Worth It Wednesday…Ziploc Bags

by Merissa on November 10, 2010

I would like to start some new posts on Wednesdays about different things, I buy or do, or something like that and see if you think it's worth it or if it's worthless. I'd like to hear your opinions on the topic, ie: if you do the same thing or why you disagree or agree, ect.

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We will start with Ziploc bags. I'm one of those people that washes them out afterwards and dries them for another use or two. (Except for any bag I filled with meat, never reuse those, they need to go in the trash!) I usually get 2-3 or more uses out of each bag before I toss it. I don't reuse the little sandwich bags, just freezer bags and occasionally the thicker zipper storage bags.

I wash each bag out with warm water and soap after each use. You can even turn them inside out and run them through the dishwasher. Then I prop them open and dry them on top the various containers and bottles sitting by my sink. My hubby doesn't like that I do this but I look at it as extending my ziploc bag budget by 200 - 300%. I go through ALOT of bags. I like to freezer alot of different veggies and fruits from the garden and I also store homemade bread and buns in the bags. (Another tip, if your bread gets moldy in the bag, don't reuse it for more bread, it will just get that moldy too.)

Now I'd like to know what you think. Is saving bags worth it? Do you do it? If you don't, why not?

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

1 momma-lana November 10, 2010 at 4:12 pm

I do the same and I think it takes so little time to wash them that it is well worth it. Hefty bags last longer than Ziploc brand so I try to buy those. I bought a 'wire' pot lid organizer that is free standing at a thrift store for 25 cents and it makes a great bag dryer. My hubby just gets so happy when he sees me do things like this!

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2 Valerie November 10, 2010 at 6:49 pm

I re-use ours as well. Mostly the freezer ones. After a couple of kitchen uses I then save them to use for traveling. To put shampoo and stuff that could potentially explode.

I also like the ziploc tupperware boxes. They can go in the dishwasher and are the perfect size for leftovers for hubby to take to work. They are relatively cheap and there are always coupons for them. But I use them forever until they don't look safe anymore.

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3 Erin D. July 28, 2012 at 7:37 pm

I wash them too. I buy the freezer bags because they are thicker and don’t break as easily with repeated use. If they start to look like they are wearing, I will re-use them for things like cheese that won’t drip through miniature holes that may be forming at the corners. I use them to freeze meats, but roll the meat in freezer paper first to protect against freezer burn (and I can write on the paper the contents and quantity).

I LOVE the flat square Ziplock containers. These have saved me SO MUCH MONEY! I used to buy lunch at work, but hated spending the money and I love variety, so I now make casseroles or crockpot dinners and save the leftovers in these containers. I also need to pack my lunch in 30 seconds or less in the morning, or I just won’t do it! Now I just open the freezer and pick one.

They stack well in the freezer and fit in my lunch bag nicer than all other containers I have tried. They fit the exact amount needed for an nice sized entree. They are just great. Now I rotate through several dishes each week and never get tired of my favorite meals. I even save leftover rice that I used to toss after a meal and put it in small bags to use as side dishes. I have even encouraged my coworkers to do the same.

I suggest if you are going to do this buy a large quantity of these containers at one time, because Ziplock seems to change the mold they make it from often and then they don’t stack in the cubboard well and I am always frustrated trying to find matching lids. When I bought two or three sets at once, it became much easier.

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4 Anonymous November 11, 2010 at 3:35 pm

I like to save them too but it takes forever for them to dry. Does it take your at least 2 or 3 days. Thanks for your posting about the ziploc bags because i was wondering how many others do this.

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5 Ruth D. October 18, 2012 at 1:00 pm

I recently moved from the east coast to the west coast. Because I am somewhat handicapped,when I did move it was done quickly.Likewise I don’t have my usual things for leftovers,etc.. What I have been doing is using the outside of the zip lock bag along with a rubber band when appropriate, (soupy leftovers),that way I can use cups or other glass containers,without resorting to plastic containers.This is for the refrigerator. I can also get quite a few uses from my zip lock bags. I wash,rinse thoroughly,and dry the bags.I then leave them on the counter on a towel to finish air drying. When I am reunited with my things, I will be using different size canning jars again for the refrigerator and freezer. Plastics are not supposed to be healthy. This way the food does not touch the plastic baggie.

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6 Mark November 20, 2012 at 5:19 pm

Along a similar plastic-saving vein, you can save money if you use a vacuum sealer too. Every time you vacuum seal a bag and then open it you lose at least 2″ of bag. I evaluate what I am sealing, and then figure how many time’s I’ll have to reopen and reseal the contents. I make my bags extra long to account for this, as it’s cheaper than having to make a new bag ’cause the current one is now too short.

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7 Connie November 25, 2012 at 7:21 am

I also wash my ziplock bags.As for the one that had meat in them I soak them in very hot water and bleach.My Grandmother taugjht me this. My huband mase me a bottle dryer with a 2by 4 and some dowels,it works great for drying the bags.

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8 Elaine January 7, 2013 at 2:31 am

Haha! I’m glad to see I’m not the only one. I don’t do this all the time, but sometimes. My only motivation is to put fewer plastic bags in landfills (and in places they wind up accidentally, like the ocean). It’s a variation on another similar thing I do, which I got from my grandmother of blessed memory. She grew up during the Depression, and it made her a natural environmentalist – she reused things naturally. As a kid, I thought it was disgusting that she washed drinking straws to re-use! Now I do it too. I keep a thick pipe cleaner (the kind you use in crafts) near my sink, and run it through the straws, rotate it a bit. Of course, I also use hot, soapy water to wash them.

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9 Patty April 20, 2013 at 10:15 pm

I don’t use plastic baggies at all anymore. I switched over to glass storage with the heavy plastic lids that seal. You aren’t supposed to reheat in plastic, so this makes it much easier. You just take off the lid, lay a paper napkin on top and heat! I do use plastic bags that my produce comes in when I make my own frozen veggies (comment on the extending meat post) and those get thrown away. I store most everything in some sort of mason jar, as they come in so many sizes and they freeze well, too.

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10 JoAnne November 21, 2014 at 9:25 pm

I like to reuse the bags that individual litres of milk in a 4 litre bag, comes in…these are nice and strong, easily washed and dried and great for freezing leftovers, frozen veggies, etc. Simply use a twist-tie to close them or a breadbag plastic closer.

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Worth It Wednesday…Ziploc Bags

by Merissa on November 10, 2010

in Worth It Wednesday

I would like to start some new posts on Wednesdays about different things, I buy or do, or something like that and see if you think it's worth it or if it's worthless. I'd like to hear your opinions on the topic, ie: if you do the same thing or why you disagree or agree, ect.

Are you enjoying what you see here?
Get new articles sent right to your inbox!
Sign up for our weekly newsletters for new articles sent right to your inbox plus get a free copy of my ebook, The Canner's Cookbook, just for signing up! We will never spam your inbox or send more than one email each week.

We will start with Ziploc bags. I'm one of those people that washes them out afterwards and dries them for another use or two. (Except for any bag I filled with meat, never reuse those, they need to go in the trash!) I usually get 2-3 or more uses out of each bag before I toss it. I don't reuse the little sandwich bags, just freezer bags and occasionally the thicker zipper storage bags.

I wash each bag out with warm water and soap after each use. You can even turn them inside out and run them through the dishwasher. Then I prop them open and dry them on top the various containers and bottles sitting by my sink. My hubby doesn't like that I do this but I look at it as extending my ziploc bag budget by 200 - 300%. I go through ALOT of bags. I like to freezer alot of different veggies and fruits from the garden and I also store homemade bread and buns in the bags. (Another tip, if your bread gets moldy in the bag, don't reuse it for more bread, it will just get that moldy too.)

Now I'd like to know what you think. Is saving bags worth it? Do you do it? If you don't, why not?

Print Friendly

Disclaimer: This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.


{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Thanks for taking a moment to share your thoughts and your story. I love to hear from you! Please remember this is a supportive and encouraging community. LHL reserves the right to delete any personal attacks, rude or offensive language, or anything not deemed family friendly.

See our Comment Policy for more information.