I compare my wallet to an open-faced sandwich, because it only has half the bread it's supposed to!
But seriously, we all like to save a little money here and there. With all the helpful tips on the internet, you probably think you're running out of ways to be thrifty.
Well here's a household staple you probably haven't considered: the long, plastic bags that hold a loaf of sliced bread.
If you want to stretch your grocery bill even further, try these money-saving ways to recycle your bread bags:
1. Grease A Baking Sheet
My mother has learned from a lifetime of baking to save her butter wrappers, knowing that sooner or later they will be useful for greasing a pan.
But, of course, I almost never remember this trick, and just toss out my wrappers.
The good news is I've found my own way to grease a pan without getting my fingers buttery: using a bread bag.
The entire bag slides easy over your arm, letting you grip the butter and apply it without getting your hands dirty. How easy is that?
2. Make A Freebie Icing Bag
Baking is becoming a hobby of mine, so I've started noticing how expensive even the most basic tools can be.
The amount of money I've spent on disposable icing bags alone is not pretty. Which is why I like this cheap alternative so much:
With a quick snip and some folding, a basic bread bag with a piping tip will work just as well as a real icing bag.
Just make sure to clean out the inside of the bag before you use it, unless your guests like bread crumbs in their icing.
3. Make Quirky Plastic Prints
Here's a surprisingly stylish project for experienced crafters.
Bread bags (along with other plastics, like grocery bags) can be "fused" into fabric for a cheap but very creative effect.
All you need is some paper and an iron to make all kinds of useful crafts.
Check out this tutorial and see if you can make those old bread bags into something useful.
4. Use Them As Boot Liners
This is a tried and true method for keeping your socks dry that older generations might remember.
A bread bag just happens to be the perfect size to pull over your socks.
Keep a pair handy all winter, and you'll never have to walk around with soggy socks that freeze your toes.
Yes, it might look a bit embarrassing to walk around with bread bags stuck out of your boots, but comfort is more important than style.
5. Swap Any Plastic Bags For Bread Bags
In an effort to be creative about reducing plastic waste, here's my latest idea. Washing old bread bags to then become freezer bags. And it comes with the added bonus of the look on my neighbour's face when she sees these fluttering on my washing line. pic.twitter.com/oSVas9UxXg— Debbie Thomas (@DebThomasCopy) October 9, 2018
This may sound like an obvious tip, but there are quite a few times when you should be using a bread bag instead of a regular plastic or Ziploc bag.
Bread bags are actually very sturdy. When they're sealed properly, they lock in liquids and even foul odors.
They're also safe to use as freezer bags, which opens up another entire world of possibilities.
Just in my kitchen, I use bread bags to marinate meat, to hold loose herbs, and to pack my lunches.
And yes, they're also handy for picking up after your pet on a walk...
6. Bring Them Along On Vacation
The one thing everyone forgets to pack on vacation are the essentials that keep their clothes in good condition. And that include bread bags.
Don't just throw muddy shoes, wet towels, and dirty clothes back into your bag at the end of the day. Your bag will be a total mess by week's end.
Instead, stuff these dirty items into some old bread bags: you can find them quickly, but they won't leave a trace in your bag.
7. Protect Your Garbage Can
Earlier, I mentioned how bread bags were good for holding in nasty smells and gross liquids.
That makes them perfect for storing garbage of all kinds.
A bread bag is actually ideal for holding compost: it's small enough to sit on the counter when you're chopping vegetables, but won't leak or stink up the kitchen.
Likewise, they're good for storing smelly trash (kitty litter, rotten meat and fruit) when garbage day is still far off.