Uses for Plastic Grocery Bags

Reusing plastic grocery bags is a great way to help the environment and reduce trash in the landfills. There are many ways you can reuse these bags that can help save you money. This is a guide about uses for plastic grocery bags.
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17 found this helpful
March 15, 2012 Flag

Save money on rubber and plastic! Want to re-purpose and re-use those plastic grocery store bags and get the most bang for your buck? Here are some answers that are sure to make you smile. When you get home from the store or pharmacy, don't just wad up those bags and throw them away. Tuck all of your bags inside of ONE bag and wait until you need them. Here are some great uses!
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  1. Use to separate and store meat that you have purchased. Make a sink or basin of warm, soapy water with bleach. Insert your hand into several of the bags (individually) and wash them in the water. Immerse in rinse water and let them dry just a little bit in the drain rack. Spray the outside of the bag (which is actually the inside) with cooking spray (or grease with a small amount of oil), insert your hand inside, and pick up the meat! Your hand never touches the meat. Pull out the amount you are going to separate, remove your hand, express any remaining air, then knot and tie the bag. Take a second bag and insert the tied bag inside then knot and tie again to ensure that there are no freezer burns when you freeze it.
  2. Use to store leftovers. Depending upon the thickness of the bag, store the not-so-juicy dinner leftovers. If you have something like soup that is not "too" thin, use the double-bag process again. You can store or freeze.
  3. Use to store opened pasta, rice, beans and chips. Have a half open bag of rice or pasta? A half open bag of beans, cereal, chips? Just slide that open bag inside of one of the store bags. Make sure you have "twisted" the open bag, then grab the grocery bag at the bottom (closest to the open bag), twist, knot and tie. You don't have to worry about the little weevils or your chips becoming stale! I kept one giant bag of chips for over a month, and the last chip was just as fresh as the first! The secret is getting rid of all the air before you tie it.
  4. Use them for dirty jobs. We had a septic back-up and needed to remove a toilet full of "wadded up" toilet tissue. You know it! I double-bagged them, tied them at my arm, took two more double bags, pulled out the clogged tissue, inserted it into the other two double bags, removed the "hand bags" from the inside out, tied the "receiving" bag, and my hands never touched any of the stuff from the toilet!
  5. Use them in the garden. If you can't find your gardening gloves, or if you don't own a pair. Tie them at the wrist and get busy.
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  7. Use them to wash dishes. Again, tie at the wrist or higher.
  8. Use them to moisturize. Wash hands thoroughly, apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly to hands, wrap hands in bag for fifteen to thirty minutes and the end result will be astonishing!
  9. Use for housecleaning. Don't want to get cleaning supplies on your hands? Use the bags. Wipe down your furniture with furniture polish (or olive oil and lemon if you're like me), clean the bathrooms, sinks, etc. and protect your hands with your self-made mittens.
  10. Use for insulation. I filled a crack that otherwise would have been too large by pushing a few bags into it, then finishing off with caulk.
  11. Use for lunches. Wrap a sandwich in a paper towel (or if you're a little more green - in a home-made cloth napkin) and removing all the air, knot and tie. Sandwich will remain fresh until lunch time.
  12. Use for dirty clothes. On a trip? Pack a few bags and as you take off your dirty undies, shirts, etc., store and tie dirty clothes then tuck away in an inconspicuous place in your bag.
  13. Use to store paint rollers. Store clean rollers to keep them pliable and soft.
  14. Use as trash bags. Of course, this is the most common use of all. Use them around the house in your small trash bins as trash bags.

Well, there you have it. There are many more uses for plastic bags. If you want more, I can certainly give them to you. These are just a few. Use your own creativity and see what you can come up with.

Don't forget, after you have used them up, put them all in ONE bag and recycle. This tip will not only help the planet, but it will keep a lot more money in your pocket over the coming year.

By FranFran from Zebulon, Georgia

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CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
April 6, 20150 found this helpful

I use the to crochet things with such as handbags, purses and making a vest for my manager at Walmart from reused Walmart bags. Belts, rugs, hats, lots of things can be crocheted from bags. Look up plastic bags or plarn. This is plastic yarn to see how you can. Cut and put together the bags to crochet with. I have gotten compliments.

So many feedbacks from my purse I made from plastic bags people can't believe it was made from plastic bags.

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January 3, 2017 Flag

I have two carry cases for my new camera. As I use only one, I decided to pack the other, away. I didn't want it to become flattened or misshapen in storage, so I stuffed it.

I found those ubiquitous grocery bags to be the ideal stuffing. I'm thinking these plastic bags have lots of applications as stuffing. The first to come to mind is using them as shoe trees.

Shoe trees are almost a thing of the past. Stuffing shoes, particularly the toe with these bags is bound to help preserve the shape of the shoes when they are not being used for extended periods.

So, ladies, if you're putting your high heel tennis sneakers away for the winter, help keep them looking great for spring by stuffing them with grocery bags!

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January 4, 20170 found this helpful

Great idea! Unfortunately many stores no longer give out plastic bags. Here in my section of CA you have to bring your own or pay 10 cents for a bag. I used to use them all the time for packing cookies I would send my daughters and they in turn used the bags for their doggy "pickups". I used plastic bags for so many things but no more :(

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7 found this helpful
July 2, 2010 Flag

Uses for plastic grocery bags (the one time use/disposable): To carry groceries home: Most can be used more than once to get groceries home

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7 found this helpful
May 19, 2009 Flag

Our family has recycled grocery plastic bags as trash bags for years. We use small plastic trash container about 12 inch diameter and 14 inches high. We have one in each bathroom, kitchen and laundry room.

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0 found this helpful
February 1, 2017 Flag

A brown plastic grocery bag.

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Recycle plastic bags to keep your socks and feet dry when out in the rain and snow. This is a guide about keeping your feet dry with plastic bags.

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18 found this helpful
November 16, 2009 Flag

I like to recycle plastic grocery bags in my kitchen garbage container. I bought a package of self-adhesive plastic cup hooks at the dollar store and put two on the inside of the trash can on the right and two more on the left.

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5 found this helpful
August 20, 2009 Flag

There have been several tips on reusing these bags. If you go to YouTube and check out this video and many of the others you will be sick at what we are doing to Mother Earth.

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0 found this helpful
January 18, 2017 Flag

Multicolored plastic bags on a white background.

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This is a guide about craft use for grocery bags. Plastic grocery bags can be kept out of the landfills by recycling them into knit, crochet, woven, and other craft projects.

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5 found this helpful
November 3, 2011 Flag

Now that there are only two of us in our household, we have downsized our kitchen garbage container for the kitchen. We have a medium-size plastic bucket that fits perfect under the kitchen sink; out of sight and out of way.

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0 found this helpful
January 5, 2017 Flag

Plastic Grocery Bag
Crochet Hat

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This is a guide about making a plastic grocery bag crochet hat. Recycled plastic grocery bags can be cut into lengths and used to make crochet and knit hats.

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0 found this helpful
January 5, 2017 Flag

Shopping Bag Into Planting Bags - seedling in plastic bag pot

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This is a guide about turn shopping bags into planting bags. Another useful way to recycle and reuse those plastic grocery bags is by making seedling starter pots.

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0 found this helpful
January 5, 2017 Flag

Plastic Grocery Bag Flowers

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This is a guide about making plastic grocery bag flowers. Recycle your plastic grocery bags into a pretty faux floral arrangement.

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June 23, 2008 Flag

Recycling is very important to me, sometimes to the dismay of my husband, who complains about clutter. The plastic grocery bags accumulate, even though I mostly use cloth bags.

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5 found this helpful
March 21, 2011 Flag

I have been able to keep my car cleaned up, by hanging a plastic grocery bag on the back of the front passenger seat with a velcro cord holder. I put the holder around the metal head rest post and attach the grocery bag.

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6 found this helpful
March 17, 2010 Flag

Even though I try to use my own shopping bags when I shop, I still wind up with a lot of plastic bags. I recycle them periodically with the various stores, but I also use them myself. I line trash cans with them and use them for storage and organization of suitably sized items.

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5 found this helpful
August 6, 2010 Flag

Save those tiny plastic grocery bags that are too small to use for anything else. I keep my other plastic bags to use for trash containers. You can use the really little bags to pick up doggie messes in the park when walking your dog and no waste bags are available.

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6 found this helpful
July 3, 2012 Flag

We, as a whole, use way too much plastic. Its life span is hundred of years if put in landfills. So I have tried to find ways of reusing, recycling and looking at it in a different way.

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4 found this helpful
August 7, 2011 Flag

My dad's new wife just showed me how to re-use plastic grocery store bags. She folds them into four length wise then cuts the bottom off. Working your way up, you cut about one inch strips until you get to the handles.

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5 found this helpful
June 5, 2009 Flag

Use your plastic shopping bags for packing in shipping packages. It is light weight and free. Also it is a good cushion.

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2 found this helpful
March 5, 2013 Flag

Don't we love to re-use those plastic bags from the grocery store? I store things in them, and a lot of women cut them into strips and crochet them. Those strips are called "plarn."

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August 11, 2011 Flag

A friend of mine was moving large speakers from CO to CA on a bus. We packed them in boxes and used wadded up plastic grocery bags instead of newspaper or peanuts.

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4 found this helpful
September 15, 2014 Flag

I keep a laundry basket in the back of my car. I put my newspaper and plastic bags in the laundry basket. Once a week, I stop at a local resale shop that is run by a charity. They need the paper to wrap glass items and the bags for customer's items.

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2 found this helpful
August 17, 2015 Flag

When I buy fruit or veggies at the store, I put them in those plastic produce bags provided by the stores. At home, I take the produce out of the bags, putting it into a fruit bowl or a paper bag in the refrigerator. Then I turn the plastic bags inside out and use them for breading my chicken, fish, etc.

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August 8, 2008 Flag

I save all my plastic bags to reuse, even the small bags that come from stores (meat, greeting cards, etc. are often put into small bags before being placed in the grocery bag).

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March 12, 2010 Flag

Instead of using plastic wrap, that sometimes fails to stick properly, use plastic bags for some leftovers.

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1 found this helpful
May 28, 2009 Flag

Sometimes, I forget to grab my "green" shopping bags before heading into the grocery store. I re-use the plastic bags by wrapping my produce in them. I have found that my lettuce, grapes, cabbage, peppers, carrots stay fresher much longer.

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March 20, 2012 Flag

Another use for plastic bags is to drape them over a bucket or other container and then use as a toilet! I understand that in Africa, they call these "flying toilets." It would be great for camping or to use in an emergency situation.

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2 found this helpful
August 27, 2008 Flag

This may sound a little "unprofessional" to some, but in my business I mostly use used plastic bags for my customers. I simply ask "Would you like a recycled, used plastic bag?" and so far EVERY customer I've asked has said with enthusiasm "Why YES, I would LOVE a recycled bag!"

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2 found this helpful
June 11, 2008 Flag

I normally use cloth bags for groceries, but occasionally forget to put them back in the car, so I have a few plastic bags in the house. I picked up a footstool with a vinyl top and wooden legs at a yard sale for $1.00.

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