Bread is one of those products that is hard to buy outside of a plastic bag. You can sometimes get it in paper, or you can make it at home, but bread in plastic bags is by far the most common sort.
What to do with all those bags?
Plastic bread bags are highly reusable. They’re a great size for many things. Keep the little plastic fastener to have an easy way to reclose the bag when you’re reusing it.
1. Homemade bread storage.
If you sometimes buy bread at the store and other times make it at home, as I do, keep those bags and use them to store the homemade bread after it has cooled.
2. Short term freezer bag.
While bread bags aren’t ideal for preventing freezer burn, they are pretty good at holding some things in the freezer. Best is if it doesn’t matter too much if you get a touch of freezer burn, such as when you’re storing bones for making broth later on. They can also hold hamburger patties quite well. Just think of how they are packaged if you buy them at the store!
I wouldn’t recommend using them for long term storage as a general rule in the freezer simply because it’s too hard to keep them from letting air in. If you want to store something for longer, double bagging is probably a good choice to limit the chances for air to get into the bag and damage the food.
3. Taking the dog for a walk.
Yes, these bags work great for doggie doo. They’re easy to carry along and tie off when you’ve cleaned up after your pet.
4. Clean the cat’s litter box.
Yes, they’re a great size for what kitty does too.
5. Trash bag for the car.
Going on a road trip? Sometimes you know you’re going to be generating a bit of trash while on the road. Once again, the compact size of a bread bag makes it a fair choice for keeping in the car to keep the trash under control.
6. Taking food scraps to the compost pile.
Sometimes the compost pile isn’t as convenient as you might like. You can buy a kitchen compost bin, and dump that periodically into the outdoor compost bin, or you can use something like the old bread bag.
The advantage the bag has is that you can just shove it into the freezer if you like. It only uses up the space the scraps require, plus a tiny bit more. This means you don’t have to worry about food scraps stinking up the kitchen until you can get them outdoors.
7. Store other stuff.
Using plastic bags you already have can be a great choice for storing small parts around the house. This is especially true if otherwise you’d be using a bag you had to buy for storing things. While they’re not especially strong, they’re not going to tear at the drop of just any hat either.
8. Take them traveling.
You often have things you need to keep away from the rest of your stuff when you travel. While modern air travel restrictions can sharply limit how much liquid you carry, other ways of traveling can mean carrying many products you’d hate to have leak onto your clothes.
Drop makeup, sunscreen, toothpaste and so forth into a plastic bread bag and close it off before putting them into your suitcase, even if you use an outer pocket or a makeup bag for them. That extra bit of protection can save you a big cleanup if your bag gets banged around too much and something starts to leak.
9. Use as packing materials.
Sending a package somewhere? You can use a bunch of old bread bags as padding in the box rather than buying packing materials.
10. Recycle them.
Some, but not all bread bags can be recycled. They aren’t all numbered, so it can be a bit hard to tell. If there’s a number 7 with the recycling logo, it’s not recyclable. Otherwise you have a good chance, and you can put them in with the plastic grocery bags.