Tuesday, July 15, 2014

How to Resize Free Plastic Bags with a Food Saver

I shop with reusable shopping bags as much as possible. Many stores give you some sort of incentive to bring your own bags. Other stores, like Aldi, charge you for disposable shopping bags. Ten cents a disposable shopping bag isn’t such a big deal but I used it as incentive to get started on a new habit and put all of those freebie shopping bags we get from events and the like to good use.

HowtoresizeplasticbagswithaFoodSaver


Not to mention, the disposable shopping bag population threatened to take over the house! I’m convinced our Meijer has an employee contest for how many grocery bags they can use to pack an order. Could be why I don’t shop there as much as I used to…


Between Lacey and our household trash can I was feeling pretty good (truthfully? a little smug so you know where this is going) that we were reusing way more disposable grocery bags than we were taking in. Then we ran out of plastic shopping bags to reuse. I should have seen that coming huh?

Yes, yes. I know you can buy trash and doggie pick up bags. We have some of each on hand as Plan B. But to do that you have to walk down two whole extra aisles at the grocery store or even worse, drive to the pet store to buy pick up bags if the grocery store doesn’t have them. The extra trudging is bound to cause blisters. 

Fortunately Lacey’s payloads are small. Small enough that the bread, frozen vegetable, and plastic bag packaging I used to put in the trash, I realized with a rinse I can reuse for Doggie Duty. If the bag is too small to tie off at the top, I use a bread tie to close it. This keeps the twist tie population in check and it frees up the few disposable grocery bags we sometimes get for kitchen duty.

How to Make Large Bags into Small  Bags with a Food Saver


I recently ordered something that came in a long, narrow plastic bag. I cut the end to size because the whole bag is too long to use as a dog pick up bag. I looked at the larger bag and it was of the a little big for Lacey deposits but not large enough to line the trash can. If there was some way to cut the bags down to size and heat seal the ends without ruining my iron I could get a few more free heavy plastic potty bags (even the ones we buy aren’t, ew) out of this necessary bit of on line shopping.

usesforplasticpackingbags

Then I remembered I have a Food Saver. *head slap*!

Food Saver cuts and seals their propriety bags. I wonder if I can use it to resize and heal seal heavy plastic storage bags for reuse?

Hey kids, what time is it?

Crazy experiment time!

If you make these plastic bags they are not food safe. Do not store food in these bags. If you need plastic food safe storage bags please buy them directly from Food Saver. But if you want to make a large plastic bag into a smaller size bag for a non food storage (or in my case, trash) project, then this tutorial is for you!

You will need:

Large plastic bag
Scissors (optional)
Food Saver

Make it:

1. Cut the large plastic bag down to size with either the scissors or with the Food Saver’s cutting blade (if applicable.)

howtomakeplasticstoragebags
I think either the cutting blade my Food Saver is dull (good chance I bought mine used) or isn’t meant to cut heavier plastics. It half cut and half chewed the bag. Looks aren’t an issue considering what Lacey will put in it.

2. Place the cut end of the plastic bag on the heat seal element of the Food Saver with the majority of the plastic bag facing out.

Howtoheatsealplastic

3. Heat seal what will be the bottom of the plastic bag following the directions on the Food Saver.

reuseplasticbags

4. Remove the bag from the Food Saver and filler up!

Howtoresizeplasticbagsintousefulsizes

Hey it worked! I wouldn't do this all of the time or for every freebie disposable plastic bag, but it is one more tool on my money and environment saving Swiss Army knife of ideas.

How to you make useless things useful again?


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