Five Creative Uses for Reusable Produce Bags

Most people buy reusable produce bags for shopping and storage of fruits and vegetables, but these bags are extremely versatile and can be used for many jobs. Here’s how some of our more creative customers are using them.

Bulk Bin Shopping – Saves a throw away bag for every bulk item

There’s so much packaging (mostly plastic) on nearly every item we buy at a grocery store. Some can be recycled, but most of it ends up in the landfill. We’re also forced to buy in standard sized packages, which may be too little or much more than we really need. With nearly 100 bins of bulk items at top grocery markets, why not “bulk up” on bin goods, avoid the packaging, and save money? Muslin produce bags are the perfect shopping container for most of these items. You can even store many items like dried beans, split peas, and lentils for a short time in the bag. Transfer the contents to glass jars at home for long-term storage if the items need protection from the elements.

A great tip from one of our loyal customers: instead of using the twisty tie tags to write down the bin numbers, bring along a washable marker and write the stock number on the bag for complete zero waste. Wash the bag after using to remove the bin number.

Lunch & Snack Bag – Saves multiple plastic and paper bags every day

Eliminate the “brown bag” by packing your lunch in a medium or large size produce bag, and it’ll be a mid-day meal worth savoring! Our reusable bags are light and flexible, perfect for storing a healthy, homemade lunch in your backpack, purse, or car. Smaller snacks like carrots, celery, pretzels, or cookies are perfect in the x-small bag, so you can dump those zip lock plastic bags.  Instead of using plastic containers, try packing a hearty salad in a wide mouth mason jar by layering your favorite greens and salad mixings.

You can use a small glass jar for snacks like nuts, dried fruits, or granola. If you are carrying multiple jars, use x-small bags to hold individuals to keep them from clanging together and cracking.  A healthy lunch with zero waste and no plastic that will save you money every day!

Bread Bag – Saves a throw away bag with every loaf

When you shop at a bakery for fresh artisan bread, they always pack the loaf in a paper or plastic bag for transporting it home. A muslin produce bag is perfect for that job and completely zero waste! The bread will keep well all day in the cotton bag.

If you’re making homemade loaves hot from the oven, you’ll need a well-circulated storage option like a mesh bag so that the steam doesn’t cause condensation. After cooling, place the loaf into a muslin produce bag to keep it fresh for later in the day. This practice doesn’t save you any “bread” (ha ha) but it’ll make you feel good, which is usually worth much more!

Travel Organizing: It’s all about limited space

It seems like airports and flights are more crowded than ever. When traveling during these times, space is extremely valuable. Fitting your goods into those tiny airlines approved carrying-on bags is always a challenge and you’re usually trying to avoid costly luggage check-in and the delays that come with it. Use muslin and mesh produce bags to store makeup, toiletries, valuables, or even jewelry for those trips out of town.

You usually can’t fit your entire makeup or toiletry kits into such limited space, so pick out the essentials and pack them into these bags. Cotton is flexible and can easily be rolled up and stored into the corners and nooks of a suitcase or backpack, plus it keeps everything organized during travel. Larger muslin bags make great shoe bags to keep your clean clothes protected from dirty soles.

Fine China Protection – A tiny chip can cost you $75 to replace

Fine china place settings cost hundreds of dollars each, and many heirloom patterns can’t be replaced.  Protect those valuable plates, bowls, cups & saucers, and platters from breaking or chipping by storing them individually in muslin produce bags. Other commonly used options such as wrapping them in old newspaper can protect against chips, but sometimes leaves newsprint ink on the china. Bubble wrap is another popular option, but who wants their china sitting in plastic for months at a time?

Cotton bags are completely natural and do the job as well or better than these options. Pick the best fit for your pieces from the wide range of sizes from x-small to x-large. Double up on those long platters by slipping an x-large bag over each end. These bags can help keep your investment safe so that it can be passed on to future generations.