Getting Organized 2009, Part 2: Ziplocs rock!

this photo is from PreschoolRock.com. See the link at the end of the post!

Even a kid can make ice cream with Ziplocs: this photo is from PreschoolRock.com. See the link at the end of the post!

As part of the Works for Me Wednesdays blog carnival that I take part in almost every Wednesday, I was inspired to write on a subject very close to my heart—Ziploc bags. I’m including my fave uses, Staci’s—whose blog is Family of 6 on $26K/year and she has some great ideas, 10 from Real Simple and a couple from Mommy, the Human Napkin, and Ed.

Ziplocs rock! I did list as my Number 1 2008 resolution that I would stop using ziplocs in my purse for makeup, office supplies, hair clips, etc. because they just don’t look that professional, but that is proving difficult. My favourite uses, aside from the typical—eegad, storing food in the fridge and freezer—are:
1) marinating meats—you can really work the marinade into the meat by squishing it around, and this will occupy achild from age 2 to 20 for quite a long time
2) storing anything leaky or oily, especially in the car trunk and garage
3) for making one-craft-at-a-time bags, with exactly what’s needed for one project (I got into that habit when my son had leukemia and we spent days in clinic)
4) the best one—large size ziplocs instead of file folders for receipts, instructions, warranties, photos, research, you name it. I have a box that holds all the current files/bags. When I need to take one out, I no longer worry about papers sliding out the sides of file folders, or spilling entire contents. And when a bag is full/project completed, I then transfer the contents to a file folder, label it and store.

from Staci at Family of 6, $26K/year:
The big freezer storage bags are great for when my kids head off to church camp each summer. We pack one outfit in each bag, label the bags, and then the kids make sure to put the things listed on the bag back into it at the end of the day so they come home with everything and leave nothing behind. Works perfectly!

from Real Simple:
1. Knead dough. Place dough in a Ziploc bag so your fingers don’t get sticky. Or slip your hand into the bag and wear it like a glove.
2. Store panty hose. Nude, Tan, Nearly Naked—they look the same out of the package. Tear off the corner of the package listing the brand, size, and color, then slip it into a bag. Store each pair in its own bag to keep hose organized and prevent snags.
3. Remove chewing gum or candle wax from a tablecloth, a couch, or carpeting. Gently rub gum or wax with a Ziploc bag filled with ice cubes until the substance hardens. Shatter gum with a blunt object, then vacuum up the chips. Carefully peel off frozen wax with a plastic spatula.
4. Pipe frosting. Snip off a tiny corner to use a Ziploc as a pastry bag.
5. Store homemade soup. Fill up bags, then lay them flat in the freezer. When the bags of soup freeze flat, you’ll be able to pile them up like stacked books for easy, space-saving storage.
6. Protect precious cargo. No bubble wrap? Slip a straw into the top of a nearly closed Ziploc bag and inflate. Remove the straw and seal to make a cushion. (Heirlooms, however, should wait for that bubble wrap.)
7. Break up graham crackers or vanilla wafers to make a piecrust. Fill a bag with the cookies, then roll a rolling pin over it.
8. Prevent a handbag from turning into a snow globe. Store pressed powder and other compacts in Ziploc bags.
9. Gather herbs from the garden. Before winter frost sets in, wash, pat dry, and freeze the herbs in Ziploc bags.
10. Ice an injury. Fill a bag with ice cubes to create a cold compress.

I totally agree with Mommy, the Human Napkin: ”I share the Ziploc addiction. I did want to add something, though… in regards to #4, using a Zippy as a frosting bag: make sure you don’t use the off-brand sandwich bags! I had a whole bag of frosting explode all over my hand on Christmas Eve. I should have used at least a freezer bag since they’re thicker and won’t tend to burst if you look at it too hard. I think the Ziploc brand are actually sturdier than the off-brand. Unfortunately, I tend to buy the off-brand. I need to stop this.”

Got it: Ziploc brand name only for icing, egg salad and cream cheese piping.

Ed‘s fabulous idea. Making ice cream!

Take a gallon bag and a quart bag.

Pack your ice cream ingredients (for half a quart of ice cream) into the quart bag. Make sure it’s really sealed tight. You can even use duct tape to make sure it doesn’t break open.

Place it inside the gallon bag with half a cup of water, rock salt and ice. Then knead! Within 15 minutes you’ll have ice cream!

Here are slightly more detailed instructions from PreschoolRock.com, complete with kid-focused instructions and photos.

I have wanted to try and make ice cream with the kids, but didn’t want to buy an ice cream maker and watch it hang out with the pasta maker and the Easy-Curl on the basement shelf! Is rock salt the same thing as kosher salt?

QUESTIONS FOR YOU: can you add another use for Ziplocs?

My next giveaway starts January 15, and the prize is a gift pack of full-size Consonant Body Organic skincare items. Better come back now, y’all hear?

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7 Responses

  1. I’m a crocheter and almost all of my projects besides being carried around in a tote bag are first placed in a ziplock bag keeps my yarn & pattern & hook handy, and clean. Also I exchange 12 inch squares with one online group & I send out some items for charity when possible I pack the items or sqs in a ziploc bag then into it’s envelope for mailing. That way if the envelope gets ruined the contents remain clean.
    Ziploc bags rule!

  2. My kids love puzzles!! So our house is not overrun by puzzle boxes, we put each puzzle in a big ziploc bag and include the puzzle picture with it. The bags are so much easier to store than the boxes!!

  3. Ziplocks rock, but for environmental reasons I try to use as few of them as I can. So when it comes to food storage I am more likely to use a glass container. Same with my kid’s lunches – I don’t actually use the sandwich-sized ones for their intended purpose. Too wasteful. I always use tupperware-style containers for that.

    I wash and reuse the bags whenever I can. We get fresh bagels every Sunday and slice them up and stick them in the freezer. They’re oddly shaped, so The Ziplocs are perfect for that.

  4. My 11 year old daughter has picked up the ziploc trick. She was working on a poster for school when she realized she had forgotten her pencil case at school. (Again) She simply labeled the bags with the headings from her poster and popped in the corresponding pictures and text. Monday she’ll glue them on her poster at school.

  5. I always buy meat in bulk from Costco – so I repackage everything into smaller potions into Ziplok bags. We also use them for snacks on the go. My daughter is almost 2 and they are perfect for her to eat her goldfish out of and do not spill as much or as easily as a small bowl does.

  6. I am a scrapaholic and I use the large size (no name) bags to include all my stickers per holiday; season; theme. I simply write the type or theme of the stickers included in the bag and file them alphabetically.

    Great blogging!

  7. I use the sandwich size to hold some lunch money, a credit card and my driver’s license when I go skiing. Slips nicely into those tight little pockets of the ski jacket without being too bulky as a real wallet would be. We don’t need any extra bulges showing while we’re trying to look good on the slopes, now do we? 🙂

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