Top 10 Uses for Ziploc Baggies

Tips-Pages-Graphic-9Do you have a ton of Ziploc bags at home that have perhaps been sitting around for months and you don’t know what to do with them aside from storing food? Here are a few ideas for how you can put them to good use.

Ice Packs
As parents there is no escaping the occasional “boo boo”. When these moments happen it never hurts to be prepared. You probably have bandages, ointment, and peroxide. However, do you have an ice pack on hand? If not, try this simple DIY recipe for ice packs.

All you will need is a quart-sized Ziploc bag (preferably the double sealed kind), a bottle of liquid dish detergent (9 oz), and ¼ cup of rubbing alcohol. Simply pour these ingredients in a Ziploc bag (it should not be full), squeeze out as much air as you can before sealing it, and toss it in the freezer. It should be ready for use overnight, but it will never fully freeze so you can mold it to fit body parts.

Storing Herbs
Do you buy fresh herbs from the grocery store or grow them in your garden? Want to make sure you get the most from their shelf life? If you plan to use them within 1.5 weeks, wash them, wrap them loosely in a Ziploc bag and then place it in the crisper in your refrigerator. If you are not sure when you will use them, it is best to freeze them. To do this, make sure that you spread them out in a single layer in the Ziploc bag and store it flat in the freezer. You can store them for up to a year in the freezer.

Pipe Frosting
Baking a cake or cupcakes and don’t have a piping bag for your frosting? Make your own by filling a Ziploc bag with frosting and snipping a small hole in the corner. If you have a small child, you can also make yogurt melts (like the ones that Gerber makes) by using your Ziploc piping bag to pipe dots of yogurt on a cookie sheet, and freezing it. They make for a great toddler snack – especially during the summer months.

Kneading Dough
Doing some baking (or perhaps some crafting) and hate to get your hands dirty? Simply place the dough inside a Ziploc bag and knead away! Personally, I love kneading dough as a way to relieve stress, but I love that this helps to keep my hands clean during the process.

Bubble Wrap
Do you have something small to ship but don’t want to buy an entire roll of bubble wrap to keep it from rolling around in the box? Place the item in the box with a Ziploc bag. Stick a straw in the opening of the Ziploc bag and then seal it. Using the straw, blow air into the bag until it is inflated to the size you need, then slip the straw out and seal the Ziploc bag completely shut.

Mess-free Painting
Love letting your kids paint? Don’t love the mess they can leave behind. Try this: squirt some paint into a couple of Ziploc bags and tape them to a table on top of plain white paper. Your kids can paint away – without the mess.

Homemade Ice Cream
This is a fun and tasty treat for your kids. For each serving of ice cream you will need ice cubes, 1 cup of half and half, ½ cup of rock salt, ½ tsp, 2 tbsp sugar, ice cream add-ins (fruit, candy, caramel, etc). You will also need 2 ziploc bags – one pint size and one gallon size.

In the small Ziploc bag, place half and half, sugar, and vanilla extract then seal it tightly. In the large Ziploc bag place the salt and ice as well as the smaller bag. Seal it well. Now comes the part your kids will love. Shake the bag vigorously for about 5 minutes (until the mixture in the small bag hardens. Once it is the right consistency, remove it from the large bag and add in your mix-ins. Your kids can eat the ice cream right out of the bag and simply toss the bag in the trash when they are done.

Marinate Meats
I think that the easiest (and less messy) way to marinate meats is to use a Ziploc bag, simply place your meat inside the bag, pour in your favorite marinade, squeeze out as much air as you can, and seal the bag shut. I find that doing this results in more flavorful meat as the marinade covers every inch of the meat.

Stocking Storage
I don’t know about you, but runs in my stockings are the bane of my existence. To keep your stockings from getting snagged on something in your drawer, keep them in a Ziploc bag.

Homemade Playdough
Another great DIY project is homemade playdough. There are quite a few recipes out there. One no-cook recipe requires ¼ cup of salt, 1 cup of flour, and ¼ cup of water. Mix the dry ingredients first, add the water, and then knead them together into a clay consistency. I like to add unsweetened kool-aid to give the playdough color as well as a nice scent. Once your kids have finished playing with it for the day, you can store each color in a separate Ziploc bag.

What ways do you use ziplock baggies?

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