Author Topic: Are Reusable Food Storage Bags Worth It?  (Read 1538 times)

cool7hand

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Are Reusable Food Storage Bags Worth It?
« on: October 15, 2021, 08:42:52 AM »
Hey FIRE friends! We're wondering if anyone has experience with reusable food storage bags? Do they last long enough to make your money back? Even if they last long enough to be cost effective, are they easy to use (open, close, clean, and dry) or so much of a pain in the neck that they aren't worth it? We're asking these questions because a single reusable sandwich bag in some cases is only cost effective if it lasts for 200 lunches! Please let us know your thoughts, and if you think they're worth it, please let us know which brand worked for you. Thanks!

Dollar Slice

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Re: Are Reusable Food Storage Bags Worth It?
« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2021, 09:03:09 AM »
I've tried two kinds of silicone bags (cheap no-name off Amazon and Stasher) - the cheap no-name brand was terrible and not recommended; they had a lot of defects in the material and the bags wouldn't open, or tore. The no-name brand ones I used had a hard plastic slider to seal them, so if you're considering buying something like that, avoid that type for sure.

The Stasher bags have been great and I recommend those. I waited until they went on sale, since they are more expensive.

I have definitely not used the Stasher ones 200 times apiece because I often use them for freezing meat - so they get one "use" in the freezer for a month at a time. But I've had them for about 18 months and they're holding up great, no signs of wear. I bought them around the beginning of the pandemic so it's been exclusively in-home use and not carrying-your-lunch-all-around-town use, though.

I didn't really buy them to save money, but to eliminate plastic waste, and for that I'm very happy with them. I use almost no plastic ziploc bags any more between the Stasher bags and tupperware.

Rusted Rose

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Re: Are Reusable Food Storage Bags Worth It?
« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2021, 09:14:16 AM »
I've never tried silicone, but I do have one ripstop nylon-style sandwich wrap thingy; however, it was from some free promo thing and is meant for a packed lunch only. So that one was pretty cost-effective, haha.

For freezer stuff, I've had the same box of gallon ziploc types for probably 2 years and it's still half full because I wash and reuse whenever possible. It's not a no-plastic deal, but it's much reduced and clean damaged ones can be recycled (ostensibly). And it's cheap.

I also reuse bags from things like carrots and bread that can be rinsed easily, and any rare ones I still get from the produce aisle (like for small things such as nuts). Fridge only on those, of course.

So, yeah, that line between spending and saving money vs. plastic.

SunnyDays

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Re: Are Reusable Food Storage Bags Worth It?
« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2021, 08:33:58 PM »
I bought a couple of boxes of Ziplock freezer bags many years ago and just wash and dry them.  They are heavy duty and rarely tear and are cheap to buy initially.  Yes, theyíre plastic, but given how long they last, I donít lose sleep over it.

dragoncar

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Re: Are Reusable Food Storage Bags Worth It?
« Reply #4 on: October 16, 2021, 12:15:25 AM »
I bought a couple of boxes of Ziplock freezer bags many years ago and just wash and dry them.  They are heavy duty and rarely tear and are cheap to buy initially.  Yes, theyíre plastic, but given how long they last, I donít lose sleep over it.

I also have a stash of ziplock bags I use to freeze stuff. I usually just rinse them out and store them in the freezer.  Not saving a lot of money more about plastic waste. 

But the most reuses Iíve gotten have been 6.  Every time I rinse it out I do a water test to see if itís sprung a leak.  I also mark the number of reuses. 

I might be slightly rough with them (frozen meat can have relatively sharp edges when tossed around).  I also tried the other ziplock type, the stand up kind with the zipper on top and they typically get a leak immediately.  Actually for all I know they started with a leak.  Because I also use these bags to defrost in water or refrigerator, sous vide, or Marinate, I canít really tolerate leaks

Curious to hear the discussion on silicone

Morning Glory

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Re: Are Reusable Food Storage Bags Worth It?
« Reply #5 on: October 16, 2021, 09:13:57 AM »
I use hard plastic containers (Rubbermaid or the big yogurt ones from Costco). Easier to wash and dry than bags and they can be used many times, plus you can eat straight from the container. I also have some small Pyrex ones that I use for leftovers and packed lunches.

dcheesi

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Re: Are Reusable Food Storage Bags Worth It?
« Reply #6 on: October 16, 2021, 11:52:00 AM »
We bought some (can't recall where, maybe Target?); they work ok. We run them through the dishwasher (top rack) and they've done fine so far.

I'm very careful to open them as fully as possible when drying them. Some of the complaints I've seen in reviews were about gunk and mold in the little inner corner nooks that tend to stay closed together and not get aired out properly.

HipGnosis

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Re: Are Reusable Food Storage Bags Worth It?
« Reply #7 on: October 16, 2021, 04:50:13 PM »
I've also tried cheap, no-name silicone (?) from Amazon and now use Stasher.
I have used one of the Stashers's more than 200 times.  I use it 2-4 days a week.  No signs of wear.
I'm waiting for a sale to get some of a different size - that they didn't have when I got the ones I have.

MudPuppy

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Re: Are Reusable Food Storage Bags Worth It?
« Reply #8 on: October 16, 2021, 07:03:26 PM »
I have a couple ďgallonĒ ones. Theyíre fine. Spouse mostly uses them for shaking up seasoning, like on veggies for roasting. I donít need them for much else.

Weisass

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Re: Are Reusable Food Storage Bags Worth It?
« Reply #9 on: October 16, 2021, 07:32:17 PM »
We have some from Russbe that we like. The kids use them every day for snack, over a month now.

cool7hand

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Re: Are Reusable Food Storage Bags Worth It?
« Reply #10 on: October 17, 2021, 01:20:02 PM »
Thanks everyone for your help!!

eyesonthehorizon

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Re: Are Reusable Food Storage Bags Worth It?
« Reply #11 on: October 24, 2021, 05:59:53 PM »
Just since it came up recently, Stasher is 20% off sitewide right now.

Edit, I clearly have no sense of urgency and that info was out of date. I have used Stasher both for general storage and for sous vide and have been pleased with the quality but mine aren't old enough to make longevity assessments.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2021, 06:05:36 PM by eyesonthehorizon »

AccidentialMustache

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Re: Are Reusable Food Storage Bags Worth It?
« Reply #12 on: October 24, 2021, 06:58:43 PM »
I might be slightly rough with them (frozen meat can have relatively sharp edges when tossed around).  I also tried the other ziplock type, the stand up kind with the zipper on top and they typically get a leak immediately.  Actually for all I know they started with a leak.  Because I also use these bags to defrost in water or refrigerator, sous vide, or Marinate, I canít really tolerate leaks

Yes, many start with a leak. If they do it is usually the whole pack or most of a pack. We make and freeze mass quantities of turkey broth post-thanksgiving, and we've had a number of boxes of the heavy duty sit-upright which were complete garbage. The regular old flat ones are more reliable.

Britan

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Re: Are Reusable Food Storage Bags Worth It?
« Reply #13 on: October 25, 2021, 09:20:29 AM »
Love the Stashers. Iím asking for some for Christmas because Iím a weirdo. We only have 2 sandwich bags and a big bag. I use them for everything but raw meat. I could use them for that I suppose but theyíre usually in use for something else. We run them through the dishwasher and they hold up to the abuse. Though they usually need to be air dried on the counter after, since they donít dry at the same rate as other dishes.

MayDay

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Re: Are Reusable Food Storage Bags Worth It?
« Reply #14 on: October 31, 2021, 01:24:12 PM »
How do you all wash them?

That is the part I hate.

I do a combo of reusing bags that come into my life (bread bags, cereal bags, etc) and just using our hard containers (pyrex) rather than a bag.


cupcakery

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Re: Are Reusable Food Storage Bags Worth It?
« Reply #15 on: November 01, 2021, 07:24:41 AM »
I've tried reusable bags and they are horrible to clean, so I gave up on that.  I use reusable containers when possible. 

Weisass

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Re: Are Reusable Food Storage Bags Worth It?
« Reply #16 on: November 01, 2021, 09:20:23 AM »
I've tried reusable bags and they are horrible to clean, so I gave up on that.  I use reusable containers when possible.

Agree. The russbe ones are a little easier, but generally I am trying to cut down on plastic no matter how much you can reuse it, because all of it is not so great.

Dollar Slice

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Re: Are Reusable Food Storage Bags Worth It?
« Reply #17 on: November 01, 2021, 09:30:03 AM »
How do you all wash them?

That is the part I hate.

That's why I like the silicone bags like Stasher. You can put them in the dishwasher.

olivoliv

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Re: Are Reusable Food Storage Bags Worth It?
« Reply #18 on: November 02, 2021, 08:47:35 AM »
Don't use, cause hate to wash them. Prefer using different containers(Luminarc) small, big, by plastic or by glass.

eyesonthehorizon

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Re: Are Reusable Food Storage Bags Worth It?
« Reply #19 on: November 24, 2021, 09:37:12 PM »
Love the Stashers. Iím asking for some for Christmas because Iím a weirdo.
@Britan - just since you said this - they have some discontinued colors 30% off and 25% off (non-stacking) sitewide for black friday deals right now. Got a few more in larger sizes as a Christmas present to myself.

Britan

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Re: Are Reusable Food Storage Bags Worth It?
« Reply #20 on: November 25, 2021, 04:58:59 AM »
Love the Stashers. Iím asking for some for Christmas because Iím a weirdo.
@Britan - just since you said this - they have some discontinued colors 30% off and 25% off (non-stacking) sitewide for black friday deals right now. Got a few more in larger sizes as a Christmas present to myself.
Oh man, thanks! I may or may not buy some. This November is going to be an orgy of spending as we take care of a few deferred purchases that really need doneÖ but maybe I can justify it Ö for the planet. Lol.