Saturday, September 5, 2009
Use It UP~Empty Bread Bags
Today I made my lunch from a home grown tomato and using the ends from two loaves of bread that we get from a "dent can store," the ones with the damaged packaging where we only paid~ARE YOU READY? $.50 per loaf and while this is a great savings, AND I enjoyed my thrifty sandwich (the mayo came from there too!) I had two empty bread bags that I was looking at, and they began to "inspire" me...
Call me nuts if you wanna ;-)) but I remember back around 30 plus years ago before baby wipes, moms carrying wet wash cloths for babies in used bread bags for excursion diaper changes. They carried one with the wet cloth(s) and another to hold the soiled cloths. This way costs very and still is a great way of dealing with messy babies or littles who need a wipe down while out and about. It's been a few years...my kids are teens now, since I had to wipe them down. If you want to save in this area, think of your bread bags and wash cloths. I'd suggest using thin older cloths, but you might have nice baby grade wash cloths too...but use what you have...and if you have a towel with a hole developing, you can cut it up, bind the edges either by hand or machine and use up the towel for baby rags or any other cleaning for that matter. Now binding can be done with a blanket stitch by hand or the zig zag or rolled hem on the machine. Go to the end for a simple and homespun but all you really need to know to do the blanket stitch on anything~
Bread bags are useful for many things. I was thinking of my uses today, and they are really food grade plastic~our food/bread is stored in them, so it's not like a grocery plastic sack, these are safe . Here are some ideas:
1. Store your iceberg lettuce in it down in the crisper~when you open your iceberg lettuce set the head of lettuce on your table or counter with the stem side facing up. I take my palm and hit that spot very hard, and sometimes I have to use my fist and the whole stem will come out. Do not wash it unless you are going to use it all right then. Just break off what you need, using paper napkins or towel, wrap the unused lettuce and place it in the bread bag and store in your crisper. It will keep crisp a whole lot longer and if you don't use a metal bladed knife to cut it, it will not turn brown. Tare lettuce and break it from the head~it will last longer, and you have a great lettuce keeper in your old bread bag.
2. Messy clean up bags~It's never EVER a good idea to put any type of oil or grease down the kitchen sink. To clean it out, I've used bread bags on my hands to scrape out messes from the fry pan into the trash as well as food stuff that is not consumable. In the south, and I hardly ever ever do this, but you might~because it's delishous: fry with flour or cornmeal...like fried chicken or porkchops. I don't HONESTLY do either for health reasons, but I have in the past, and using a bread bag to clean out the residue...now some will drain the greese (no recipe here ;-)) and make gravy~can't you imagine a zillion calories per bite, but it's so good~ Anyway, cleaning up this mess is just that...a mess~and we can't put that pipe clogging stuff down our sinks, so use the bag as a glove. Also in the kitchen I will use it to tie up small messes~like the tomato stems and skins I was working with that I wasn't composting and didn't want to smell~fish is another thing~even if you are hauling the trash out right away, another 'layer of protection' in a bread bag against the juices or odors getting in the can is not a bad idea...also when I deal with watermelon or any kind of melon...it's great to use these to place sees and rhines til you can compost or get them out. Now you can also use it for a glove for many other gross (ewww) uses too which I won't name, but you can get the idea! My husband has hauled bags with him when walking our dog to be polite to neighbors...they're great for cat box duty and more...
3. Tie up your sandwich with them or other tie-able foods. Just remember these are food grade so they are already safe enough to store food. I've made whole loaves of bread into sandwiches and put them in the bread bag for trips and excursions for our family. I'm passing out the sandwiches as we need to eat them on trips and using a lose knot to hold the bread bag closed~when I'm done I can toss it out...I've even put fruit and used them to hold popcorn that we needed to carry. A tip about popcorn: be sure it cools before placing it or your bag will melt and a hole will develop into it. (I love homemade popcorn~it's cheeper...) You can take dry cereal, homemade snake foods like homemade granola, chex mix or trail mix too...it's endless really!
4. Crafting can take on a different edge~if you crochet, you can crochet them up into floor mats for the doors~or you can use them to store items like craft paints by type or color, fabric remnants, and even other small items for crafts. I have a good stash of lace, and sometime back I organized using baggies and bread bags~this will work well with yarn too~the shape is right. Just be SURE the bag is clean as you don't want to draw bugs or other 'visitors' with your bread bags. I've cut open a bread bag and used it for a placemat to paint on protecting the kitchen table. Bread bags are limitless!
5. Keep one or two in the glove box of your vehicle for unexpected sickness in the car~if you have children they are the right size and will get you home without having to really clean the upholstery of your vehicle.
6. Bread bag lunch 'plates'~cut it up and eat your sandwich on it...it's FREE and while not as pretty as a paper towel for eating on~the price is right! Why throw the thing out without some good use?
What would you do with a bread bag? Have you ever used them for other than storing bread?
Tell me! Share your tips!! I'd love to hear what you've done or are doing!
Using it up just makes good sense to our budgets~
bread bags have many uses!
Here's that YouTube Video on the blanket stitch~simple by will demonstrate...use yarn with a big eyed needle or crochet thread with a large eye needle. You will want a thread that is thicker than standard thread for binding wash cloths. Thanks to dreamalittle7 for this video!