DIY Plastic Wrap Substitute
In our home (and in my kitchen), I am always thinking about health, about saving money, and about the environment - and about taste, of course!
For example, if I can:
- make something healthier
- save money
- make it in a way that has little effect on the environment
- and still have something taste good
Then, I am all over it :-)!
That also goes for what I use in my kitchen and how I buy things.
Of course, we have recycling bins and we use them. But using fewer things overall, and reusing and repurposing is really the best way "to go green" (although I don't really like that term and the political issues tied to it) and address some of the environmental issues that we face today.
Well, today I have kind of a funny little kitchen tip that has nothing to do with taste, but it will:
- save money
- have a beneficial effect on the environment
- save time
I've never liked plastic wrap. I don't know when this all started, but I have always had a huge aversion to the stuff. Just the idea of buying a roll of plastic to use super-temporarily to cover a container and then throw it out and add to a landfill has always, well - really bugged me. I can't tell you the last time I bought a roll. And I think I've only bought one in my whole life. Really.
Now, if you use plastic wrap, that doesn't mean that I won't be your friend :-). And really, I didn't grow up in a household that practiced sustainability or anything. I just somehow had an aversion to waste built into me.
So anyhow, I love containers with reusable lids and all that stuff.
But sometimes you've got something in a bowl already - and there aren't lids for bowls, right? So why dump the stuff into another container and wash the bowl (using time and water) and then dirty up another container. That's where the plastic wrap comes in, right?
Well, here's a more sustainable way.
DIY Plastic Wrap Substitute
Necessity is the mother of invention, right?
I had some necessity recently when my son knocked over a gallon jug of vinegar and it spilled all over our hallway.
After the spill and the clean up, we couldn't find the lid and I didn't want to waste time looking for it, so I found a temporary fix using a small bag and a rubber band!!
Then I thought, "Hey, wouldn't this work on a bowl too?" And guess what, it sure does (larger bread bag and rubber band):
Now, of course, you'd need a pretty large bag to use as a cover for a large container (haven't figured that out yet), but my bread bags work great for this size. I just think that this is the coolest thing! And the rubber band works better than that cling wrap anyway.
So now you can use a great reusable plastic bag (make sure it's a clean one) and a handy-dandy rubber band the next time you need to cover a bowl or the next time you er---have a gallon of vinegar spill all over your floor and you can't find the lid - or - something like that :-).
Well, actually, it'll work anytime you're missing a lid to something.
The bags that I use are from Country Life Natural Foods and I use the 6 x 3 x 15 and 2 x 4 x 8 sizes. Code WHOLENEWMOM gets a great discount at Country Life.
These Bread Loaf Bags from Amazon and 2 x 4 x 8 bags from Amazon seem to be similar.
Now I just need a tip for not getting angry when there's a gallon of vinegar spilling all over the floor. I didn't yell that much. Really. Always working on that - the laughing at life thing.
And if you're wondering why there was a gallon jug of vinegar in my hallway - well, uh....
I was using it in the kitchen for my Homemade Dishwasher Rinse Aid and the bottle was making its way back down the hall for another handy vinegar tip that I'll be sharing in the near future. Hopefully. Too many things to write about and too little time.
How will you save time and money?
- Save time - Instead of looking and looking for a lost lid, get on with your day.
- Save money - Don't throw away stuff just because you lost a lid
- Save money - don't buy plastic wrap anymore!
- Bonus: Save the environment - repurpose rubber bands and re-use a bag instead of throwing away icky plastic wrap
Want some other money saving tips? How about:
How about you? Do you have a way to have a more sustainable kitchen?
My Mom just put a plate on such bowls that needed a cover. Me too sometimes. That way they become stackable!
Fruit Fly trap #4 gets 5 stars from me.
I tried it and it took 3 days to get rid of 50 + of those little nuisances.
I still keep the trap on my counter and I haven't seen one in 5 days.
I'm trying to avoid plastic as much as I can. I have made cloth ones. I use PUL or plain fabric. I have a few in the 2 sizes that fit my bowls. I use elastic and either sew the elastic straight to the fabric or I make a casing and then put the elastic in it.
I made a home for it by covering a box for sandwich baggies with contact paper and store them in there 🙂
What a great ideas on here. Simple and easy to do, anybody can make such a small change like this and what a huge impact it would have. I do have plastic wrap in my kitchen, but we hardly use it. I think we have had the same container for 3 years. My husband pulled it out of the pantry the other day and asked how long. The box is all broken and beat up. I like the Bowl cover ideas from the Dollar Tree. I might have to run over there at some point soon. 🙂
Ditto on the Wide Mouth Glass Jars. We use them for drinking, and for left-over food storage. Just grab a lid. This is also good incentive to use your leftovers, as you could end up not having a glass left to drink out of : )
Reusable Glass Mason Jars work well for storing refrigerated items, leftovers, etc. You can buy plastic screw top lids online to fit either regular size opening or wide size openings on the jars. If you use them to freeze, make sure you leave enough room at the top for expansion in the jar during the freezing process.
If you have a rewashed plastic bag that has an onion odor, write on the bag in permanent marker onion and then only reuse it for onion.
I haven't posted in a while because we just moved back to the States, but I wanted to share a tip with you re: vinegar in the hallway. This tip actually came from the Tightwad Gazette back in the 90's (I think). Take the frequently used cleaning items and do one of two things: 1) Divide up the gallon of vinegar into different containers and put each container in the place(s) where it is used most. 2) Make a carry all from a basket, box, plastic tool box, etc. with all of your cleaning supplies and carry it with you as you clean. I am a proponent of number 1 because I don't have a set in stone cleaning schedule (three kids running around). 🙂 Incidentally, I have used the baggie idea and the wax paper with rubber band idea. Both work great! Thanks for posting!
Thanks - great tips, Laura!!
It is a good ebook. It has a little explanation of each article and then a link to the article on its original site, so you see any updates and you can look around at the blog if you want. The articles are organized in sections. It's pretty well done. I find myself returning to many articles I saw when they were originally posted, but I have also seen a lot that I had missed!
Thanks! Maybe I'll contact them to see if I can get a copy - I'm sure I should since I'm in it :).
I just came back to this article via the Works For Me ebook, and I noticed your offhand mention that bowls don't have lids. Last night, my son could not finish his salad, which was in a soup bowl. His dad discovered that the plastic lids that fit our Corningware bowls also fit our soup bowls! So it might be worthwhile trying your lids on your bowls.
Also since I first read this, we have had a broken cap on a bottle of hydrogen peroxide, which really needs a cap to keep its potency. We found that the cap from a beverage bottle would fit it.
Great tip! Thanks!!!
And welcome! Is that a good book? I honestly am not even sure if I got a copy. 🙂
I love this, never thought of rubber banding them! We put smaller bowls in bread bags, plates and larger bowls in the obnoxious plastic shopping bags, and large platters in the even larger more obnoxious shopping bags. We also never leave a shower cap in a motel.
I even resorted to occasionally buying turkey breast in the plastic reusable containers, so you end up with more storage for food, crafting items, baby stuff and more.
LOVE re-purposing things!
Glad I came across a post of yours on pinterest.
Thanks for taking the time to comment, Micki! I hope to see you around again!
Vinegar is so cheap. Why are you moving it back and forth across the house. Buy a gallon to keep in each room or move some from your main gallon to another container for use in the bathroom. No more spills yay.
Great minds think alike. I bought a bunch at Costco and now have more containers.