Shh… don't tell anyone I'm poor. They all think I'm living frugal and green just like everyone these days. This is a blog about a senior citizen living a frugal life, on a fixed income, in a low income food desert, and passing along knowledge from lessons learned. Some she learned from her Grandma Mama many years ago and some learned only a few days ago.
In today’s economy we poor must find savings, even micro saving, where we can. I re-use plastic bags over and over many times. I read about people throwing away plastic bags after only one use because the bags have had raw meat in them. The plastic industry has created this fear of contamination in order to sell more plastic bags.
Don’t get me wrong, you should be very careful about raw meat contamination. Thats why we have soap and water. Long before the invention of plastic made life so convenient people had to be very careful about contamination too.
Here’s the thing. We are told that plastic bags once containing meat are not safe to re-use because of the dangers of cross contamination. We are told to use it once and throw it away. we are told there is no need for going to the trouble of washing up when plastic bags are so cheap. Lets face it, nobody really likes doing dishes.
This is the same consumerism idea behind using plastic plates, cups, and cutlery. The plastic industry is using our own dread of a chore against us. When someone doesn’t want to wash dishes its easy to convince them that disposables are perfect for eliminating that chore. If the plastic industry had its way there would not be any re-usable glass, ceramic, or metal dishes. Everything would be one time use.
Doesn’t using soap kill germs? Isn’t that why we wash dishes? I wash and dry baggies many times before actually tossing them. I also add a bit of vinegar to the water as a disinfectant. I toss a bag only because it has torn or has a hole in it.
Several years ago I made myself a baggie drying rack. I used a simple piece of wood as the base and some dowel rods.
I’ve never tried to figure out how much money I saved by washing baggies but I believe it would be alot. Re-using baggies means the savings can be put toward other needs….. like food or medicine.
I figure each time I wash a baggie I’m saving about twenty cents for a gallon size and saving about ten cents for the quart size. I save even more when I wash one of the food vacuum seal bags. Over time that adds up to quite a bit.
How about you. Do you wash plastic bags too?