DIY Plastic Wrap Substitute

This post may contain affiliate links from which I will earn a commission. Learn more in our disclosure.

What is plastic wrap | About the environment

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.

Want to Save This Post?

Enter your email & I'll send it straight to your inbox. Plus, you'll get healthy living updates too.

Save Recipe

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!!

sustainable - what is plastic wrap

Then I thought, “Hey, wouldn’t this work on a bowl too?”  And guess what, it sure does (larger bread bag and rubber band):

What is plastic wrap | About the environment

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?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



  1. I think I used this idea once. I believe its Glad that makes this bags with a rubberband attached, similar to a shower cap. Those work great too. But husband thought I was using the hair shower cap, and thought it was gross. I showed him, they were made for food containers. I also dislike the plastic wrap thing. I think the last time I bought one was about five years ago. I more of a Tupperware person, and have all the lids in one drawer, organized by size. I do use foil, for wrapping burritos for using in the oven.

  2. My grandmother used to do this all the time… works great! My only concern is where all those bags and bread covers have been. Can you imagine the germs that have accumulated while they were in the warehouses, in the trucks being delivered, handled by truckers, stockers, customers, etc. I guess I’m a germaphobe, but something to think about! 🙂

    1. Hi Karen,

      I actually completely agree with you, but my bread bags come in a box of 1000 (I know, crazy bulk amount :-)) and I assume that they have to be clean. I wouldn’t do this w/ bread bags from stores due to the same concerns that you have. I am not really so worried about the germs, though – it’s more the toxins. The germs can only live so long. Heavy metals and the like sick around forever and wreak havoc on our bodies. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Love these ideas, and I have some big rubber bands and plenty of bread bags.

    I’m going to start trying this.

    Thanks for the tip–I like using the existing bowls, and this allows me to do so. I’m very glad you linked to Food on Fridays!

  4. Lol, I have plastic wrap in the house, but I don’t use it very often. I’m a huge proponent of containers and lids. That’s what we use for lunches too. Not sandwich bags, just containers. Lol, is it awful to admit that sometimes I even put stuff back in the fridge with no lid??

  5. This guy ( ) uses the ubiquitous plastic shopping bags to cover his bowl of rising bread dough. I love this post! What a great idea! I always wash out and re-use plastic bags (that haven’t had meat or moldy things in them.) I have a place in my kitchen where I hang them up to dry, and then go there FIRST, if I need one. Thank you!

  6. Great tip! I love saving money. We try not to use too many disposable kitchen things like ziploc bags, but when we do I always wash and reuse them over and over 🙂

  7. I’m so with you on the term green, it’s so over and misused today, in fact, it has been “greenwashed.” Watch for the term “sustainable” to take its place.

    I love and use Pyrex with glass lids in my kitchen(both new and vintage)because it can go from the freezer, to oven, to table, to frige, with no added resources. Now that’s truly energy conservation at a practical level.

  8. I use our tupperware. I never put my bowls in the fridge because we don’t have too many dishes. For two of us we have a set of four servings. They are used and washed everyday. I try to use the item for its purpose, it works for me. I actually appreciate my tupperware that way. I take the time to move the food to a tupperware container then wash the dish so its ready again. I also don’t have too much tupperware and it all has lids that fit and work, and a place for it. Nice tight kitchen. I haven’t used seran for years. Obviously, I don’t even know how to spell it. 🙂

  9. Neat idea, my MIL does something similar or even with paper towels.

    Thanks for linking with It’s a Keeper Thursday, I am co-hosting this week and would love it if you dropped by to say hi.

  10. What a great, practical idea! I will be doing this in the future!! Like you I have always had an aversion to plastic cling wrap (I only use it with my embroidery machine). I found you on the Creative Juice Link Party!

    1. OK…I’m a beginning machine embroiderer…share the plastic wrap embroidery idea w/ me please……Thanks in advance.

  11. My grandmothers used to do that! It’s been over 30 years since I’ve seen a bag on the bowl secured with rubber bands, and your post made me feel all nostalgic.

  12. We use the upside down dinner plate method for large bowls too. A trick taught to me by my grandmother.
    I have seen tutorials on how to make bowl covers from fabric. I am planning on sewing a few of those soon.

    1. We’ve done the plate thing too, but you have to make sure they’re not breakable (especially w kids in the house :-).)

      1. I always snag the shower caps when I stay at hotels. They make great bowl covers, with or without the rubber bands.

        1. I do that, too. I never get in the shower without washing my hair, so have no need for their intended use. I also never leave one in the motel room, though I’m finding they don’t include them in their guest goodies as often as they used to.

  13. I bought a box of those plastic bowl covers at my local Dollar Tree here in Tennessee, their are several different sizes in a box, and have 20 in it, I thought that wasn’t a bad deal for a $1

    1. That is a great deal! I might have gotten some as well – I do like not having one more thing to keep somewhere in my pantry or cabinets, though!

  14. Don’t laugh — I’m nearly 72 and reading Wholenewmom? One is never too old to learn new tricks 😉 When I was growing up, there wasn’t such a thing as plastic wrap. Every kitchen had a supply of bowl covers — they looked like shower caps — and were washed and reused. Granted, they didn’t fit as snugly as your rubber bands, but served the purpose fairly well. Sounds like we’re returning to the ‘old days’ ……

    1. I’m not laughing :-). They have those plastic bowl covers around now too. I haven’t looked to see how much they cost. They’d be great for the larger bowls. I think the old days are great :-).

      1. I’ve bought actual shower caps, as well as plastic & elastic bowl covers (both at at dollar stores). The bowl covers came in a pack of various sizes and were sturdier plastic that was more durable & re-usable.

        That being said, I also like to serve in my Corelle dishes that have glass lids. Or better yet, I serve in the kitchen, most nights, straight from the pot. It saves money & time on fewer dishes that need washing, it saves time on setting & clearing the table, and it saves calories & grocery money (we have to actually make a conscious decision to get up and go get a second helping).

      2. I buy a pack of shower caps (12 for a dollar) at the dollar store and use them on large bowls or when I am making bread I’ll put it over while it is rising. I wash them out and use them over and over and over again. I think a dozen last me about a year.

  15. There’s the old favorite, too, for bowls, etc of the small size, especially for in the frig- just cover with an upside-down plate. 🙂

    But love the bag/band to replace the vinegar lid!