Friday, February 19, 2010

Frugal Tip Friday: Zip Top Baggies

Drying baggies. (Note the pumpkin draining in the back ground.)

How many zip top baggies would you say you go through in the average week? 2, 3, 10? I would guess that we (there are 2 adults and one baby in our household), go though probably 5 to 10 per week. Mostly in sending Zach's lunch to work with him and in storing leftovers in the fridge or freezer.

One fairly simple way you can cut down on your trash and on your budget is to reuse your zip top baggies. I know this tip isn't going to be for everyone. Some will say "Ewww!" Others will exclaim "Way too time consuming for something so cheap!" I am not saying you will save your family a ton of money.

But lets just say the average family of 4 uses 10 zip top baggies a week. At 52 weeks in the year that is 520 baggies. You can buy them for about $3.00 a box (50 count). That's about 10 1/2 boxes a year. So, 10.5 boxes times $3.00 per box equals $31.50 per year.

I know, not a whole lot. But in today's economy, every penny counts.

So anyway, what I choose to do is to wash most of my used zip top baggies and reuse them. It is actually pretty easy. I just add them to my hand washed things. Dip some dish water up into the baggie, put your wash rag in it, slosh it around till it is clean, dump, rinse and shake open and turn it up side down to dry. As you can see in the pictures, I have quite a few drying. A lot of times I will let them pile up and wash quite a few at once.

I do have a few "Rules." I don't wash and reuse baggies that have contained raw meat. If the baggie is really messy, I don't mess with it. If it is going to take me more than a few seconds to wash, it isn't really worth it to me.

I especially like to reuse the baggies that have labels for certain things. Like when I make mini pizzas for snacks and meals (I usually make a few dozen at a time). I label the baggies with either cheese, pepperoni, or pepper, depending on the type of pizza in it. Then I can reuse the baggies for the same thing.

Anyway, it saves money and on the landfills. Maybe not too much of a time saver, if it was it would be in the Quick Tip Tuesdays, not Frugal Tip Friday. :o)

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