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Uses for Twist Ties

Category Reusing
Certain food products packed in plastic bags are sealed with a twist tie. This is a guide about uses for twist ties.


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February 21, 20050 found this helpful

When buying bread, look at the twist tie and it will tell you how old it is ... Each day has a different color, as follows: Monday = Blue, Tuesday = Green, Thursday = Red, Friday = White, Saturday = Yellow

By Brenda Cole

Editor's Note: I had never heard of this tip before. I wonder if this system is specific to one grocery store or chain or universally used.

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By guest (Guest Post)
January 27, 20061 found this helpful

Most of the bread you'll find on U.S. supermarket shelves arrives housed in plastic wrappers closed by colored twist tags or plastic tabs. The tabs serve a purpose besides aiding in keeping the bread fresh once everyone in the family is diving into the loaf -- their colors provide a quick visual reference to the people whose job it is to recycle the stock by removing older loaves while loading the shelves with fresh product.

It's the removal part of the restocking process that's key to understanding why this bit of Internet advice isn't really worth the time it would take to memorize any code. Bread is not kept on the shelf for longer than a couple of days. Indeed, it's those colored twist tags that make this recycling of stock practical -- because of them, the restocker has an easy time recognizing which loaves have to be taken away.

Those tags assist mightily in your never getting stuck with an older loaf, even if you're not much of a bread squeezer. In the absence of the color cues, some of the older product might be overlooked by a harried clerk trying to read one tiny "Best Before" date after another. (By the by, some of these tags actually do have such dates printed on them, and in those cases the date does represent the date the bread is to be removed from the store, not the date it was baked on.) As it is, shoppers should never encounter more than two colors of tags on the shelf at any time for any one brand of bread: that of the most recent delivery and that of the one just before it. This will sometimes work out to being today's and yesterday's bakings, but there will generally be two days a week when no bread is delivered, thus a three-day spread will be represented by the two colors at stores that receive delivery only five times a week instead of seven.

In other words, since you're not going to encounter a loaf that's more than a few days old anyway, there's no earthly reason to mail off the astonishing news to the entire population of your online address book that there's a secret code worked into bread tags. Even without knowing the code, your friends and family are never going to get a stale loaf.

Is the color code quoted in the example applicable to every breadmaker's product? No, because there are different manufacturers out there, and each of them uses its own system -- there's no industry-wide standard. The code explained in the e-mail might or might not be the right one for the brand you're after so, caveat emptor: Placing blind reliance on the BGRWY code could well result in your consistently fetching home the older bread instead of the fresher stuff. Also, the schedule quoted above (fresh bread delivered every day except Wednesday and Sunday) doesn't hold true in every area.

Different stores can be on different rotations, and even within the same store some brands will be coming in five times a week, while others arrive seven days a week.

What to do if you're absolutely determined to have only the freshest bread on your table, now that you know there's a code you're set on making use of? Contact the manufacturer of your favorite brand and ask what (if any) color-coded tag system they adhere to and what their delivery schedule to your favorite store is, then let your selection be guided by that.

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July 26, 20051 found this helpful

When doing a craft that uses short lengths of fine wire and you happen to run out, you can use the wire in the twist ties.

Hold twelve strips with a pliers over the sink and light the end with a match. When it burns to the pliers, let them fall into the sink, the rest burns off.

With a Kleenex wipe the wires to remove any residue. Your good to go.

This was my idea when making miniatures flowers for my doll house and I ran out of wire in mid winter and I did not want to go out.

By Aunt Rose

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Sheri0 found this helpful
December 27, 2000

When buying produce, be sure to use the ties the store provides. These work great for tying things together, wires, food bags, etc. I can always find a use for them.

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October 23, 20060 found this helpful

I keep my monthly bank statements in a 3 ring notebook provided by the bank, when get the last statement of year will put the twisty ties in at least 2 of the note book holes and it will keep them together for future reference, in a copy paper box, for as long as need to save them They are so usful and take up so little space.

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February 5, 20050 found this helpful


I have been saving the twist ties of trash bags for a very long time thinking I can use them for something. Can you help me in thinking of something I can make with them, a craft or something? I have looked everywhere.

Thank you,



Use for Lion's Mane

They can use the "yellow" ones for lion's mane on a round piece of poster board with holes punched for the ties. Also use them for hair (red or yellow ones). They can also be used instead of brads of rings to make little journals or albums. Give each child one when going on vacation or a field trip.

By Wanda

Candy Wreath

If you have lots of twist ties, you could make a candy wreath with them. Poke one end of the twist tie into a styrofoam wreath form. Twist the other end around the "tail" of a candy wrapper. Keep it up until the wreath form is covered.

You could also use them in your garden to tie small plants to stakes.

By Camilla

Make a Ball

Hook them all together and roll them into a ball, put them on a "stick" and put them in your garden. A friend did this (she is gone now) and the ball was bigger than a soft ball! It was unusual and pretty at the same time. She called it her "bread bag ties ball.


Use your Imagination

I have used them for hang decorations in and outside of the house, to hang small pictures on my walls and to keep homemade calenders together.

I have a few in my fishing tackle box to keep hooks and sinkers seperated, even color coded. I once used a bag tie for an emergency button on my pants (Would also work on shirts). They are good for tying up excess speaker and telephone wires.

I once made little bread tie people much like the Colored electric wire people make. I am not too great at crafts but I got them to stand and hold little bread tie babies in their arms. I would imagine you could make model dwellings out of them. You could use them to make wreaths. Also a way to keep small stuff like Artist Paintbrushes or even pencils together.

How about an old time paper chain made from bread ties. I once made a home made sign at my work with them. It worked The sign stayed up for a long time . It said Keep Out spelled out with bread ties on a piece of poster board. I thought about just weaving a sign out of Bread ties but never got around to doing it.


I guess Imagination makes almost anything possible.

By Mr. Thrifty

In the Garden

I use twist ties a lot in the garden. They can be used to help train roses to grow up a trellis, by twisting the ties around the stem and the trellis, it helps to support them, so they grow in the direction that you want them to. We also use them to tie tomato plants to the stakes. Another great use is to twist them around extension cords that you have neatly rolled up, so they stay organized in a drawer.

By Tammy M.

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