I have one Ziploc bag left. One. Uno. Single, lonely bag. And I am not buying any more. Ever!
What does this mean? Will the world come crashing down? Will time stand still? Will my food get freezer burn? Where will I put all my twist-ties? So many scary questions to ponder. Let's first consider why I use Ziploc bags. They are convenient, sure, but what specifically am I storing in them?
- Meat - I buy meat in larger family packs and break it down into individual meal portions, often times prepping the meat (cutting into pieces) as I go. Then I store the individual packs in the freezer.
- Pizza - There always seems to be one or two pieces of pizza left over. I usually just slip these into a baggie and stash it in the fridge for lunch the next day.
- Peppers & Onions - When slicing peppers or onions for a meal, I like to prep the entire item. All the materials are already out, so it makes sense to do the work once and not dirty the dishes twice. What I do not use immediately I like to refrigerate in Ziploc bags for another meal.
- Cheese - We eat a lot of cheese. Mister snacks on various varieties when returning home from work before consuming dinner. I use cheese in sauces, casseroles, pasta, biscuits, just about every meal. Our cheese drawer - yes, we use so much that it gets its own drawer - contains at least six blocks at any given time, in various sizes, stored in individual Ziploc bags.
- Travel - I have been know to use Ziploc bags for transporting jewelry during travel. I also use them to secure my toothbrush, deodorant, shampoo, soap, and anything else liquid or that gets wet in case of leaks.
- Twist-ties - I do not buy twist-ties, but I seem to have a plethora of them. Boxes of garbage bags come with them - Why, I do not know, does anyone actually use these? We just tie the top of the bag together. - bread bags have them, or the little plastic clip; even my vegetables have them. I buy broccoli and celery NOT packaged in plastic, but it is still bundled with these twist ties. So inevitably, I have many, many twist-ties and I cannot throw them away. I do not know why, but I cannot, it just seems so wasteful. So I stash them away in a Ziploc bag, thinking someday I will find a use for them.
Now that we know what I store in them, let's think of alternatives.
- Meat - Become vegetarian. Problem solved. All kidding aside, this is not the worst idea. It sure would eliminate the need for freezer bags. A while ago I thought I was smart and started using freezer paper to wrap my meat. That was going fine until I took into account that the masking tape I used to seal the wrapper was made from plastic. So I thought I was a genius when I switched out the tape for rubber bands. Ha, take that! Then I came to the grim realization that the shiny side of the freezer paper is, yep, you guessed it - plastic. Damn. Not so smart after all. Back to my stock of Ziploc bags. Can you use parchment paper to freeze meat? Is there a plastic-free freezer paper out there? Butcher paper, would that work? Anyone?
- Pizza - I have already made the break from plastic wrap. Now we only use recycled parchment paper and recycled aluminum foil. I guess I could wrap my two pieces of pizza in one of those. Still, that even seems like a waste if it is only going to be used overnight. What I really should be doing is the inverted plate thing like I do with the rest of our leftovers. We use plates and bowls to store leftovers and then put another plate or bowl over the top to act as a cover. Works great. We also have a small supply of glass pyrex dishes with plastic lids that we store things in. I really need to invest in more of these.
- Peppers & Onions - I have slowly been making the switch to prep bowls as my supply of Ziplocs has dwindled. I think what I have are actually Anchor Hocking custard cups. They are quite small, just big enough to hold one-half to one cup of diced vegetables and come with a plastic lid. I am thinking more of these would also be a good investment. Small refrigerator dishes would work well also.
- Cheese - This one stumps me. I cannot even find cheese not wrapped in plastic to begin with, so what do you store it in after it has been opened? Parchment? Has anyone tried this? I guess we could use aluminum foil, but I really want to get away from the single use and try to find reusable alternatives. I understand aluminum foil can be reused and we do reuse it often. Still, I want something more permanent. Know what I mean? Sometimes I will shred cheese and reuse a yogurt container to store it in, but not often. I find that cheese dries out faster when it has been shredded and prefer to keep ours in block form.
- Travel - Okay, I do not know why I started transporting jewelry in baggies. I have a nice leather travel box for this purpose. Silly. I think I just forgot about it. As for the wet and messy stuff, I am pretty sure I have a stash of heavier plastic bags, some that even zip, in the basement that I saved from tablecloths, sheets, etc, we purchased. Am I hoarder? Perhaps. If not, then I am very sure that the store sells these things called shaving kits. Mister has one. It is what he transports all his liquid stuff in while traveling. Duh!
- Twist-ties - Get rid of them!
Sounds easy doesn't it? If it were that easy I would have done it a long time ago. Breaking habits is hard to do. Anyone out there already made the leap? Have some advice to offer those wading in the water? Survival skills for those about to jump off the high-dive? I do not want to use my last one, uno, single, lonely Ziploc as a floatation device!