uses! Sure, some of them are one-time-only ideas, but many of the ideas allow the bags to be used again and again.
The Freezer Of Your Dreams. Do you dream about freezer organization? I do. I think about how I can make things more organized, more efficient and easier for myself all of the time. This was a great tip I’d read a few years ago. Freeze and label items, but make sure to lay them flat so they freeze more like files that can be stacked and easily stored. I do this with most things I freeze and reusable plastic bags save the day! If it’s an item, like black beans or corn, then I will reuse the bag through its lifecycle – instead of just one time.
Dinner Done Right. A few years ago, one of my friends told me how he preps his meals in advance. I’ve been copying his method ever since. He’ll buy meat in bulk and portion it out into reusable plastic bags. Then he squirts in the marinade or seasonings, seals the bag and sticks it in the freezer until he’s ready to use it. When he wants to cook one of these items for dinner, he gets it out and thaws it in the fridge – and doesn’t have to worry about prepping the meat, because he’d already done it. Genius!
When prepping meat to freeze, I start with my friend’s strategy with the seasonings and the reusable bag. Then I wrap it in foil and put cling wrap around the outside of it. Then I label the item with the name and the date. When thawing the meat, I put it in the bottom drawer in my fridge and it sits in a plastic reusable container. This thawing method eliminates or reduces the chance of meat juice spilling or leaking on something else. Reusable bag safety update – any meat or dairy item is a one time use for reusable bags. Don’t risk it – just use it once.
Prep and Store Anything Like A Pro. Sure, all of the pictures for this post are food-related, because these bags are masters in the kitchen for prepping snacks for the week or smoothie fruit ice cubes, but you can prep and store anything in reusable plastic bags. We use the reusable plastic bags to organize our Lego collection by set, select toiletries, icing used for decorations, weirdly shaped items, box tops, and as a protective waterproofing cover for paper items like manuals. It’s nice to have a consistent, frugal and easy organizing tool that I can use for anything. So think outside the kitchen for uses on these items – if it works for you – it works!
Making The Bags Reusable For Real. When I’m finished with a bag that I know can be used again, I rinse it out, open it like you see in the picture and set it on the kitchen counter or outside to dry. My grandma used to clothes pin them to her clothes line and dry them outside like clothes – I now know she was a frugal genius. Make sure the bag is fully dry and clean. Return bag to normal state, but don’t seal it. Roll it from the bottom so it stores more easily and store it in a place you’ll remember to use it. I store most of my used reusable bags rolled in front of my new bags, so it’s as easy as possible.
Sure the bags cost pennies each, but the more you reuse things the more money you save – those pennies add up over time. And the less you’re putting unnecessary items into landfills. Get yourself set up on a system to reuse these plastic bags. It’s easy and you’ll thank yourself in the long run.