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
Source: Some from this website, etsy.com for some of the art projects, my own ideas and my friends' because no one likes waste.
By caeridwen from Kent OH
This way you empty the trash more frequent, keep the house more sanitary and odorless. For the last twenty years, we have never bought the commercial garbage bags. Of course you can also find other uses for the bags.
By Peng from Seattle, WA
Try not changing your trash bag more often then needed. If you sprinkle baking soda in a new bag, it will stay fresher longer. Why pay extra for scented bags. I take essential drops, put a couple drops on a cloth and wipe inside the bag. The smell lasts a week. Use vanilla, lavender or whatever is your favorite. If you are making dinner using meat containers, onions, garlic or have food that needs to be tossed, try using a grocery bag. Take it out right away instead of wasting a bag that isn't full.
Growing up in the country, we always had a bucket for the pigs, or maybe your community has a compost bin for gardens. Now I live in the city, so no buckets or pigs but I try to do my part. Living by the ocean, we always see how dolphins, fish and our waste is affecting everyone in some way.
When you get your food, most of us put produce in plastic type bags. Don't throw them away, instead try reusing them. You'll find they can come in handy. If not, maybe just get used to doing it in a different way. Look in the organic produce, my local store has the green bags for free. You can reuse them over and over again.These same bags are sold on TV and help with bananas or bread's life span. I have found by taking my lettuce, cucumbers or other produce out of the packaging or plastic bags, they keep crisper longer. The store keeps these damp to make it look more attractive to the buyer. It may look better but also will wilt your produce 3x as fast. Take out,dry off, put in drawer or container in fridge. Put a sponge in the drawer to absorb any moisture left. It works!
I buy a couple things packaged in really thick, resealable bags. Keep those and reuse them. They are great for taking along a damp cloth for sticky hands, laundry coins, dryer sheets, keeping Kleenex fresh; the list goes on. Using them for food is great! I have seen coffee in these type bags, my chia seeds come in them, cough drops. I have even noticed some chips now come in these type of plastic resealable bags. I find they keep things fresh so long and are not costing me a penny. Just remember, if you put in fridge,freezer or have several, mark what is in them.
Since I was a child, we used grocery bags in bathroom. I turn my so you can't see any writing and turn handles inward so you would never know. When I do have to get bags, I take several rolled up in the bottom of the bathroom container so when I take one out, another is handy.
We can't get away from plastic all together. If you try, be surprised how little you really need. All of it has another use and is saving you money somewhere else. Find a way to reuse them, even dog parks will take them. I have found they make great gloves when I don't want my hands to touch certain things. Great for cleaning out doors, even for painting.
I have found the zip lock bags can be used over 20x. I have a wine rack on my counter. Placing a wooden spoon so the handle sticks out is a great way for them to dry out fast. Just rinse, turn wrong side out, put in soapy water, rinse and dry. Ready for use next time. I have seen a cute clay pot with red beans in it that would be perfect. Stick any wooden spoon, wooden rulers or pencils, then set by sink to help your bags dry out faster. Lunches, snacks, sorting, dividing, freezing items all can be reused. Start your kids out young. Ask them to bring bag home. Let them see you reusing instead of wasting plastic. Tell them "I want your world to be better". They will grow up doing what you taught them and loving you for it.
It isnt about the money to everyone, as it is for me. We all need to look back and see what has happened and start changing it anyway we can. Being thrifty is a way of life for me, plus I love the challenge. Not everyone at the store has my budget. However, I do notice that more and more people are bringing in bags, taking them to thrift stores (when they don't shop there) or using their own bags. I think when I smile at them, we all know how great the little things are. This Earth was a gift, so I pray it brings joy for many, many generations.
By Luana M. from San Diego, CA
By duckie-do from Cortez, CO
By Patricia A. H. from Colorado Springs, CO
Once you make a long strip, you use a G or bigger crochet hook and chain as many as you want together and crochet as you would with yarn. You can add beads... whatever you want for some snazz!
By Charlene from NJ
By Pam M. from Los Angeles, CA
We utilize our plastic carry out bags from grocery stores by using them to line the bucket. We usually keep about 10 bags in the bucket lined at a time. That way when the bag is pulled out and tied up to be put outside in the can, another bag is already there waiting.
The medium-sized bucket is perfect for us and gets taken out almost every day without any fuss of smelly, stinky garbage that needs to go out. The bags are free and they are very easy to tie up and throw away. Sometimes when everyone is home for a holiday, we may empty the bucket 2 or 3 times a day. Again, no one minds carrying the plastic bag out because it is so compact and doesn't have a ton of garbage running out of it.
The total cost of this idea is $2 or less for plastic bucket at the dollar store. The liner bags are free from where you shop.
By Marsha from Greenville, NC
My husband and I like to walk for exercise and we like to bring water or iced tea with us. I have drink holders, but never can find one in the last minute, so we have found that just using a simple plastic grocery bag with handles makes a good improvised drink holder. If there is a hole in the bottom, it also drains well! That way we can always have a bag or two in the car available for when we decide to walk!
By pam munro
By LadyMichelle from Pottstown, PA
Editor's Note: We do have many posts about using plarn here on ThriftyFun. Here is one guide with project instructions for making a tote or shopping bag. Check the related links or search the site for more projects.
I make tote bags for the beach and increase the size of them as much as needed to get the size I need to carry the wet things back from the beach. They are loosely crocheted enough to be sprayed outside with the items in the bag and get the sand off. Then just hang them and they will drip dry.
Make the handles on the tote bag long enough to carry it across the body, or at least over the shoulder, so your hands are free to do other things. You can even make rugs of these to put your wet boots on during the rainy season. Keep it outside though!
Follow any crochet pattern that you have for either of these and experiment on your own as well.
By Diane from Owego, NY
By Suntydt from Tazewell, TN
This only saves me a few pennies, but more importantly, it helps the environment. So all you business owners out there, why not offer your customers a recycled bag? (Be sure to double-check the used bags for cleanliness first.)
* You can also have a bin for them to return the plastic bags back to you and this might even help bring more customers back in!
By Cyinda from Seattle
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."
Well, a warning. They are now making them to disintegrate in the landfill. I just took one out of my cupboard that I was using to keep some socks, and before I could open it and take the socks out of it, it began to fall apart all over the floor. I couldn't stop the confetti, it was everywhere. It floated and flew. I had to drag out the vacuum cleaner.
The older bags are still useful, but be mindful; I wouldn't use them for crochet projects unless you are very sure they won't disintegrate.
I replace my bags every 2 days or so. I also line the bottom of the bags with a layer of newspaper, as the bags are not watertight. By using smaller bags, the garbage never hangs around too long to stink up the house.
Source: I was tired of having an exposed garbage basket.
By annelaundrie from Green Bay, WI
My son gets car sick easy so we always carry wal-mart bags under the seat in the car within easy reach for him. They are great for collecting "trash" in the car too.
Store empty grocery sacks, rolled into empty cardboard paper towel rolls. Great for the car. We always keep a couple of rolls in the trunk. Great disposable trash bags.
By Sean C
By RubyredI too use grocery bags to line my trashcans around the house. I didn't realize how much easier it was to just pick them up, tie the top and out they go. Recently, I have been having some problems with my balance and so I have been having to sit down to do my cooking in the kitchen. I take a plastic bag and tie one of the handles around the handle of one of the drawers to throw scraps, etc. in.
As a hint though, I have been told not to keep any plastic bags that anything like meat in them as they might attract bugs. Yuck!!!
Garbage Bowl liner: keep a large bowl on your kitchen counter lined with a plastic grocery bag. As you are preparing a meal, put garbage from preparing the meal in the bag. At the end of preparation, tie the bag up and dispose in the main garbage can.
By WandaJoWhen cooking, making salads, peeling and preparing vegetables, I lay an open plastic grocery bag in my sink bowl to hold the waste. When I'm finished cleaning, peeling, cutting, etc. I then tie the bag, throw the whole thing in the trash. Makes for very easy clean-up.
By Gena Rae
Just yesterday, I slipped a plastic grocery bag over the dish I used when I peeled potatoes. Afterwards, I simply turned it inside out and all the mess was inside ready to tie and trash! I got lucky and found a plastic "device" that I got the entire purchase price refunded for! All it cost was the stamp! I use it in the bathroom by the toilet where it is small. I sometimes slip several inside each other at a time to store them handily & slip the handles over, it fits perfect because it can squoosh! Sometimes the bags get small tears that I mend with a piece of tape, then fold it down neatly and put in a bag I got for 10 cents and it hangs on the doorknob in the kitchen.
The bins are quite expensive so we stretch the use time a little longer by lining the bins with plastic grocery bags. Each night as we go to empty the litter, we lift out the grocery bag and the waste bin stays clean. Inserting those grocery bags every day helps keep odors out of the plastic waste bin and it last much longer.http://www.doggiepoopcatcher.com for more info.
By katzSince I have 4 cats, scooping the cat pan is an "every time I walk past it" chore. I don't like to just scoop the clumping litter into a garbage pail, but since I have 77 steps down (and back up) to the garbage bins, I've found that scooping the litter into a plastic grocery bag and knotting it keeps it bundled tidily (and odorlessly) in the trash until I go down to the big bins. I line a small trash can with two more of the grocery bags, and after a few scooping sessions, those two can be tied up around the bundles and disposed of neatly and without odor.
By Robin Place a few of the plastic bags in the bottom of your waste basket BEFORE you use one to line your waste basket. As you have one filled, there will be another one to use!
By SandyAs a teacher, I take all of mine to school with me to use in a small wastebasket by my desk. Since times are tight, the janitors are very thrifty with the garbage bags. I am just glad to get rid of them. Ask area teachers, they might need them for other uses.
By Melody from White City, Oregon
By Mr. Thrifty
Our veggie scraps either go down the garbage disposal or in our compost heap.
In my area, Walmart has a bin just inside their front door for drop-off of these bags, which they then recycle.
By Becki in Logansport, IN
By Grandma Margie
I load newspapers in them to take to our local veterinarian, who uses the papers to line the animal cages.
Give old plastic grocery bags to your local animal clinic. Ours always appreciates having a bag to put medicines and food in that clients come in to get.
Bryan Do you sometimes accumulate too many plastic bags from the supermarket? Donate them to a place where children are being baby sat such as a daycare center. They are great to dispose soiled diapers in. By joesgirl You might check with your local library. Ours accepts plastic grocery bags for patrons who don't have a book bag with them. I've even used a few of them myself.
By jeangnome46I save all of my grocery bags in a large plastic bag until I have it full. Then I take them to the local Mental Health Clinic, so that they can re-use them for the patients medications.
By Sue L.
By Melody from White City, Oregon
By Debbie in SC
http://www.myrecycledbags.com/ is an Eco-Friendly product website that is dedicated to recycling and crafting. Stop by and learn more about this wonderful crafting technique.
Sample using white grocery bags to create a cute shoulder bag below. (02/08/2007)
Additionally, I use boxes from brownie mix, cereal boxes etc. empty on the counter and fill with little slips of paper that can be recycled. A page from my daily calendar, empty sweet n low bags, the paper tab off of tea, the paper tab off the bulk bin label, anything that is paper, goes into the box. Once it's full, it goes into the recycling bin (then you don't have tons of little slips of paper flying everywhere). I recycle the plastic tabs off clothing that holds the price tags, the plastic tabs of breads and such etc. If you are conscious of what you recycle in one week, EVERYTHING YOU CAN RECYCLE, you'd be really amazed at how much you THREW away the week before! AS long as you are aware and active, you are making a difference. (02/09/2007)